Thursday, 17 July 2014

Mandroid (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Mandroid BAF
The Marvel Legends Mandroid Build-A-Figure is finally complete but I never expected this long to find all the parts and get it completed. If it wasn't for that hard-to-find Black Widow (now I'm talking about her again), I would have showed photos of it here like 2 or 3 months ago. But here it is now, armed with a wide array of weapons! Go up to it and you'd be shattered like a piƱata with its huge ass claws. Run far away from it and you'd get peppered with rounds after rounds of bullets. It's the perfect killing machine and may be the perfect wallet killer if you're becoming too excited of purchasing "the figures" just to assemble it.

Yes, always comes back to how tough to find the action figures that comes with Mandroid parts. Stealth Captain America, Black Widow and the Winter Soldier are just the last three action figures you need to courageously search for your Mandroid. But if you just want to skip all that hassle, you can actually buy a completed Mandroid BAF on eBay right now... with a price that's pretty reasonable! uh-hmm...

By glancing at the sculpt, you can almost immediately pinpoint Iron Monger's legs being utilized. Also, the arms are from that of the Build-A-Figure but being added with a whole lot of features like the claws to its left arm and this double-gatling gun to his right, along with other parts such as these bendable "cables" that made it so much different. The figure kinda reminds me of a Cylon in Battlestar Galactica but on steroids. The mechanical features and the line works are incredible. It's realistically designed that make you actually wanna sit and imagine how we can actually turn this beast into a life-sized real one.

For paint job, the only silly thing about it is that there are absolutely no paint variation or paint washes over its metal-like body. It would have been better if Hasbro added more details on all these little thingies (i.e. the bolts and the screws) being molded and sculpted to its armour to make them pop out! The big black S.H.I.E.L.D. logo painted over its wide torso doesn't make up for its lack of paint details. Moreover, I think it would probably look cool if they fixed a translucent plastic over its visor kinda like the ones on the NECA Gipsy Danger, but that's just me asking too much. I would just say they need to at least step the paint job up a bit.

The Mandroid comes with only one accessory- the shoulder turret! The turret is removable and it's made out of this bendable, pliable, cheap plastic that's hollow underneath, and it's something I'm not a huge fan about especially when it comes to weapons. Weapons for action figures are suppose to be made of sturdy hard plastic to prevent it from being deformed! Another issue and probably a minor one is that there are no articulation that would let you aim this turret up or down; only rotations towards the sides.

Being a huge chunking plastic as it is, Mandroid's articulation is limited. Having a short neck, it's really hard to twist his head and aim it at some angle! You can't really move the arms to its full potential because of the weapons it got there on both. The arms have hinged shoulder (no bicep swivel), single-jointed elbows with rotations and also rotation at the wrists. It got a good diaphragm swivel that rotates and bends side to side, and unfortunately, no waist rotation. Mandroid got T-jointed hip, rotation at the upper-thighs, double-jointed knees, hinged ankles with pivots!

Scale: The figure stands at 7.5 inches tall and if it wasn't for that turret, Iron Monger would have been taller by probably a centimeter. In term of body girth though, there's no question that Mandroid takes this especially with that huge torso and all the assembly molded into its arms.

I think if this Build-A-Figure is placed inside a box and sold separately, I probably be first one to pass on the figure because I'm not quite familiar with this character other than being a special army unit for Nick Fury and his guys. But if I plan to build the entire S.H.I.E.L.D. Unit, maybe a single or two of these Mandroids would probably look good on display. Ideally a Mandroid army would be nice, but the fact that some of the parts are hard to find and are probably overpriced make me wanna settle with just one. Oh yeah, is good enough!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Black Widow: Captain America- The Winter Soldier (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Black Widow (Captain America 2)
The Marvel Legends Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie Black Widow is probably the most sought out yet the most elusive action figure currently released by Hasbro. It's so elusive (and probably less-produced) that it's almost becoming frustrating for some people to find this figure. What's really making this figure a "must-have" is the fact that she has the Avengers movie Black Widow head as an interchangeable part! Collectors who are trying to complete their Wal-Mart Exclusive 6-inch movie Avengers team (also by Hasbro) must be shaking their heads. Why Hasbro, why? What are they thinking?

If you haven't seen those movie Avengers action figures (that I've mentioned) that are very much in-scale with Black Widow then take a look at this movie Hawkeye, which I've reviewed, to see which one I was talking about. Now technically Black Widow here is part of the 2014 movie Captain America Wave or the Mandroid Build-A-Figure Wave and comes with Mandroid's torso. She also utilizes the new Marvel Legends style of packaging- a windowed box with the figure and the accessories showcased in front.

One of the major highlights with this figure is the sculpt especially on her face and head. I can't say the likeness is perfect but you can see a Scarlett Johansson over it no matter which angle you look. Body proportions are well balanced and anatomically realistic. Her suit has some areas that are textured which are very good! The only thing here that grinds my gears are these two handguns and two holsters that are molded together at the side of her legs. For a character that relies heavily on firearms, Hasbro could have at least given Black Widow some wieldable handguns and a couple holsters to store it. This one is completely senseless.

I got no complains with the paint job. The combination of black and shades of gray are nicely done along with those tiny silver paint to her buckles and zippers. Also, the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on her shoulders are neatly done with some great precision. The paint job on her face, specifically the eyes may seem to make her look like she needs to go to bed but it's not a big deal and I just don't want to think of it that way. To me, it's just a stern or serious look or maybe the look of calmness.

It's a shame that she doesn't come with handguns despite having hands with trigger fingers. However, she comes with interchangeable body parts. Black Widow has a set of open palmed hands or relaxed hands and her Avengers movie head with the short and wavy hair opposing to her currently long and straightened one in the new Captain America movie. Well, what can I say!? Women are women. They always keep changing their looks.

guns and prop not included.

Like most Marvel Legends having a female body mold, the poseability is not quite that impressive. She got a ball-jointed neck that might have let her head move at any direction if it wasn't for her long stiffy hair. Although you can still get that range of movement by using the Avengers movie head. Her arms only have hinged shoulders, single-jointed elbows and rotation at the wrists with no hinges. She got diaphragm swivel, T-joints at the hips, rotation at the upper thighs, double-jointed knees and ankle hinges with pivots.

I was probably lucky when I found her first at my local comic bookstore but not totally impressed with the way Hasbro is marketing this figure. There are only a few of them that were released and they get absolutely hoarded by scalpers! Evidently if you go to eBay, you'll find how she's been ridiculously priced. But overall, this figure is solid that earns recommendations and I'd like to kudos Hasbro only for that.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Falcon: Captain America- The Winter Soldier (Marvel Select)

Marvel Select Falcon
If there is one guy that I'd like to be part of the next Avengers movie, it's got to be Falcon! Falcon's character is one of a kind; making him a great addition to the roster. Although the movie got me wondering why he is stripped with one of his unique powers (i.e. bird talk) but I believe it shouldn't be importantly necessary. A guy with mechanical wings flying and swooping around while spraying loads of bullets from the sky is as spectacular as 4th of July fireworks! The absence of a 6-inch Marvel Legends version of Falcon in the Captain America Wave made me quite excited to purchase the much upscaled, more detailed Marvel Select one, but there's no guarantee that Falcon will be immune to scrutiny as I tell all the good and the bad.

Nothing has changed with the design of Marvel Select packaging. It's always the bookend style, standard type with the figure suspended visibly behind this clear plastic along with all its accessories. We got a beautiful artwork of Falcon from the movie at the side, which may be one of the reasons why some collectors still hang on to its packaging and have it displayed sideways.

But let's talk more about the figure, shall we? With or without his mech-wings, this Falcon figure look stunning! He comes with these 6-inch long wings that are removable and can easily be plugged at his jetpack. The only downside to it is that they don't have any joints or articulation that allows you to move them in varying ways. But what totally bugs me is that there are no weapons! In the movie, I know for sure he carries two semi-auto handguns but Diamond Select seem to ignore that. Though a lot of people suggested to use Deadpool's handguns but it's still a shame that such essential things are not included with this Falcon figure.

Like most Select figures, Falcon comes with a display base that you can also use as a prop. From what it looked like, it seem to be some sort of a wall from the inside of a helicarrier- I'm not too positive but the application of gray and almost silvery paint is perfect.

Speaking of paint, let's move now to how the paint job is done. Falcon's suit is primarily composed of black and different shades of gray. Even the American flag at his leg is all black and gray, which I think was also the same as in the movie. Any paint defects would not be too obvious or visible since the application and choice of colours are too plain and simple. I like the kind of brown tone used over his face and skin, though I'm not so sure about his hair. I think it should be black instead of a darker brown but it's no biggie.

Like I said earlier, you can use any handguns from either the Marvel Select or the Marvel Legends figures for Falcon. However and what's really bothersome is the way the hands are sculpted and are not in a trigger finger pose. It just seem odd to me that he's holding it like some weirdo. Another issue that this figure have are the leg guards around his calves that overlaps the ankles; rendering the articulation on the ankle joints useless.

guns and clear stand not included.

That's not the only sad part- the Marvel Select Falcon doesn't have rotation at the upper thighs and boot areas making it even more harder to pose regardless of being blessed with ankle rockers. He doesn't have rotation at the biceps, which again bothers me since I've been collecting these figures and I know most of these figures have them. The head rotates but doesn't look up. He got a waist swivel, rotation at the single-jointed elbows and at the hinged-wrists. Falcon's legs only have T-joints, double-jointed knees and as I've mentioned, ankle rockers.

This figure reminds me of the old Marvel Select days where aesthetics triumphs over functionality. The overall details and the likeness to the Anthony Mackie Falcon is accurate. However, the figure is poorly "engineered". I think Diamond Select is capable of stepping up to their game, but it seems like laziness has prevailed. I know I shouldn't be expecting more from Marvel Select figures especially when it comes to articulation but sometimes you got to wonder why they're not consistent, but a figure like the Marvel Select Falcon is an excellent display piece for 7-inch collectors.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Maggie Greene: The Walking Dead (McFarlane Toys)

The Walking Dead: Maggie Greene
Buffy is not the only hot chick around murdering monsters and demons or undead beings on TV. There are several of these women but there is one that specializes on post-apocalyptic survival and zombies, and that's Maggie. Like her boyfriend, Glenn, she started in this simple-normal type of job not until a zombie outbreak turned her from a farm girl to a zombie slayer! Not only that she added some unique element to the show (thanks to her gorgeous body), but made this whole zombie thing even more entertaining to watch... especially for the guys who admires her.

Now this McFarlane figure have a lot of details, sculpt-wise. However, the face never really captured the likeness of Lauren Cohan (a.k.a. Maggie Greene); and it's even hard to tell if she's Caucasian. For me, the only indicator that tells me that I'm looking at a Maggie Greene figure are these dark straps from her brassier at the back along with her army green tank top. Like all Walking Dead figures, she has uncannily realistic features from head to toe, except for the moving parts on her joints that has ridges over it, which I really don't understand why this toyline still stick with these.

Paint-wise, again- I'm not too impressed with how her face looked as though she needs some correctional lenses. I have to say that the eyes are probably the most important parts of a figure that needs to be done properly. Unfortunately, all Maggie Greene figures I've seen in stores have eyes like these! But, oh well what can you do, at least the paint details over her arms, legs and torso made up for it. There are splatters of blood around her neck and her forearm, and a well executed paint wash over her denim pants.

Maggie doesn't come with any interchangeable parts. She only comes with weapons which are very true to what she used in the series; a machete, a pistol and an assault rifle. Both the machete and the pistol are concealable and each comes with their own storage. The assault rifle considerably doesn't have one and it doesn't need to. The only thing that's kinda weird with this gun is that it looks a little big for her! Or maybe she's just made a little short to be a Walking Dead figure.

As you might have already learned, these figures are display pieces and so the articulation is not that great. It's more or less likely a "staction figure" (statue-like action figure). There is no bicep rotation or ankle pivot, which is very common with these figures. Maggie got the standard Walking Dead articulation; a ball-neck, ball-hinged shoulders, single-jointed elbows and hinged wrists with rotation. She got waist rotation that doesn't perform well and thigh cuts that rotates and moves forward or back but only to a limited range. Also, she got single-jointed knees and hinged ankles that rotates.

My verdict is that I think it is a must-have figure only because she definitely needs to be partnered with Glenn Rhee. These two go together like Bonnie and Clyde. But speaking about its rendition to the actual look on the face of the character, it is poorly executed. The only good thing about it though is the body mold and (as always) paint job. Overall, I'm satisfied with this figure but not extremely happy.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Glenn Rhee: The Walking Dead (McFarlane Toys)

The Walking Dead: Glenn Rhee
It's the tragic zombie outbreak that transformed this pizza delivery guy into a cunning soldier. Meet Glenn, a long-standing and probably the smartest and most resilient member of "Team Grimes". If Daryl got the balls, this guy got wits. We could assume that Glenn is a gamer and a geek after he described to his girlfriend that heading deep into a zombie-occupied well was like playing Portal! How badass was that! The geek inside of me just overflows with pride and having a Glenn action figure cements that pride and enthusiasm. Definitely, he's one of my favourite characters in the Walking Dead Series.

To start off, let's look at how this figure is being translated from its TV origins to McFarlane plastic. We need to look for any resemblance of Steven Yeun, the actor that played the character. And as far as I could tell, that Asian look is spot on! The face and head sculpt is almost accurate to Glenn. I got no issues with the sculpt on this figure. The folds and creases around his shirt and pants are everywhere but nothing over the top.

Must I remind you that McFarlane just excels when it comes to sculpt and paint? They're just phenomenal. The paint wash on this figure is well executed. The only and perhaps the most consistent issue these figures always have are the paint around the wrists that's obviously not blending in too well with his forearms. Overall, the paint job delivers a lot of fine details.

Even the accessories that he comes with are well detailed. He comes with an interchangeable head that some of you might be familiar with. It's the head or rather, the face of Glenn after his ass got eloquently beaten up by Merle Dixon. You can check online about this reference but I must tell you that the likeness between his busted face and on this figure is accurate.

He also comes with an easy-to-wear bulletproof vest that can be removed by popping his head out. Also, he got an assault rifle, his Glock pistol and combat knife, which you may get him to conceal or arm himself with it. Moreover, Glenn got this iron pipe with a bloody pointy end that he must have used in one of those episodes (sorry, I forgot which event that was).

The downside of all these Walking Dead figures are their limited poseability. They are meant to be display pieces. With Glenn, there is no ankle pivot or rotation at the biceps. What's more annoying is that his waist rotation are hindered by all these sculpting around the waist, and so it's pretty useless. He got a ball-jointed neck, ball-hinged shoulders, single-jointed elbows, hinged wrists with rotation. He got thigh swivel, single-jointed knees with rotation, and hinged ankles.

Overall, I like the look on this figure. Even though they are not as articulated as figures like Marvel Legends or the ones from NECA, for me, these guys got that collector's value in them. I've been watching the Walking Dead ever since it first got showed on TV and I was truly amazed by it. As a core member of the group, a Glenn Rhee action figure is a must-have.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Merle Zombie: The Walking Dead (McFarlane Toys)

The Walking Dead: Merle Zombie
In the world of the Walking Dead, you're either dead or become the undead. Unfortunately for Merle, he turned into one of them. Even more so, his own little brother, Daryl had to end him after all that "Dixon family reunion" in Season 3. That scene delivered a huge impact on the Daryl character and probably the most memorable one for me. For Walking Dead fans (such as myself), this Merle Zombie action figure reminds us of how death is inevitable even to the most beloved character.

Before you try to find any accessories that might have came with it, first ask yourself- does a zombie know how to hold a weapon? Unlike the more modern and more creative zombie interpretations in films, Walking Dead zombies are like any other typical zombies we know; slow and extremely unintelligent let alone the fact that Merle Zombie was only seen munching on a corpse before he got stabbed in the face by Daryl. So sadly, no accessories with this figure.

Basically, the figure is a repaint of the first Merle Dixon we had from last year. The difference obviously is that Merle is now a pale-looking gray zombie as you can see him standing next to his former self. Those streaks of blood over his face with those "pupil-less" eyes are signs of danger. Also, he got a big blood splatter over his chest and at his forearms painted with some realism. Shirt and pants are of the same colour from first one. Interestingly, Merle Zombie suddenly got zippers around his pants, which are made obvious by its silver paint and which I believe is a mistake.

The face sculpt is very Michael Rooker look-alike... in his zombie form. McFarlane used the same body mold from the previous. Everything is the same except that his hand-blade on the right arm is slightly tilted, which probably was in the show. The holster and the sheath for his gun and knife are still part of this figure but like I said, he doesn't come specifically with these accessories.

The poseability on this figure is more or less limited. I think it makes no sense for a zombie action figure to be highly articulated and can do some kicks and splits. The amount of articulation is just right. Merle has a ball-jointed neck, ball-hinged shoulder (without the bicep swivel), single-jointed and swivelled elbows, and wrists that bends and rotates. He got a Y-joint with swivels at the upper thighs, single-jointed knees with rotation, ball-hinged ankles with a bit of ankle pivot.

So Merle being one of the iconic characters in the TV Series along with that crucial event where he "turned", is something you might wanna consider having in an action figure if you're a die hard Walking Dead fan. The paint job and sculpt is neat and accurate that will make you relive those moments. I highly recommend the Merle Zombie.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Daryl Dixon with Chopper: The Walking Dead (McFarlane Toys)

If there's one statement I could use to describe this whole thing about Daryl- it is that zombie apocalypse has never been made this appealing for us to wish it would happen! There is nothing more exciting than killing hordes of undead with a combination of precision and style; with a crossbow and a motorcycle! To me, Daryl Dixon has always been the poster boy for zombie flicks. And with all the tension rising and new characters filling up The Walking Dead universe (TV series), comes another wave of action figures. Daryl with the Chopper is the one that I am most excited about with this current release.

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon with Chopper Motorcycle

Like any Walking Dead windowed box set, the figure is showcased behind this transparent plastic with Daryl's Chopper positioned at the backend. We're still seeing the same "prison-artwork" like the ones we had from the previous series with Norman Reedus' face at the corner. Just by a quick glance, it's very obvious that this figure only comes with two weapons/accessories which I'm going to talk later.

The paint job with all these McFarlane Walking Dead figures have been consistent all through and through. Almost all areas on this figure are painted with maybe 2 or 3 different colours layering on top of each other. However, there is one complain, which is not too obvious and that is his wrists! Just below its rotating part, the wrists got colours mismatching his forearms and it's quite a bummer. I absolutely love the "angel wings" painted over the back of his coat; I can't ignore it. Overall, the paint job on this figure generates a lot of positive comments.

The amount of detail on the sculpt is as high as with the paint. Everything is sculpted perfectly except these ridges at the elbow and knee joints that McFarlane has once again not doing any improvement with it. It kinda takes you away from that awe feeling you get from looking at the details. Anyways, what I like though is how they made the vest look like a separate piece and the angel wings looking like it's patched on. The head sculpt is excellent but it's not perfectly getting the actor's facial features, and he's kinda smiling... it's definitely because he's having fun! I mean, who doesn't when you got a kick-ass motorcycle that doesn't make you look like survivor.

Speaking of which, we now focus on Daryl's Chopper, the main highlight of this deluxe box set and probably the reason why this was a no brainer purchase. I got nothing but praise for this accessory. The only accessory, I believe, that would count as a separate character because of the fact that it also got its own playability. It is an accessory with accessories. You can add or remove its luggage feature at the back, and hung or unhung Daryl's crossbow at the front. In addition, this motorcycle can stand either by utilizing its kick stand or that little base stand that attaches to the rear wheel. Like the figure, it's also heavily detailed. The wheels are rubberized and it is almost as though I bought miniature replica of some Harley Davidson.

Note that this is not the same crossbow from previous Daryl action figure we've seen. Inspired from Season 3's, the crossbow has arrows with green fletchings resting under its limbs. Also, he got his Bowie knife as usual.

The articulation is enough to get him into his ride. He got this DCUC style hip articulation along with his single-jointed knees to help get his butt unto the motorcycle. He got a ball-jointed neck that lets him lean side to side and rotate his head. No rotation to the biceps but has ball-hinged shoulders, single-jointed elbows, rotations near the wrists with hinges. He has diaphragm swivel (which is uncommon for TWD figures) and waist swivel. Unfortunately, no ankle pivots on this one.

Compared to our "old Daryl", Biker Daryl stands with him equally at 5 inches. It's funny how his character improvement in the TV series is somehow congruent with these figures basing from how differently they look. Although he didn't exactly turn into a Filipino man like with this figure here but I think you know what I mean. This is a good improvement plus he got his motorcycle that makes me want to recommend this figure to all Walking Dead fans.