#1451: Jedha Revolt

JYN ERSO, SAW GERRERA, EDRIO TWO TUBES, & IMPERIAL HOVERTANK PILOT

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

With all of the Last Jedi product floating around, it can be a little difficult to fit in some of my older Star Wars products, especially when it’s stuff that’s only a single movie back.  At least the Power of the Force stuff is noticeably different, right?  Not so much the case with Rogue One, from which I still have a few lingering figures.  Today, I’ll be crossing a few of those off my list and taking a look at the Jedha Revolt boxed-set!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Jedha Revolt set is comprised of Jyn, Saw Gerrara, Edrio Two Tubes, and an Imperial Hovertank Pilot, all of whom came from the film’s first big set piece, Jedha.  This set is part of the Rogue One line, and is very similar to the Takodana Encounter set from The Force Awakens.  The real notable difference here is that there’s three new figures and one repack, instead of one new figure and three repacks.  Those numbers are better.

JYN ERSO

“Pushing behind a checkered past by lending her skills to a greater cause, Jyn Erso is impetuous, defiant, and eager to bring the battle to the empire.  Used to operating alone, she finds higher purpose by taking on a desperate mission for the Rebel Alliance.”

The Jyn in this set is the same one released in Series 2 of the main line.  I didn’t get that one, though, because I knew this set was coming.  That being said, the mold is also the same one used for the Jyn included with the AT-ACT.  It’s not a bad sculpt at all.  The paint’s a little different on this figure.  It’s not an incredible difference, but there’s enough to notice.  I prefer the work on the AT-ACT figure, truth be told, but I guess this one’s passable.  She gets the same blaster pistol, and adds in her scarf she wears on Jedha for good measure.

SAW GERRERA

“A battered veteran of the Clone Wars as well as ongoing rebellion against the Empire, Saw Gerrera leads a band of Rebel extremists.  Saw has lost much in his decades of combat, but occasional flashes of the charismatic ad caring man he once was shine through his calloused exterior.  Gerrera is bunkered on the ancient world of Jedha, coordinating a prolonged insurgency against the Imperial occupation.  Saw’s ailing health has not withered his resolve to fight.”

Saw is definitely a big selling point of this set, since he’s a fairly prominent character and this is literally the only proper figure of him released at this point.  We see Saw here in his garb from later on in the film, during the “present” sequences.  It’s a sensible choice, since his other look is only seen briefly and it’s not the one he’s sporting on Jedha.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation…in theory.  All of the joints are there, but you’re not really going to get much range out of any of them.  Saw’s not super agile or anything, so it’s not a big loss, but it’s still slightly frustrating.  The sculpt is all new to this figure, and it’s a fairly nice piece.  There’s quite a bit of detail work going on, and he certainly has a lot of depth.  The head has a passing resemblance to Forrest Whitaker, which is nice, and the overall design seems to have been translated quite nicely.  Saw’s paintwork is generally pretty decent and clean.  I do have one notable complaint, which has to do with the breathing apparatus.  It’s just molded in a solid off-white sort of color, which looks a little goofy.  It really would have looked better if they’d done it in clear plastic and added a few painted details.  Saw is packed with his walking stick which is almost seen carrying in the movie, as well as a small sidearm which he never uses, but is seen carrying on his hip just the same.  Both pieces are nicely detailed and great additions to the figure.

EDRIO TWO TUBES

“Edrio Two Tubes is a mercenary pilot who flies alongside his eggmate, Benthic.  They share the nickname derived from the breathing apparatus that allows Tognath physiology to process oxygen atmospheres.  Edrio’s notice world of Yar Tonga was conquered by the Empire, forcing him to flee as a refugee.  With a desire to strike back at the Empire, Edrio and Benthic have allied with Saw Gerra’s movement on Jedha.”

And now for the “who the heck is this guy?” portion of the set, it’s Edrio Two Tubes!  Yeah, I don’t know either.  But he looks cool, and that’s really the only necessary element for a successful Star Wars character (see: Boba Fett).  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has the same 5 points of articulation as the rest of the set, albeit in better working order than the ones on Saw.  Edrio gets another all-new sculpt, and it’s certainly top notch.   There’s a lot of really awesome detail work, especially on the jacket.  I dig the similarities between the chest piece and that of the Rebel Pilots.  Definitely a cool touch.  The only real complaint I have is that he’s a little hard to get standing, but once you get him there, he stays up alright.  Edrio’s paint is pretty solid, offering up clean base work, as well as some pretty sweet accent work on his jacket.  He definitely has the best work in the set.  He’s packed with a big ol’ rifle, which he sadly can’t hold particularly well, due to the limitations of his posability.  You can still get a decent “over the shoulder” sort of look, so it’s workable.

IMPERIAL HOVERTANK PILOT

“Imperial combat drivers operate the Empire’s arsenal of armored repulser vehicles, from troop transports to heavily armored hovertanks.  Combat drivers are lightly armored, relying instead on the thick skin of their vehicles to protect them in battle.” 

No set would be complete without some sort of Stormtrooper variant, and this one actually gets one of my favorites.  We got the Hovertank Pilot in the 6-inch line pretty early on, but it’s certainly still cool to get him again in the smaller scale.  The figure is largely built from re-purposed parts from the standard Shoretrooper.  It’s a more than adequate starting point, as that was a pretty solid figure in its own right.  He gets a new head and belt, both of which are incredibly sharp sculpts, which certainly add a lot of polish to the final figure.  The paint on this guy is pretty straightforward, off-white and dark brown.  It’s all cleanly applied, though, and he looks pretty spiffy.  He’s packed with a large blaster rifle, which is the same one we saw with the Shoretrooper, Scarif Squad Leader, and AT-ACT Driver.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was rather excited for this set when it was first shown off, but by the time it actually hit about 6 months later, I had sort of cooled down, and was actually in a bit of a tight spot financially.  Fortunately, it stuck around for a bit, and I was actually able to pick it up from Target for about half of its original value.  I will say, this one definitely has a lot more to offer than the TFA set, since most of the figures are new.  Saw, Edrio, and the Hovertank Pilot are all really solid offerings, and are among some of my favorite figures from the Rogue One line.

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#1438: Ex Nihilo

EX NIHILO – COSMIC PROTECTORS

MARVEL LEGENDS

Alright, we’ve made it through all the figures in the series, time to look at that super awesome Mantis figure—what’s that?  One more figure?  Ex Nihilo?  Awww maaaaaan….

Who is Ex Nihilo you ask?  He’s..just this guy.  Okay, no, not quite.  His name is a latin phrase meaning “from nothing,” which is about what I feel about this guy.  He’s frikin’ pretentious-ass nothing.  He showed up during Jonathan Hickman’s run on Avengers, which means everything around him is simultaneously incomprehensible and nap-inducing.  Something about gardeners?  I can’t follow this stuff.  Let’s just look at the figure and get this over with.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ex Nihilo is figure 6 in the Mantis Series of Marvel Legends.  He uses the name Cosmic Protectors, which he shares with Adam Warlock.  That just reminds me I’d much rather be reviewing Adam Warlock.  Sorry, back on point.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Ex Nihilo is based on the Hyperion body, which is really starting to show its age.  More recent figures using this body have tended to replace the torso, which is the weakest part, but this one doesn’t.  Obviously that’s far from the worst thing, but when I don’t have any attachment to the character, things like this bother me more.  He gets a new head, and I believe the feet are new as well.  They’re fine pieces.  The head is accurate to the source material, and certainly well-rendered from a purely technical stand-point.  I may not like the source, but this is still a very strong sculpt.  A strong sculpt based on a walking snooze-fest, but a strong sculpt nonetheless.  I’m definitely interested to see where else those bare feet turn up, though.  That’s right; the feet are the most interesting part.  Not super interesting?  The paint.  I mean, once again, it’s well handled, but I’d hardly classify it as exciting.  There’s a lot of gold, and then there’s some black.  Two colors?  Wooooeeeee, that’s the good stuff.  The application is clean, I guess (?), and the gold they used is a fairly nice shade.  The eyes and mouth are pretty sharp as well.  I’m really reaching for stuff here.  Ex Nihilo includes no proper accessories of his own, since that would be interesting and possibly exciting, and that ain’t how Ex Nihilo does things.  He *does* include the last piece of Mantis, which is by far the very best thing about this figure. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As you may have surmised, I don’t particularly like Ex Nihilo.  I wasn’t thrilled when he showed up in the line-up for this set.  I bought him for one reason and one reason only: the Mantis piece.  Is this figure well executed?  More or less.  There are some issues, and he’s got a distinct lack of character to distract from them.  Is he fun?  For people who like the character, I guess.  For me, not really.  He’s just a barrier between me and a completed Mantis figure.  Kudos Hasbro, you have proven that I will pay full price for an arm an a box full of pretentious-ass nothing. 

#1385: Raza

RAZA

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“His body rebuilt as a cyborg after a near-fatal accident, the freebooting swashbuckler Raza travels the galaxy in the company of the star-spanning Starjammers, lending his sword and his courage to any battle for freedom and justice!”

The sheer character depth of Toy Biz’s ’90s X-Men line is perhaps its greatest strength.  They took full advantage of the popularity of the X-Men in the ’90s and used that to produce a very large chunk of the major and minor players in the franchise.  Even slightly older characters and groups eventually found their way into plastic form.  One of my favorite teams represented was the Starjammers, the group of space pirates introduced during the Phoenix Saga.  Today, I’ll be looking at one of the more minor Starjammers, Raza!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Raza was released in Series 7 of the X-Men line.  Believe it or not, along with Ch’od, Raza was the first appearance of the Starjammers in this line.  The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  The sculpt was unique to this figure, and patterned on Dave Cockrum’s illustrations of Raza from the comics.  It’s an okay sculpt; it’s overall decent, but definitely not without issues.  A lot of the issues are to do with posing.  Raza’s pose is a little odd.  He’s a bit pigeon-toed, and his shoulders are oddly thrown back.  And, for whatever reason, his right hand has his palm facing forward.  In addition, the articulation, especially at the shoulders, isn’t well worked into the sculpt at all.  On the plus side, he does fit in pretty well with the rest of the line overall, and there’s plenty of solid work, especially on his head, which really capture’s Raza’s distinctive look.  In terms of paint, he’s pretty decent.  The colors match his colors from the comics, and the application is all pretty clean.  The colors are also nice and vibrant, which is always a nice thing.  Raza was packed with a sword and a pistol, both of which fit quite nicely in his hands (though it’s a shame his right hand doesn’t have an extended trigger finger) and stay pretty well put.  There’s also an action feature, where his arms rock back and forth at the shoulders.  It’s kind of hard to explain, and I’m not 100% sure what it’s supposed to do…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was growing up, my Dad had a Raza figure.  I always thought he was pretty cool.  I almost bought one of my own numerous times over the years, but never got around to it.  In actuality, I kept thinking I already had him for whatever reason.  After verifying I definitely didn’t have him, I eventually ended up getting him at the Dave Hart Toy Show in Timmonium, just about a month ago.  He’s not one of the star figures from this line, but he’s still pretty nifty.  At least he’s better than Ahab, right?

#1348: Dash Rendar

DASH RENDAR

STAR WARS: SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE (KENNER)

“In all the galaxy there are few who can fly and shoot like Dash Rendar. Many years ago, as a cadet at the Imperial Acadmey, he continually impressed his superiors with the ability to push vessels beyond their usual limits, executing maneuvers his ships were never meant to perform. He held great promise as a future Imperial officer until a freight vessel piloted by his brother malfunctioned and crashed on Coruscant, destroying a private museum that housed many of the Emperor’s treasures. Though the mishap was not the pilot’s fault, the Emperor banished Rendar’s family and had Dash expelled from the academy. Given his bold disregard for regulation and arrogant confidence, it is doubtful that Dash would have fit in well within the ranks of the Empire anyway. He never hesitates to boast of his skills as an expert pilot and gunner. After his dismissal from the academy, he began a career as a thief and gambler, but soon discovered that his exceptional flying skills were a great asset in the smuggling business. He quickly became very successful, making his services expensive but guaranteed for the right price.”

That is a lot of bio right there.  And it’s especially long for a character who could best be summed up as “Han Solo for that one story where they needed Han Solo, but he was all frozen and stuff.”  That’s my official bio for him, anyway.  Dash is one of the earliest examples of a wholly Expanded Universe character appearing in a Star Wars toyline (he and Prince Xizor, from the same story, appeared at the same time), which is actually pretty nifty.  Sadly, that’s the only time he’s ever gotten a figure, but at least he got the one, meaning that I can review it here today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dash Rendar was released in the first and only series of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, a spin-off of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line.  The figure stands a little over 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Dash has a unique sculpt, which was based on a number of Dash’s various designs.  Yes, as a totally non-film character, Dash didn’t have one particular design, just more of a general set of generally consistent elements.  He’s got the armor and the padded jumpsuit, which showed up just about everywhere.  He’s also got long sleeves, which kind of look to be unique to this figure; most depictions of him were bare-armed.  To be fair, the sleeves make him fit in a little better with the rest of the Star Wars characters.  In general, Dash’s design really is Han Solo if Han Solo had been designed by a comic book artist in the ‘90s, which is to say he’s a little ridiculous and over-designed.  On the plus side, the slightly exaggerated proportions and pose that most of the PotF2 figures had is right at home with Dash’s uber ‘90s design, which does make him a little more consistent as a whole.  In general, there’s some pretty solid work on Dash’s sculpt.  There’s a lot of fine detail work that you didn’t usually see on figures of this vintage.  Dash’s paint work is pretty decent as well.  The colors are slightly garish, but that fits the character, and at the very least the application’s all really sharp.  The figure was packed with two blasters, one large and one small.  There’s also a back pack, with a little arm that can attach to the larger blaster.  You know, for….reasons.  I don’t know *what* reasons, but I’m sure there are some.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have this Dash figure growing up (though I *did* have his Micro Machine), but I always kind of wanted one.  Of course, since he was the only truly unique figure in the set, he was a little more scarce than the other figures.  I’ve been on the look out for him for a little while, and I ended up finding him at Pop Culture Exchange in Omaha, while on my way back home from Seattle.  Sure, he’s super, super ‘90s, but that’s kind of the best thing about him.  Guess I’m gonna have to get the Outrider for him to pilot now.  Oh darn.

#1346: Ziv Zulander

ZIV ZULANDER

THE BOTS MASTER (TOY BIZ)

“Ziv Zulander – ZZ for short – created the CORP’s best selling bot, the 3A. But when he discovered the CORP was going to use his invention to enslave the world, he knew the only hope was to lead the BOYZZ – his own intelligent bots – in a war against the CORP! The struggle will be hard-fought, but armed with his quick-assembly laser cannon and laser-firing helmet, ZZ’s sure to show the CORP there’s only one BOTS MASTER!”

Bots Master?  What the heck is Bots Master? Well, The Bots Master is a 1993 cartoon series, produced by Jean Chalopin—Okay, sorry, sorry, that’s just the opening of the Wikipedia entry on the series.  I actually don’t really know what it is, beyond that Wikipedia page.  But, Toy Biz made the toys and I have one of them, so I guess I’m gonna be talking about The Bots Master today.  This should be amusing.  So, without further ado, let’s look at Ziv Zulander (no relation to Derek)!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ziv Zulander (or, as my brother likes to call him, Zed-iv Zed-ulander) was released in the basic assortment of Toy Biz’s The Bots Master line.  He is presumably based on Ziv’s look from the show, but I don’t really know for certain.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  This guy’s sculpt is definitely dated, but shows the typical signs of a Toy Biz sculpt from this time period.  He is very much at home with the first few series of X-Men and X-Force figures.  In fact, he’s so at home that I spent a fair bit of time trying to determine if he shared any parts with those lines.  It appears that he’s a unique sculpt, though.  It’s not terrible; the basic proportions are all pretty well balanced, and he’s got some interesting details here and there.  He also uses some of the strange connectors like we saw on the Iron Man figures, which is a little odd looking when he doesn’t have all of his armor and such, but it’s not really that odd when next to the other figures.  The sculpt does definitely have some other oddities to it; he’s really rigid and uptight looking.  Also, the face looks…I’m not quite sure…like, what’s going on with his facial expression?  Is he happy?  Annoyed?  Gas-y?  I don’t really know.  It’s not the greatest.  I mean, it’s not the worst, either, so there’s that.  He’s definitely a bit awkward looking, though.  The paint on this guy is pretty solid for the time; it’s clean and bright and generally pretty solidly applied.  It hasn’t held up the best over the years, but it’s better than some other figures I’ve seen.  Ziv originally included a bunch of armor pieces, as well as an actual pair of 3D glasses meant to be worn during the cartoon’s “3D” sequences.  Mine didn’t have any of that stuff, though. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, so if I don’t know anything about The Bots Master, then why do I have a figure of the show’s main character? Well, it’s very simple: I have a condition.  Okay, no, seriously, what happened was I found him at Bobakhan Toys, and he was packed with a Toy Biz Havok (a figure that I will buy literally every time I see it).  The pair of them were $2, and I was admittedly curious about what the heck this was, so I bought it.  He’s definitely an old Toy Biz figure, and minus the nostalgic twinge or being a character I actually care about, he’s not anything spectacular.  Still, for $1, he’s entertaining enough.

#1236: Aztek

AZTEK

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED (MATTEL)

As much as I talk down on Mattel, it should be noted that I still hold some of the stuff they’ve done in pretty high esteem.  In particular, their run on the Justice League Unlimited line, while far from perfect, did get us a whole lot of minor DC characters who would have never seen toys any other way.  Such is the case with Aztek, a character from the ‘90s who never really took off, but has always had a pretty steady fanbase.  He made a few brief appearances in JLU, and it was enough to net him a figure, which I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Aztek was initially released in the second series of three-packs from Mattel’s Justice League Unlimited line, where he was packed with Superman and Sinestro.  Why those two?  Your guess is as good as mine.  It’s worth noting that the packaging for this set incorrectly listed his name as “Aztec,” which is the name of the civilization, not the character.  Good research there Matty.  Aztek was later released single-carded, and his name was correct there, so I guess they learned.  The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  He was built on the medium-sized male body (a retooled Green Lantern mold), with a unique head and arms, as well as the legs of Red Tornado and an add-on for his chest piece.  The new pieces were all pretty solid work.  The head’s sort of stuck looking a bit up all the time, but I suppose there are worse things.  The add-on for the torso lines up surprisingly well with the sculpted shoulder pads of the arms, so that’s actually pretty cool, as are the details on the gauntlets.  The paintwork on Aztek is decent.  It was a bit better when he was still brand new, as he’s plagued by the same issue that so many gold-painted figures from this era tend to be plagued by.  At one point, his shoulders matched with the torso, but no longer.  I’m still iffy on the whole concept of metallic colors on the animated figures at all, but I guess it is what it is.  Aztek included no accessories (unless you count the other two figures in the set), as was the norm with figures in the three-packs.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Aztek (and his pack-mates) back when he was new.  I believe I found him at a Walmart outside of Dewey Beach, while on a brief weekend trip with my family.  I was a pretty big collector of the line at the time, so I was pretty pumped to have found the set in stores, especially after the rarity of most of the first series three-packs.  Ultimately, I don’t know much about Aztek or have a ton of attachment to him, but this figure’s decent enough, and is on par with JLU when it was at its best.

#1215: Silver Surfer

SILVER SURFER

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

surferml1

Didn’t I just review a Toy Biz Marvel Legends figure?  Man, usually I’m better about spacing this sorts of things out.  Ah well.  Well, the last review looked at a figure from towards the end of Toy Biz’s run; today’s review jumps back a bit, looking at the line’s second year.  So, without further ado, here’s Silver Surfer!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

surferml2Silver Surfer was released in Series 5 of Marvel Legends, which hit stores starting in November of 2003.  Series 5 is easily one of my favorite series from TB’s run with the line, and in a lot of ways showcased the line’s true potential.  It was also the last series where just about every figure was easily obtained, and thus the last series I have un-compromised memories about.  Anyway, this figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation.  Surfer exhibits one of the earliest attempts at using a buck system for Legends.  He was built on the body initially designed for the second Spider-Man Classics Daredevil figure.  I always thought the body was too beefy for DD, but it’s not a bad choice for the Surfer.  It’s a sculpt that, like so many of the TB Legends, hasn’t aged super well.  The shoulders are a bit large, and the legs are somewhat gangly, but the general appearance isn’t awful.  My figure suffers from a minor assembly error: his left forearm is actually a right forearm, just flipped around, meaning the musculature doesn’t quite line up the right way.  Nothing major, but a slight annoyance.  The head sculpt on Surfer is fairly decent.  It’s stylistically consistent with the body, and presents a pretty reasonable version of the Surfer’s noggin.  It’s a little more alien than he tends to be depicted, and certainly on the cartoony side, but a fun sculpt nonetheless.  The Surfer exhibits some of the finer paintwork from TB’s Legends.  It may not seem like much at first glance, but there’s a really nice quality to the silver paint chosen; it’s much more vibrant and lively than the silvers you tend to see on production pieces.  There’s also the slightest hint of blue, airbrushed over the figure, which really helps connect him with the comics version of the Surfer, who was often highlighted with blue.  Over the years, various Silver Surfer figures have handled his titular surfboard all sorts of different ways.  This is probably one of the more interesting ones.  There’s a magnet in each foot, and the core section of the board is metal.  In theory, this allows you to affix him to the board while also leaving it without any visible footpegs when he’s not standing on it.  Of course, since molding the whole board in metal would be cost prohibitive, they had to sort of split the difference, and give the board a plastic frame, which doesn’t quite mesh with the metal section, and sort of messes up the whole seamlessness of the board.  Still, fun gimmick, though.  There was also an included chunk of space rock with an articulated arm attached, allowing for the board to be posed as if it were flying.  Perhaps the oddest accessory included with Surfer (and maybe even one of the oddest accessories of all time) is the Howard the Duck figure.  As far as I know, Howard and the Surfer have never met, so why they chose to pair these two up is anyone’s guess.  Nevertheless, it’s a proper action figure of its own, with four whole points of articulation, and an incredibly well-detailed sculpt that looks like it jumped straight out of a classic ‘70s Howard comic appearance. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s Disney’s fault.  No, not because they own Marvel.  They didn’t yet when this figure was released.  Anyway, I got this figure while visiting Disney World back in 2003.  Series 5 had just started hitting stores, and my family went to the nearby Walmart to pick up a few things.  My dad and I walked back to the toy aisle (as we do), and they had a Nick Fury and two Silver Surfers.  I wanted one of the Surfers, but my dad convinced me to wait.  Later that week, we needed to stop by again for batteries I think.  My dad went in on his own, and when he got back to the car, he was carrying this guy.  Turns out, he walked back to the toy aisle to check if they still had these, and when he got there they were all gone.  When he turned to walk back to the registers, he happened to look down and spotted this one lone Silver Surfer on the ground.  This figure’s not perfect, but he’s one of the better Surfer figures out there, even 13 years after his release.

#1173: Sidon Ithano & First Mate Quiggold

SIDON ITHANO & FIRST MATE QUIGGOLD

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

sidonianthoquagley1

Would you look at that?  I’ve made it through a whole week of post-Christmas reviews!  Go me!  For day 7, I’m going back to that galaxy far, far away.  You know what the backbone of Star Wars merchandise is?  You might think it’s Darth Vader, or Stormtroopers, or even R2-D2 or C-3PO, but you’d be wrong.  No, the actual backbone, the thing that’s kept the franchise afloat with a near endless supply of tiny action figures is all of the split-second appearance, no-name characters peppered in to fill out the backgrounds of scenes.  Need to fill a slot in a wave of figures?  Here’s Willrow Hood!  Worried the boxed set doesn’t offer anything new?  How about Snaggletooth?  Need something unique?  Elephant Mon, anyone? Heck, people will spend good money to get a complete set of the bounty hunters from Empire, despite the fact that most of them only appear in that one single scene and only one of them gets even a single line of dialogue.  That’s commitment from the fanbase right there.  Of course, as the prices of oil have risen, these obscure figures are getting fewer and further between.  Fortunately, The Force Awakens provided a great new selection of background characters, which Hasbro in turn took advantage of in order to get some fun new action figures.  Two such characters were Sidon Ithano and his first mate Quiggold, who I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ithano and Quiggold were released in the second series of two-packs from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens line.

SIDON ITHANO

sidonianthoquagley3Sidon Ithano is the captain of the Meson Martinet, the ship Finn almost transfers to prior to Rey’s capture by the First Order.  That’s pretty much his whole character (okay, not entirely true; like almost every background Star Wars character, he’s got a whole elaborate backstory, which most people will never know).  He was playable in a side mission in Lego The Force Awakens, which is how I became familiar with him.  His figure stands about 4 inches tall and has the standard 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt is unique to this figure, and is quite impressively rendered.  The helmet is nice and clean, with lots of really sharp lines, and his clothing sports some incredible texture work, which really makes him stand out. Easily one of the best sculpts from the smaller Force Awakens line.  Ithano’s paintwork is fairly straight forward.  The application is pretty clean, and the basic colors seem to match up pretty well with what’s seen in the movie.  The color scheme is also rather on the unique side of things, which adds a nice bright splash of color to the shelf.  Ithano is packed with a blaster rifle…for all you blaster rifle needs?  It’s a cool design, I guess.

FIRST MATE QUIGGOLD

sidonianthoquagley2What good is a captain without his trusty first mate?  I don’t know.  I guess it depends on the quality of the captain, and, by extension, the quality of the first mate.  So, there’s like, a lot of potential variance there I suppose.  Anyway, here’s Quiggold, who’s a guy who gets just as much screen time as the last guy.  He’s also playable in the same Lego game level, where he gets a cool mini gun thing.  So that’s fun.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 4 points of articulation.  Where Ithano is tall and lean, Quiggold is short and squat.  The figure’s sculpt does a pretty solid job of conveying his design from the movie.  He looks suitably like a big puppet (which is pretty much what he was) and the details on his skin and clothing are quite nicely rendered.  I wouldn’t mind if he had some more texturing here and there, but he’s certainly reasonable for the scale.  The paintwork on Quiggold is okay, if maybe ever so slightly imbalanced.  There’s some really great work on the face, which makes his skin look quite lifelike.  I just sort of wish the details continued onto the other exposed parts of his skin, but he’s not awful.  Quiggold includes a large missile launcher version of his big gun, which is…well, it’s not as far off as most Hasbro missile launchers, so I guess it’s got that going for it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I received these two as a Christmas present from my Super Awesome Girlfriend.  We’ve been playing through Lego The Force Awakens together, and I quite enjoyed the Crimson Corsair level.  She happened to spy these figures at retail and grabbed them for me.  I very much enjoy this pair of figures.  They’re solid renditions of solid character designs, and you can’t really ask for much more.

#0930: Waverider

WAVERIDER

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED

Waverider1Justice League Unlimited really pulled out all the stops when it came to obscure characters.  By most accounts, anytime they had a big crowd shot of heroes, they’d populate it by letting various crew members pick their favorite characters.  The end result was a rather eclectic selection of heroes, giving a brief spotlight to some of DC’s lowest tier characters.  And, thanks to Mattel’s corresponding line of tie-in figures, a lot of them lucked into their very first action figures.  One of those lucky guys was Waverider, whose big claim to fame is being the catalyst for DC’s “Armageddon 2001,” an event that was supposed to turn Captain Atom into one of the DCU’s big bads, but ended up going with Hawk instead.  To date, Waverider’s JLU figure is the only figure he’s received, but that’s not bad for a character that hasn’t been relevant since 1991.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Waverider2Waverider was released in the second series of Justice League Unlimited three-packs from Mattel.  He was packed with Flash and Hawkgirl, who were both re-releases of their single-release Justice League figures.  He also got a single release of his own later on in the line.  The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall and has 4 points of articulation.  Technically, there’s a joint at the neck, but the way the hair is attached renders the joint motionless.  Waverider uses the mid-sized male body (used on figures such as Starman), with a unique head.  The head and hair are two separate pieces (allowing the flames of the hair to be molded in translucent plastic).  The head is fairly generic; he’s just a fairly average-looking bald guy, but he looks about like he should.  The hair is suitably energetic, and adds a nice bit of flair to him, though it always feels like it’s about to break off.  Paint always did the heavy lifting on the JLU line, and Waverider’s not an exception.  He’s honestly a bit drab.  In the comics, Waverider was always black and a yellow-ish gold, but here the gold has been swapped out for a washed-out yellow, that just doesn’t really pop.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The first series of JLU figures was rather difficult to find, so when I found the entire second series of them (Waverider included) while on vacation, my parents very kindly bought them for me (because they’re awesome like that).  At the time, I didn’t know the character at all, so it was fun getting to figure out who he was after the fact.  He’s not the most exciting figure of all time, but I have fond memories of getting him and his series mates.

#0921: Lobo & Ambush Bug

LOBO & AMBUSH BUG

DC MINIMATES

Lobo&Ambushbug1

So, let’s talk DC Minimates.  Two weeks ago, I discussed Play Along’s use of legal loopholes to get out the first DC-based Minimates in the C3 Construction line.  That line unfortunately ended fairly abruptly, leaving a very incomplete collection of characters.  A few years down the road, DC Direct teamed up with Diamond Select Toys, creating an official line of DC Minimates, which offered a more diverse selection of characters.  Sadly, it too was short-lived, lasting only eight series before ending, once again leaving certain groups incomplete.  The diverse selection of characters ended up as both a blessing and a curse; off the wall characters were fun while the line was running, but after the fact the likes of Lobo and Ambush Bug, who I’m reviewing today, seem like wasted slots in a line that didn’t get us important members of the Justice League.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Lobo and Ambush Bug were released in the seventh series of DC Minimates.  They seem like something of an odd pairing, since I don’t believe the two of them have ever interacted.  Of course, they’re both weird, occasionally fourth wall breaking characters with a tendency to parody popular comics conventions of the time.  So, maybe they aren’t such a bad pairing.

LOBO

Lobo&Ambushbug3Lobo is, by and large, a parody of grungy 90s anti-heroes.  So, of course, he had a large fan base who missed the parody bit and took him as a straight character.  I’ve never been much for Lobo, but I did have a soft spot for his teen-spin-off Slobo, who appeared in Young Justice.  But, that’s neither here nor there; let’s talk about Lobo.  The figure is a little under 2 ½ inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation (due to his boots removing the ankle joints).  Lobo has 5 add-on pieces for his hair, vest, hook-chain-thing, and boots.  All of these parts were new to Lobo, but several of them have seen re-use since.  The parts are pretty well sculpted, and do a suitable job of bulking Lobo up a little bit.  Also, the chain on the hook is a real chain, which is a nice touch.  In general, Lobo is a good example of how great the sculpted work was on this line.  Lobo’s paintwork is fairly impressive; he’s fairly monochromatic, but there’s a lot of detailing, especially on the face and torso.  Lobo included no accessories.

AMBUSH BUG

Lobo&Ambushbug2Ambush Bug is one of the weirder characters in the DCU.  He doesn’t really belong to any particular realm of the universe, and he’s almost entirely absent from normal DCU stories, tending to reside in stories set firmly in his own corner of things.  But hey, he was played by Henry Winkler once, which is pretty cool.  Ambush Bug is mostly a vanilla ‘mate, with one small exception: the antennae on his forehead, which are glued in place.  They’re a pretty good translation of his weird antennae from the comics, so that’s good.  Other than that, everything’s done with paint.  He’s actually surprisingly detailed; DCD could have easily just done a blank green body with only detailing on the face, but Ambush Bug has small wrinkles (just like the ones he has in the comics) on just about every surface.  That’s really nice to see and keeps him from being too boring for the average fan.  I suppose they could have done him in his casual wear he’s known to wear in the comics, but this is his classic look, so it’s understandable.  Like Lobo, Ambush Bug includes no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with every figure in the DC Minimates line, I picked these two up from Cosmic Comix on the first day they were available.  I’ll admit that I was split on this set; I love Ambush Bug way more than I should, but Lobo’s not my thing.  At the end of the day, both ‘mates are pretty awesome, for totally divergent reasons.  It might be easy to say that these two are part of the reason the line ended so early, but given that the Marvel line just released Dazzler and Howard the Duck together, it’s hard to say.