Thursday, 30 April 2015

Thanos (Marvel Legends)

The Mad Titan I thought we will see in the second Avengers movie has arrived to Marvel Legends earlier than I thought. He still bares his traditional blue and gold colour scheme but had the features based-off from his Marvel Now outfit. In this new outfit, he looked incredibly awesome but if you're a fan of the Classic Thanos; then the Marvel Select version is the right one for you. Thanos is my number one favourite super-villain character, so both versions are great to have in my collection.

Marvel Legends Thanos

At the time when Toy Biz used to make all these Marvel Legends, a Thanos figure never actually came into fruition despite the popularity of the character. Thankfully, Hasbro finally made that happen but... there is a little bit of a challenge- he is a Build-A-Figure. One by one, you need to get all his body parts either from purchasing all the figures in this Wave or getting it with just itself on eBay to complete him.

This Build-A-Figure does not come with any accessories, which I would have admired if he comes with his significant trademark- the Infinity Gauntlet. He got this big shoulder guard that also covers his chest, which you can remove or put in place as it attaches loosely on to its peg holes. And every time you raise his arms, the shoulder guard gets displaced which makes posing (without looking funny) a little difficult.

I got no complain with the details over his sculpt. This new body mold might be the perfect structure for Thanos and I'm glad they did not use the "Hulk body mold" or other molds that preexisted. The only drawback to this Thanos is the paint job. The silver paint that runs along his legs are sloppily applied and doesn't seem to look like there are line works to it! If you look at his entire suit, the blue areas are glossier and shinier than the gold areas, which should have been the other way. If I have to look at it in another way, this figure is like paint-worked by an amateur customizer.

The figure executes a wider range of different poses than the Marvel Select Thanos, but considered not one of the super-poseable action figures created by Marvel Legends. His massive body made rooms for an ab crunch, waist rotation and T-jointed hips at the torso. He got a ball-hinged neck, hinged shoulders, rotation at the biceps and wrists, and only single-joints at the elbows. Rotation at the upper thighs, double-jointed knees and pivoting ankles are also integrated.

Since this is the first Thanos action figure we got on a 6-inch Marvel Legends scale, I definitely recommend if you want to fill that Thanos spot into your collection. He stands at about 7.5 inches tall, which makes him more in-scale and appropriate to use than the taller and bulkier Select Thanos. He may still look good on display despite all the gripes I had with his shoulder guard and paint application.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Hulk: Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel Legends)

The new Avengers Hulk got stretchy pants that expands every time Banner "hulk-out" and with that, he will never worry again of waking up to his "normal" self with half of his butt crack exposed and jeans shredded. That's what this textured and kind-of meshy pants is all about when I saw this action figure. Standing at about 7.5 inches tall, it's easy to assume that this is a Build-A-Figure. It's also the fact that we have already seen this body mold on the Ultimate Green Goblin, which is a Build-A-Figure! But no! This huge figure just fits right into a standard Marvel Legends Infinite Series Packaging.

Marvel Legends Avengers: AoU Hulk

There is not a lot of words I could say about the paint job of this figure. It is not as detailed as compared to my favourite Hulk figure of all time- the Marvel Legends Face-off Hulk. It's painted with flat colours of green, black and a couple of red strips along his pants. Even his toes are dreadfully painted with green, which is a complete laziness on Hasbro.

One thing I do praise with this figure is the head sculpt, which is done perfectly to copy the contours and expressions of the Avengers Hulk. I like it and I guess this is the main highlight with this figure. Sadly, he doesn't have any interchangeable heads that vary between being mad to becoming "Hulk-smash" mad. It would have been really nice if they showed some love by giving it some accessories just like the Iron Man and the Captain America figure.

The articulation is pretty decent although I would like to see a hip swivel and a couple rotations at the mid-calves. He can't aim his head up; obviously hindered by the hunch on his back, but amazingly this figure can pull some great-looking dynamic pose like what you've seen on these photos.

Having Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk in this second Wave Avengers: Age of Ultron action figures is an awesome way to start your toy collecting for the movie. I can't wait 'til we see the new version of the movie Hawkeye, Black Widow and Thor to come out as figures for they will complete the line up. It is highly recommended to purchase the Marvel Legends Avengers: AoU Hulk if you're fan of the movie that is coming up on May 1st.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Captain America: Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel Legends)

This Captain America is not prepared to lead! The big "A" that's suppose to be on his forehead is missing, which is a shame on Hasbro's part. However, the body mold that they utilized for this action figure is well-designed. So well-designed that it made it to my Top 10 figures of 2014, and that's why I'm not sure if I will praise this figure by Marvel Legends or not.

Marvel Legends Captain America (Avengers: AoU)

This is obviously a repaint of the ML Stealth Suit Captain America from last year. Everything is sculpted the same except for the new design on his chest that is nearly showing some likeness to his new suit in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Hasbro still hasn't fixed that awfully colossal shield that doesn't fit in scale with this figure, but it is perfectly molded and sculpted without any disfigurement. The "straps" at the back of it makes the playability of this Captain America figure more interesting yet exciting along with his two swappable heads, and hands with fingers posed at different types.

The articulation is standard like what we've seen in most Marvel Legends figures and the amount of joints and hinges gives a dozen of ideas on how to pose him in action.

The Age of Ultron Captain America is a truly must-get action figure for those who are hoping to assemble their movie Avengers 2-team. Just watch out for any factory defects or missing "A's" that you might get lucky with.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Iron Man - Mark 43: Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Iron Man Mk 43
With a big movie comes a flood of toys and merchandise! In less than a month, we will see all our favourite Avengers back in action including my personal favourite, Iron Man to the big screen. To further entice our appetite for some awesome superheroic spectacle, we are finally introduced to a Marvel Legends "Avengers Wave" that is closely tied-in to the movie. Unlike the first Wave (Odin/King Thor Wave) which showed up earlier this year, this second Wave of action figures features a movie Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk in their new outfits. But with this review, I would like to talk more about the new Mark 43 action figure and its Robert Downey Jr. alternate head.

This new style of packaging is still the same as with our past Infinite Series since it started, and finally! ...they reconfigured the base of this box so that it could stand easily once you place it on a flat surface.

The Mark 43 comes with Thanos' left leg which I will later on build together with another of his BAF pieces. The only accessory this new Iron Man has is an alternate head which appeared to be an unmasked version; showing off RDJ's face and not surprisingly, Hasbro didn't really got the face-sculpting right. Although at least, they perfectly captured the shape of his nose.

Without any interchangeable hands and with only the right hand doing his "repulsor-blast thingy" and the other hand clenched, this Iron Man action figure just screams for more hands! Hands to demonstrate his flying pose and/or hands that will able him to have two clenched fists when he fights. Hasbro is still inconsistent in providing their figures with some essential accessories.

Mark 43 can perfectly execute Iron Man's signature flying pose because of this ball-pegged neck that allows his head to aim up along with his diaphragm joint that makes it more pronounced. The articulation is not entirely impressive nor it is entirely horrendous. It is missing a waist swivel and a couple of rotations at the mid-calves. Furthermore, his shoulderguards are not hinged- it is made of this softer pliable material that may probably get damaged after any repetitive movements.

Compared to the Marvel Legends Mark 42 (Iron Man), they both look identical in terms of sculpting but their paint jobs are not the same. With a 180-degree turn of its colours, the Mark 43 is basically a repaint of the Mark 42. Now this is the Iron Man I know; having more red colours than gold that can be traced back to his original suit.

Overall, I couldn't say I'm impressed nor feel bad about this action figure. If only Hasbro added a few extra accessories then that hideous RDJ head sculpt is forgivable. He stands taller than the Bleeding Edge Iron Man at 6.6 inches but has a leaner body structure. The recommendation is high to those collectors who wants to set up their complete team of Avengers: Age of Ultron action figures in the future.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Joker: Injustice (S.H.Figuarts)

S.H.Figuarts The Joker (Injustice)
This Joker figure really put the smile unto my face. He's a lot better than the Batman figure I played with last week despite the fact that his accessories are fewer and less sophisticated than those of the Dark Knight. Perhaps simple is better! The reasons why I'm happy about the Figuarts Joker are his decent sculpting and his "in-scaleness" to Marvel Legends figures. A lot of people may not be a fan of this look from the video game but this is the only Joker I've seen so far that payed homages to the two versions of Jokers we've seen in the movies. He obviously carries Heath Ledger Joker's style of messy makeup combined with that crazy Jack Nicholson Joker's long-barrelled pistol! It's something of a rare find.

The Injustice Joker, of course has his own originalities... like the laces criss-crossed around his sleeves and those pointy lapels sticking out from his jacket. His alternate head wearing a gas mask is probably not something unfamiliar with him since he is always been infamous for his use of chemical weapons.

The sculpt of the figure is in good depth and the paint job is almost looking like CGI. With that being said, the figure doesn't really have too much paint shading... but it's good! Just solid colours all over his suit with the exception of his face which has a few paint wash and intricate details that made it a little realistic. I can't say anything bad about the sculpt and the structure of his body. Looking long and lanky, it is the right body structure for a Joker.

For accessories, the Joker has a total of 17 of them which I'd like to categorize into three. There is the "weapon category" which is composed of his pistol (or revolver), knife and crowbar. The "body parts category" are his 3 interchangeable heads and 3 different pairs of hands plus one gun-holding hand and one card-holding hand. Now the last category is more like stuffs to make him look cool- I call it the "effects category" which is his Joker card and a couple of his toy dentures.

What really blew my mind is how they put all these fine details on Joker's tiny little joker card. Moreover, it has the hand designed for holding it. Both toy dentures, which are also an homage to Nicholson's Joker are articulated. The accessories are very much in-scale with the figure and that is why he looked a lot better than the Batman.

S.H.Figuarts is known for not sacrificing articulation for the sake of aesthetics and similar to the Figuarts Batman, he is very poseable. The only sad thing about him is that his head cannot move up to a 90 degree angle. Unlike his arch-nemesis, the Joker doesn't have the armpit pivots that would allow his shoulders to move towards his chest but luckily he got the long arms to wield his crowbar two-handed. He got this double-tail at the back of his jacket that doesn't have any articulation but would be fun if it does. He got the ankle rockers and hinges to his toes, and everything else is double-hinged and double-pegged.

To size-compare the S.H.Figuarts Joker with the S.H.Figuarts Batman, Joker seem to be a bit taller which makes the two of them together not very comic book-accurate since Batman is suppose to be the taller and bigger guy. It still pleases me though that Mr. J blends perfectly well with my ML figures. I am very much impressed with this figure and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Injustice or to someone who collects DC figures. S.H.Figuarts did such a good job in the rendition department taking all the likeness from the video game while maintaining their standard amount of articulation.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Batman: Injustice (S.H.Figuarts)

S.H.Figuarts Batman (Injustice)
Finally joining the S.H.Figuarts lineup of action figures is Batman from Injustice: Gods Among Us, a superhero fighting game that has actually been well-received by critics. We can only imagine how excited both Bat-fans and fans of the video game (including myself, actually) were with Bandai's first announcement of a Batman figure having a dozen of accessories and moving parts as what this Japanese toymaker is notable for. But the question is- will Bandai, a company who has been creating a lot of Sentai Rangers and Kamen Riders pull off a well-engineered figure of a DC character such as Batman? That we'll have to find out as we crack him out of the box.

But before we set him loose, let's have time to take a quick look at the box. With its reusable feature, S.H.Figuarts' standard windowed-box is always beneficial to collectors who always have trouble finding some space in their rooms. You can use it as a storage case as well as a display item because of its simple yet elegant design.

When it comes to accessories, you can always count on S.H.Figuarts bringing loads of them. To begin with, you got two interchangeable heads and three pairs of interchangeable hands plus a "special hand" for holding his grappling gun. Batman's grappling gun has two types of hooks- one is retracted while the other one is "spreaded" with a 6-inch bendy wire at the backend. And last but definitely important accessories are his two batarangs, which are a bit oversized yet considerable.

What's really bothersome is the size of his grappling gun- the handle is too wide for his "special gripping-hand" to hold. It is as big as his shoulders that forcing his small grip around it could break his fingers.

The measurements on his cape is 5 inches tall and almost 9 inches wide, and it's articulated. There are 3 "cape-pieces" to assemble this mind-blowing cape which can be attached all together to a peg hole at his back. To me, the only ugly part with it is this big bad fissure that separates the cape's uppermost portion from the rest of it. Bandai has engineered it very poorly.

The articulation however is good but not all that perfect. Batman cannot aim his head up high to do a flying pose which is crucial to the poseability of this character. His torso got rotation at the diaphragm and waist. Both elbows and knees are double-jointed. He has double-ball pegs at the hips and a couple of fabulous ankle rockers. The toes have articulations as well.

Appreciatively, the sculpt and paint job are not as silly as the playability of this figure. We have different shades of gray seen here together with this blemish-free sculpting. I'm glad they added a decent amount of blue shadings over and under his cape. Although the details are not as impressive as with the ones from McFarlane Toys but this is the best we ever got from Bandai.

Now here's a question that a lot of people are asking- is the S.H.Figuarts Batman in-scale with any of our 6-inch scale action figures? For those collectors who love mashing up DC and Marvel, this figure is pretty much in good scale specifically with Marvel Legends. Some people may be very particular with this Batman not being a "Legends-scale" because of the small head, and lean arms and legs but he doesn't seem weird as I pose him next to a ML Spider-Man. But of course, this is not a figure meant to be in-scale with Marvel Legends.