Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wasp Predator (NECA)

NECA Wasp Predator
The NECA Predator line keeps getting better and better with Predator figures each having their own unique features, outfits, and sometimes weaponry that almost have that "superhero-ish" type of vibe. Like if we look at something like a Boar Predator, its feature is far different from that of a Jungle Hunter or a Shaman Predator for example. Sometimes these Predators have their own themes like Nightstorm which has an Egyptian theme or Big Red which is inspired after a Samurai. All of which have their unique designs that keep fans intrigued and have them wonder what other stuff that NECA could come up with this toyline.

Predator fans may also influence this whole idea of variety. Like Big Red, the Wasp Predator is based from a fan made YouTube video, Batman: Dead End where you will see this dude standing side by side with Big Red and some unknown type of Predator during the closing credits. I really got no clue why they created such video; pitting Batman against Predators and Xenomorphs but whoever came up with this Wasp Predator concept should continue his/her contributions.

The black and yellow colour scheme worked! NECA did a fine job of translating this character into a 7-inch action figure. With colours resembling that of a real wasp, the Wasp Predator may deliver a stinging blow to its predecessors. Its bio-mask is strewed with brown and lower tones of yellow along with this black paint at the dome of the head that kind of forms the eyes of a wasp. In addition, it has this "camouflagic" look over its mask with all these streaks around. Wasp's skin pigmentation is nothing but typical. However, it has a brighter tone to it than the average. Its shoulder protectors, shin guards and gauntlets are just standard colours.

It's no surprise that they utilized Big Red's sculpt on Wasp, which is originally from the Jungle Hunter Predator. This body mold has been used over a dozen times and quite frankly, I got no issue with its sculpt. I wish NECA could have added the plasma cannon over its shoulder but I guess they have to be faithful to the video. Like most Predators, the wrist blades are housed at the right arm while around its shoulders are cables made of pliable plastic that bends as you move them.

Now the best part- the accessory! Having that sole purpose of annihilating all forms of Xenomorph life, the Wasp Predator means business. And by business, it means having a Xenomorph head mounted at the tip of a spear. This is probably the coolest Predator accessory I've ever seen. Adding the Xenomorph Warrior action figure into the mix creates a badass Alien vs. Predator scenario!

The articulation on Wasp goes the same with most Predator figures we had from this toyline. The neck is ball-jointed so the head can lean forward and back but with some major limits as well as with the rotation. There are no bicep swivels, only single-jointed rotating elbows and ball-jointed rotating wrists. I wish we would see an ab crunch someday with these figures but for now we will have to deal with the limited articulation on his torso. It got a T ball-jointed hips, upper-thigh rotations, double-jointed knees and hinged-ankles with no ankle rockers.

The Wasp Predator stands at the same height and scale with our Big Red Predator. What truly impressed me with this figure is its unique colour scheme that turned out very well. Some avid fans may not like it due to the fact that it strays from what we normally think of Predators but, again, this is probably recommended only for guys who are huge Predator collectors.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Spider-Girl (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Spider-Girl
When I first saw a preview of this figure on the Internet, I was clueless of whether we're getting a black suit Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) or an Arachne (Julia Carpenter) figure. My bets leaned more towards Arachne not only because of her Spider-symbol's unique design but also I was thinking maybe Hasbro is paving a way for Alpha Flight. I shouldn't have assumed something like that since most of the action figures we got from this Series are very much "Spidey-related". Though this Spider-Girl character is not really that prominent, the figure is as gorgeous as the Marvel Legends Black Cat even with the downsizing of everything including her boobs.

Having made her way as a running change for Black Cat, we're still getting the Ultimate Green Goblin's upper torso Build-A-Figure piece apparently. The sharp and classy collector-friendly type of packaging made it less like a child's toy and more appealing to adult collectors. It's reusable and convenient without getting tied up on some twisty ties.

The Marvel Legends Spider-Girl uses a totally brand new body mold. A smaller and leaner body mold that creates a whole lot of potentials for a 6-inch scale Shadowcat, X-23, Jubilee and many others. The sculpt really defines the physique of an average teenage girl with proportions that are well sized and balanced. The waves around her hair along with the ponytail are well executed; looking so natural. And her face, of course is pretty!

Having just a solid black and white colour scheme, there's nothing much here to talk about except for how they carefully painted the symbol that hugs her suit. I see no white paint seeping over the black areas, which is good! The only minor complain I have are the little scuffs at the hinges of her shoulders, which has always been a problem in most figures. But if we're talking highlights, I'd say the face grabbed my attention mostly because of the colour of her lips and the flesh tone. The hair could have been done better if there are some shaded parts on it but it's not a huge deal.

Unfortunately, there are no accessories that come with this figure- zero! No interchangeable hands unlike our Superior Spider-Man and it's kind of a bummer.

While Spider-Girl still shares every joints and hinges we had from Black Cat, Hasbro added one important part which I think is a must-have for all female Legends figures, and these are calf swivels. It took them awhile to finally incorporate these. Still missing a waist swivel, Spider-Girl got a ball-jointed diaphragm swivel at the torso and T-joints at the hips. Her head is on a ball-joint that allows her head to rotate, move up and down without hindered by that long ponytail because it's made out of pliable material. She has ball-hinged shoulder, single-jointed elbows with rotation and hinged wrists with rotation. The legs got thigh cuts, double-joints, mid-calves rotation (as I've mentioned) and hinged ankles with the ankle rockers.

Now for size comparison. She stands at an ideal height of 5.8 inches, which is suppose to because she's petite. She looked someone like a little sister to those previous female figures we had from Hasbro Marvel Legends. Getting this action figure or not depends on how big of a fan you are. Personally, I think I'm gonna keep this figure not because I'm a fan of Spider-Girl, but because I like the way this new female body looked.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Ultimate Green Goblin (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Ultimate Green Goblin (BAF)
Taking every bit of the Ultimate Green Goblin pieces and putting them all together is not only rewarding but it's also quite a relief knowing that we're finally back to the good ol' Marvel Legends "BIG build-a-figures". Not that I hate those little ones we had a year ago, but getting three of them consecutively- Hit Monkey, Rocket Raccoon and then Puck is distressing me quite a bit. Now having this figure to be quite frank with you, is like meh... with a question mark on my forehead. I presume fans of the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series would be wanting this but me?- I'm not a huge fan of what it seemed like an Abomination look-alike or a Green Goblin hulking out!

Speaking of which, some of you may be familiar with this body mold. This is a retool of the Wal-Mart Exclusive 6-inch Avengers movie Hulk (also by Hasbro). I wish I have that figure so I can show you a comparison between the two but unfortunately you may have to resort through Google. The Marvel Legends Ultimate Green Goblin Build-A-Figure Wave or the Infinite Amazing Spider-Man Series had a pretty good set of figures. My favourite of all is Carnage, and then we got a new female body mold with Black Cat and a highly articulated Spider-Man. I got nothing bad to say about this Series.

The Ultimate Green Goblin is not the typical masked villain we know who carries pumpkin bombs and rides a glider. He has the power to control or conjure flame (pyrokinesis) and thus this flame effects he comes with. Aesthetically, the design of these accessories are impressive; almost glowing with its translucent orangey plastic sculpted to follow the contours of his arms and back. And it's removable, so you can either have him wear it or not however you want.

But without Goblin's visually dynamic flame effects, he is but a figure painted flatly with green in most parts and blue all throughout the pants. Nothing really astonishing with the paint job. However, I like the darker tone of green used on him. The bony structures sprouting out from his arms, shoulders and the big horns on his head along with the ones under his chin are painted in dirty white, which I think is a good choice by Hasbro! But the major issue for me is how they did not even bother painting the fingernails or claws with the same type of paint they used on the bony thingies... and I don't understand why.

Although I'm not too sure if this is the right body mold for an Ultimate Green Goblin figure but the sculpting is nicely done. The neck and the torso all the way down to the legs and ankles are completely unchanged and unaltered; showing what's obviously from the Avengers Hulk figure. Parts like the arms (except for the hands) and the feet are just being re-sculpted and not considered something "new" like his head and his clawing hands.

I think the main selling point for me here is the head sculpt and secondly, these bony thingies which kinda reminds me of Doomsday. He got this reptilian look on him with his dragon-like ears and these little bumps lining on top of his head... and of course the horns! In fact, he's more like a crossbreed between a dragon and a human to me. Moreover, both his arms as well as his feet are slightly textured; making up for his lack of paint detail.

The poseability on this big guy is certainly not the worst nor the best either. To some extent, you need to remove the accessories for you to get Ultimate Green Goblin execute some desired poses or it's just gonna fall off. His shoulders can be raised at to some degree apparently because of these "exo-bones" that's affecting it. The way the back is hunched limits his head from moving up but it has a good rotation. He got double-jointed elbows and hinged-wrists that rotate and flex. No waist swivel but got a diaphragm swivel which is a decent substitute. Ball-hinged hips (which I'm not a fan of), swivel to the upper-thighs, double-jointed knees and ankle pivots are incorporated.

Overall, I think this is a decent figure. As much as I want a build-a-figure Rhino or a classic Lizard but looking at the Ultimate Green Goblin as a figure makes me want to wish I've read the comics. He got a good size- standing at about 8 inches tall and just looked bigger, more muscular and intimidating than the Marvel Legends Terrax and Iron Monger. Sometimes I get the feeling that maybe using the Avengers Hulk body mold is kind of becoming it less comic book accurate. But who cares, it's an awesome figure that some fans and action figure collectors will probably get.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Superior Spider-Man (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Superior Spider-Man
Despite having probably the coolest looking alternate Spidey suit, the story of the Superior Spider-Man is one of those bizarre tales that makes readers and fans restless and puzzled. As most of you probably know, this is Otto Octavius a.k.a. Doctor Octopus inside Spider-Man's body. An interesting turn of event that made this goggle-wearing straight-banged squarehead become the web-slinging hero by hijacking the consciousness of Peter Parker (poor Peter). I'd like to compare this to something like a demonic possession but driven by Otto's ambition to outperform Peter and become the best Spider-Man that the world will ever see.

And then you have an action figure of Superior Spider-Man that is part of the Marvel Legends Infinite Spider-Man Series or the Ultimate Green Goblin Wave as others have called it because of the Build-A-Figure pieces that comes with the figures.

The body mold on this figure in my opinion is the most ideal body mold for a Spider-Man, and it's almost the same body mold as with the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Movie Spider-Man which I've already reviewed a month ago. The amount of musculature in his runner-type of body is sculpted perfectly. The size of his legs and arms are relatively proportionate to his torso. And like the Amazing Spider-Man, the eyes are sculpted with some minor protrusion and carvings that are shaping it. One thing that's interesting though is the sculpt on his hands- it's like he's doing the "thumbs up" with these pimple-like bumps on his fingertips. Otherwise, I see no screw-ups on this figure.

The colour scheme is composed primarily of red and black that strongly reminds me of Miles Morales Spider-Man. The only difference are the eyes in which he got a maroon coloured lenses instead of white. He got a huge Spider-logo over his chest; accurately rendering Superior Spider-Man from the comics.

For accessories, he comes with a pair of hands doing Spidey's web-shooting signature move, which I think Hasbro should consistently do with all their figures in the future- giving them interchangeable parts. The only gripes I have with this figure is the other hand (the thumbs-up hand), which could have been better if they make it real easy and simple... something like a clenched fist hands maybe?

The articulation is basically the same as with our Amazing Spider-Man. There's not a lot of differences. Superior Spider-Man got the scapular joints that let his arms hyperextend towards the middle of his chest and his back. He's got ball-jointed neck that allows him to aim straight up and down, and rotate at any direction. The torso got abdominal flexion, waist rotation and T-joints at the hips. Arms got hinged-shoulders, bicep rotation, double-jointed elbows and wrist rotation and flexion. Ankle pivots are also incorporated along with the swivel at the upper-thighs and double-jointed knees.

If you're big at collecting Spider-Man figures, I suggest that you'll grab the Superior Spider-Man at any Wal-Mart or Toys R Us and these stores never run out of this particular figure unlike the ML Carnage or ML Black Cat based from what I've experienced. Standing at about 6 inches tall, he is as tall as the Amazing Spider-Man. This figure is definitely one of Marvel Legends' finest.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

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

Marvel Legends Movie Captain America
With great amount of details and articulation, this action figure is easy to market just by having someone look at it. The fun part is... speaking its actual name/brand- "hi, let me introduce you to my Hasbro Marvel Legends Infinite Series Mandroid Build-A-Figure Wave Captain America: The Winter Soldier Movie Captain America!" It seems easy when you're just reading it but this meter-stick-long name is quite a mouthful. Released after the Marvel Now Captain America and his batch, the 2nd batch of this Wave, in which this version of Captain America is from, is the only batch with figures that are bound directly to the movie. Anytime soon, I'll be getting the Scarlett Johansson Black Widow and the movie Winter Soldier figure, which would ultimately have me complete my Mandroid BAF figure.

As far as the figure goes, I got nothing to say to it but praises! The only Hasbro Marvel Legends figure so far (in my opinion) that is painted and sculpted intricately while maintaining the decent amount of poseability it's known for. This movie Captain America features a little "shield-wielding" gimmick along with an ample amount of interchangeables- something that Hasbro could have done a long time ago. I will discuss about it further as I start with the paint/sculpt down to the articulation.

There is so much attention to the details. One thing I like about it mainly is the texturing. You can also see some smooth and glossy areas but it's his mesh-type of textured plastic that makes him visually dynamic. The silver star and stripes sculpted across his chest stands out because of the minor protrusion. And the neat sculpt on the belt as well as these geometric features over his suit makes him more stunning.

Hasbro Marvel Legends could sometimes deliver bad paint application but this figure is done well. It is not as detailed as with your Marvel Select figures but Cap is painted without any scratches and wears at least. He got these red streaks that run along at the side of his thighs and has the brown gloves and boots that he wears in the movie. You can also find some prints over his shoulders that says "Rogers" with the American flag. His blue suit suppose to look darker and more toned down if it wasn't for the lighting but again we see a simplistic type of paint work on this ML figure.

The new feature with the shield definitely made him 10% more impressive. Unlike the Marvel Now Cap or the Ultimate Captain America in which the shield just clips on to the wrist, this shield can actually be worn and strapped around his arm. How it works is that you pull one of his hands off, take the arm way under the straps and plug back the hand to secure the shield in place. It is really simple. Aside from his fisting hands, he comes with two different types of hands- one is the judo chopping or the saluting hand and the other one is the pointing hand or the nose mining hand as others jokingly calls it. And he also comes with an unmasked Steve Rogers head that looked nowhere near to the actor but still a well sculpted nice-looking head/face.

While sporting a much newer body mold, the articulation on this figure is comparable to that of the ML Marvel Black Panther or the ML Modern Hawkeye. He got a ball-joint at the neck that lets his head move up and down and rotate. He got ball-hinged shoulders, swivel to the bicep, double-jointed shoulders, and hinged wrists that rotate and flex. He got a nice ab crunch with a beautiful range of movement as well as rotation at the waist and a T-jointed hip. To his legs, he got rotation at the upper-thighs, double-jointed knees, rotation at the boot cut, ankle hinges and ankle pivot.

Size-compared to the ML Marvel Now Captain America, they stand almost the same. However, movie Cap's newly styled shield looks a lot bigger than his predecessor. Inspired by Col. Steve Rogers Captain America based off from the comics which also came out as an action figure in the Terrax Build-A-Figure, this new Cap can be used as a replacement for that comic-version that I just mentioned. Although people might prefer red, white and blue Captain America, but this figure is just as good as the standard.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Carnage (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Carnage
Out of all the action figures I got from the Spider-Man Infinite Series, this Carnage here is my most favourite... and the hardest to find. He may not be as poseable as the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man that came with him on this wave but the thing about this Carnage figure is that he is insanely fun to look at and I like how all these tendrils are sort of sprouting over his symbiote body. As complex and dirty looking as Carnage is, I never thought putting order would make him strikingly stunning. The simple paint application with the added parts just worked!

At first glance, it doesn't seem like this figure is a re-tooled Bucky Cap or Black Panther body mold but damn right it is. I don't mind having this being used even for more than a dozen times as long as we get some great figures from it. Whoever designed or engineered this body mold is a genius, but hopefully Hasbro would continue to develop all their figures until it's close to perfection.

Just an important note- the tendrils are not bendable like a wire that I wish they could have been. They are made of soft pliable plastic material that are sculpted into his "skin". Good thing is that it doesn't get in the way once you pose the figure. Besides the tendrils, the head and the forearms are the other two body parts that are foreign. Everything else (shoulders, torso, hips & legs) are Black Panther's. Carnage's claws are sculpted as to what Carnage claws should be- long and dagger-like, but the main highlight with the sculpt is his nasty looking head which greatly represents the villain.

Like I said, even without any colour shading the paint work is outstanding. Given that this black squiggly is all but random, it's still done properly without any smudges or any paint defects. I like the paint detail on the head as much as I like its sculpt. He got his jaws open with the inside of the mouth painted with a darker pink tone. One minor complain I have with the paint though is that they should have not left his hands/claws red and dead on details. Extending the squiggly-thingies into his hands would have been nice to look at.

Carnage does not come with any weapons. However like the Marvel Legends Beetle, he got an accessory that you can plug through this peg hole at his back; making it look as though it's part with him... but it's not wings this time. They are another tendrils but are longer and more elaborate. Though having just one accessory may make someone feel unsatisfied, it's still cool because it looked pretty and nice. But sooner I'll probably get bummed about it because Hasbro could have at least gave us some melee weapons that can be plugged and kinda popping out from Carnage's hands. That would have been badass!

Although there are a few changes that Hasbro made with the parts on this well renowned body mold, the articulation wasn't very much affected. In fact, there are no changes at all. This action figure still has double-jointed elbows and wrists that rotate and flex. The head is on a ball-joint. He got an ab crunch, waist rotation, T-jointed hip, double-jointed knees, mid-calf rotation and hinged ankles that pivot just like the many figures we've seen that uses this mold.

The Marvel Legends Infinite Series Carnage figure completely mops out the Toy Biz Carnage from the Spider-Man Classics line. Quite frankly, this is a better version even with the lack of paint detail and accessories. This action figure is totally a must-grab even for those who are not big into collecting Spider-Man stuff. There's nothing about it that will make you regret.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Baron Zemo (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Baron Zemo
The character of the Modern Baron Zemo always strikes me as someone similar to DC's Deathstroke but more reserved; using most of his cunning intellect. Still, his ability to use both a gun and a sword makes him more dangerous than someone like the Red Skull. I first got introduced to this character way before I knew about the Winter Soldier and thought he is Cap's ultimate adversary. Hopefully, we'll see him soon enough in probably Captain America 3 or 4 or whatever. I am pleased that Hasbro Marvel Legends decided to create a much improved look of Baron Zemo from the recent comics. This figure surpassed the Classic Baron Zemo from the Mojo BAF Series by capturing a more accurate face sculpt and utilizing the Bucky Cap or the Black Panther body mold.

And so... again with this body mold! There is nothing out of normal other than his gloves and boots which are taken from the ML U.S. Agent. Zemo may look a little heftier than the usual because of that belt and holsters but the size of his body is the same as with our Black Panther. The head is sculpted perfectly with the lines actually grooved and painted along his face with the headgear sculpted over it.

Now for the paint work- the three dominant colours are violet, yellow and magenta with the violet having a darker tone (which I like); covering almost 3/4 of his body. The area across his chest where the violet and the magenta meet are perfectly divided without any bleeds while the paint on his headgear look rather gold-like than a yellow. The only issue I have however are his arms near to the cuffs. I feel like Hasbro forgot to cover this area and didn't bother fixing it, but it is not a deal breaker. Overall, the paint work is fantastic.

Before I get into Zemo's weapons, I would like to talk about the accessories he is wearing. Again, we see some great amount of sculpt but less paint detail here- this time it's on the belt, loin cloth, and the straps and holsters (with the "Z") around his shoulders. The guns are actually glued or molded into the holsters, which give us that illusion that he got two extra guns and I think this is just lame! Hasbro could have at least gave us some storage for his gun but what he got is only for his sword.

Now for the weapons, Zemo has his nice looking "knight's sword" (I think that's what it looks like) and this cheetah-inspired pistol which I believe shows his fondness for swordplay and exotic items. They could have used a much simpler or more generic looking pistol but I guess this paint work or design is fine. My only complain though is the location of the sheath for his sword. I wish it's placed on his back- near his shoulder and not at the hip where keeping the sword there could limit the articulation.

Perhaps the only way to maximize the articulation on his abs and hips is to remove the sword. I've been posting a lot of Marvel Legends figures with this type of body mold and so I'd assume the articulation should already be familiar to you. His head can rotate and aim at almost every angle. Zemo got double-jointed elbows that are hindered by these wide cuffs covering the forearm. At the hips and legs, he got the T-joint, rotation to the upper-thighs, double-jointed knees, hinges to the ankles with the ankle pivot.

The Modern Baron Zemo stands about the same height as your Marvel Now Captain America which also came from this series. With a much better look, I highly recommend the Hasbro version over the Toy Biz one. A Classic variant Baron Zemo may be a good thing to have but I'm all fine with just one.