Friday, 28 December 2012

Apocalypse (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Apocalypse BAF
When building the ML Apocalypse, never commit this mortal sin of buying all the action figures without checking the build-a-figure pieces that comes with it, because there are two versions of this guy- the original (blue) version and the black version that came months after the original one. What's more terrifying and apocalyptic is when you make a mistake of joining a blue piece with a black piece, and realize that it can't be undone (sorry bud, I guess you have to go all the way back to square one). A friend of mine almost pulled his hair off and offered me $6.00 for a blue-black upper & lower torso when he made this mistake. Out of curiousity, I considered the offer and tried dry brushing the ball-jointed hips with royal blue that can match Apocalypse's colour. Although you might notice it as you look closely, but it isn't really bad.

Marvel Legends Apocalypse (Series 12) is one of those big build-a-figures by Toy Biz; just standing an inch shorter than the ML Sentinel. Also, he's one of the exciting BAF's I have completed in my toy collecting experience. Like any other BAF's, you need to buy the action figure that has the correct part in it: X-23 (Upper Torso & Head), Bishop (Lower Torso), Sasquatch (Right Arm), Maestro (Left Arm), Iron Fist (Right Leg), Astonishing Wolverine (Left Leg).

The first thing you'll notice and that's unique with this figure are his two super bendable cables that go from his back to his elbows. The cables doesn't impede with any arm movements you make on this guy, which is great! The sculpt on this figure is not really that bad. Personally, I wished he would looked more like a body-builder (bulkier legs and arms) than a sprinter but I think he looks fine. He got a pretty decent paint app with some black shading over his blue uniform, which adds emphasis to his muscles. And of course, my paint-customized hips stand unlike anything else. One minor issue though is the sculpt on his fingers, and it's odd to look at these "gorilla hands" when you have those palms opened.

The articulation on this guy is simply outstanding and I never had such a big action figure with this high level of poseability! It's actually him and Giant Man (another big guy) that have articulations this great.

These articulations include:
- ball-jointed neck
- ab crunch
- bicep swivels
- single-jointed elbows
- hinged wrists + swivel
- finger articulations (to the knuckles)
- ball-jointed hips + swivel
- double-jointed knees
- calf swivel
- hinged ankles
- ankle rockers
- hinged toes

I wouldn't expect him to be taller than the Marvel Legends BAF Sentinel. Apocalypse has a humble height of 14 inches; just in scale with his fellow Marvel Legends figures and can blend pretty well with the Selects.

Like the Sentinel and Giant Man, this build-a-figure is a must have for every Marvel Legends collector. Eventhough I already got this BAF Apocalypse, I am still looking forward to completing the black version just for the thrill of it.

There will be more action figures that I'm gonna be dealing next year and hopefully everyone will have a 
peaceful and joyful 2013!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Arnim Zola (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Arnim Zola
When you hear the word/words Build-A-Figure, the first thing that comes into your mind is an action figure that's taller and bulkier than your average figure, but not in the case of Arnim Zola. I don't know the reason behind Arnim's lack of height- everyone thinks he's suppose to be gigantic and monstrous, but the fact that he is wearing a bathrobe, maybe his size is that of an average human being, which makes sense. I mean, who would want to waste their time making a gigantic robe for a "robe-wearing" robot threatening to kill you? You know, if guys want to wear those dashing Giorgio Armani shirts and happened to be overweight, then their only option is to loose those fats! I believe that perfectly explains why Arnim Zola needs to be average in size.

I'm going to start off with some height comparison and show you how he looked not so different with your average Marvel Legends action figure.

Arnim doesn't have an ab crunch but he got pretty much the same articulation as the Terrax build-a-figure. He doesn't neccessarily need that ab crunch or diaphragm swivel for that matter cause it probably going to ruin that spectacular T.V. screen over his chest. His head can swivel side to side but doesn't really move up. Just like Terrax, he got ankle-rockers, double-jointed knees, ball-jointed hips, waist swivel, ball-jointed shoulders, single hinged wrists and elbows.

I can't complain much with the sculpt on this figure. The creases on the sleeves are pretty well sculpted as though its dangling. Although I wished that those sleeves are made of pliable soft plastic separately molded from his solid-plastic arms, but I think this one is not really much of a biggie. You can see some lines going down his legs like that of Colossus. I got the Red Skull version of Arnim so obviously you can see that inside this clear plastic screen, there's this blown-up face pic of Red Skull inserted.

Just like the ML Terrax, Arnim got no colour variations nor shades. Just plain orange and blue; nothing really much to talk about, but I gotta give an A+ for that face of Red Skull there with his intimidating stare.

Arnim Zola comes with this remote control that perfectly fits to his left hand for changing channels on that screen on his chest. So if he wants to torture you, all he needs to do is change the channel to Oprah. But all joking aside, I honestly don't know what's that for. Maybe it's for his machines or one of his experiments. I have to do some research on that one.

This build-a-figure is part of the Wave 2 series of the Return of Marvel Legends, and in my opinion, this series is better than its predecessor (with Terrax and the rest of the crew). Because of all these cool characters, I was pretty much obligated to get all the Wave 2 action figures thus completing Arnim Zola! I think it is definitely a must have build-a-figure and something you'll definitely enjoy.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Terrax (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Terrax
The end of the world could mean anything to anyone. Commonly, we view it as the entire extinction of the human race either caused by an astroid impact, an incurable disease or a worldwide event of tsunamis and earthquakes. Usually, this nightmarish event comes with hard evidences that lets us know it's coming. Like a weather forecast, Terrax here is a bearer of bad news; signaling the arrival of Galactus to consume a planet. As one of the heralds of the world-devourer, Terrax is the most merciless. One can only imagine how discomforting if it's true and not just a work of fiction, and this is why I love reading comic books about cosmic beings, gods and space explorers; it sometimes make you ask some questions about our universe.

Now I got this Terrax action figure about 4 months ago, and there wasn't any question in my mind that he would look badass once I'll gather all the pieces and assemble him. Terrax is a build-a-figure for Wave 1 of the Return of Marvel Legends. Hasbro definitely made some improvement with their creation since they started this series. Although not as good as some of the Toy Biz build-a-figures, Terrax here is better than those that came out "Pre-Return of ML Series" by Hasbro.

He comes with this humongous battle axe or halberd, which I think is really cool! The only problem is Terrax cannot hold them properly; his right hand cannot hold it tight and it just wiggles and moves around his weak grip. I have to use a clear stand on this one just to make him look like he's about to cut you in half.

The head is well sculpted; I like how he has that expression on his face. Body, arms and legs has a pretty decent sculpt. But the paint job... I think needs a little shading and some "life" going in it. The colour on his tabard is a flat red and a flat blue with no variations at all, as well as his boots. Terrax skin is almost indistinguishable with his halberd! I wish they sprayed a little bit of silver on his weapon to have this metallic-look and not plain dull and gray.

I got no complain with the poseability of this figure. Marvel Legends has never been too stingy with articulation. Terrax got ball-jointed neck, ball-jointed hips, bicep swivels, single-jointed elbows, wrist joints, double-jointed knees, ankle pivots, leg swivels and the ab crunch.

While the Marvel Select Thanos is kinda small for a Select figure, Terrax suffered the same case of his own. In my opinion, he needs bulkier muscles, a wider torso, and a bit of height to blend well with other Legends figures but his size is not as bad as Arnim Zola, which I will be talking next.

MS Thanos and ML Terrax (height comparison)

I kind of played around his halberd just to see if I could attach it on his back. So I have to disconnect the handle from its blade and try to shove the handle to a strap around his back and... wallah!- Terrax rests his mighty halberd! Although I'm not going to say he's one of the awesome ML figures out there, but he is definitely fun to build and play. He's not the type of action figure that can ruin your day.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Abomination (Marvel Select)

Marvel Select Abomination
You know, the more I take a glance at this Abomination guy, the more I realize that he looks kind of like a merman on steroids. With his fish-like fins around his ears and his leathery skin, all you need is a thin rubbery material between his fingers and you will get a green sea-monster emerging from the deep. I wonder what customizers think about that. I'm not complaining of his looks, he has been like that ever since his earlier appearance in the comics. In fact this action figure from Marvel Select is more comic book accurate compared to other Abominations I've seen, although I'm glad that in the Incredible Hulk movie, they didn't give him the swimming trunks and those fins I just mentioned.

Once you take this guy out from the package, you'll be blown away by all these details around his body. You can feel that evenly rough texture on his skin; like the skin of an alligator. The paint job is phenomenal! All these shades of green around him are toned and balanced very well. Moreover, his finger and toe nails got some nice shading on it. And how I wished the Marvel Select Lizard (that came out this month on 4-pack) should have had the same type of paint application like the one being applied on this guy (check out the new MS Lizard).

One thing that's pretty disappointing with this figure is his lack of articulation, and that's really nothing new with Marvel Select. Good thing he's got the waist swivel cause without it, he'll be a step close to a statue. He has single-jointed elbows and knees, ball-jointed hips, and wrist swivels. Unlike the MS Juggernaut, he doesn't have any bicep swivel and ankle rotation so this Abomination really doesn't give you much of poseable ideas.

What I have been hoping for on this toyline is that they should start using hinges to the toes (like in those Legends figures). Like in this case, Abomination's toe nails are just making his feet longer that it looks odd when you have him kinda do a walk. With a couple of hinges, it would have prevented his toes from piercing the ground.

MS Abomination stands about 9.5 inches tall, which makes him in perfect scale with other Select figures. He is one of those solid and heavy guys out there for Marvel Select!

In conclusion, it appears that this Abomination is more of a "showster" than a living monster of destruction. Despite all that lack of poseability and playability, I'll be keeping this action figure just for the display but I would recommend you to get the Toy Biz Legends one.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Thanos (Marvel Select)

Marvel Select Thanos
At the post-credit scene of the Avengers movie, there were some people with zero comic book knowledge in the theater thought this purple gentleman was Sinestro; obviously basing him to another purple guy from another superhero movie. Also, some Marvel fans got a little carried away; immediately guessing he was Super Skrull but sooner realized he wasn't. And what's surprising of all was that my sensitive ear caught this soft whisper- "is that Hellboy?" Just too many wild guesses, some of them were absurd, yet I am glad seeing this as a sign that the general population are starting to appreciate and dig into this kind of genre.

I don't normally write profiles or backgrounds of a comic book character here in this blog for I just go right into the details of the action figure but I'd like to give you a little of that today. Thanos here is an alien race from planet Titan. He was born with a birth defect having a monstrous feature but stronger and more intelligent with serious psychological issues than his fellow Titanians. At some point, he was exiled from his community, and during those years he met Lady Death (a female Grim Reaper!). Love-strucked and somewhat being necrophilic, Thanos was driven to conquer the universe to impress Lady Death and gain her love in return. He got superhuman strength and reflexes (thanks to his mutation) with the ability to shoot cosmic beams from his hands. So there you go! No more saying that he became the Yellow Lantern, or saying that he fought the Golden Army with a big handgun!

Now lets get on to the action figure. Being a big guy, I think the amount of articulation he has is pretty decent. You don't neccessarily have to have an action figure to be as flexible as possible when "the pose" doesn't really apply to them. I like that they gave him waist swivel to get him to turn and aim his Infinity Gauntlet or throw a fist in a more dynamic pose. He got perfect articulation to his arms: bicep and arm swivel. However when it comes with his legs, I think he needs some ankle rotation and maybe some ankle pivots.
The paint job and the colours they used are a little bright. I would have liked it if they've used a darker blue and a brownish bronze-like paint instead of yellow (just check out the Marvel Universe Thanos figure). But the sculpt is amazing and I can't complain with the detail on his head and muscles, and the Infinity Gauntlet with all its gems. So great job on this one!

Apparently, his left hand is interchangeable. You can switch from this "punching hand" to the one with the Infinite Gauntlet.

Thanos comes with none other than Lady Death. She is simply just an accessory for Thanos, so she doesn't have articulation or whatsoever. However, she got this "removable face" that you can peel to expose her true identity. She got this really nice female body- no wonder why Thanos' hormones got so jacked up in the comics!

With his height and size that makes him more compatible with Marvel Legends figures, I think he needs some jacking up in this area to make him look big and intimidating around with the Select figures besides the fact that they made him intended for this toyline. As you can see on this photo, he is like a quarter inch taller than the Marvel Select Thor. And so... as a Select figure, I'm not pretty happy with his size.

If you're collecting Marvel Legends, I would recommend you to get this figure to be included in your display. I collect both Marvel Select and Marvel Legends so I got no regrets purchasing this figure. But if you're not, then I would definitely just wait for a "MS Avengers Movie Thanos" to come out probably in 2015 (which I am sure they'll make one), hopefully with a bigger and better size.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Juggernaut (Marvel Select)

Boy ooh boy! This Marvel Select Juggernaut almost caught my toes when it fell off the top shelf, leaving a little dent on the floor. This big guy is really solid and heavy, ...and can be "toe-shattering!" Just standing around 8 inches tall, he even outweighs the much larger Pitt (Build-A-Figure). He just looks awesome to me and even to those who don't collect Marvel Select.

Marvel Select Juggernaut

This is what I would like to see in a Juggernaut figure. The bulk of his muscles and the length of his arms in relation to the legs are well-balanced and proportioned. Now I know some collectors prefer the Toy Biz Marvel Legends version as "the Juggernaut figure" (cost around $80 or more on eBay) but that guy got arms bigger and longer than his feet! I think I like this one better.

Although the articulation is not as many as the Legends one, but he got enough joints for me to get him to charge and deliver a blow. Even without an ab crunch, I can still have him lean forward using some minor tricks. He's got diaphragm swivel, although a waist swivel and a couple of wrist rotations would have added greatness to this figure but it's not much of an issue for me since this guy can still throw a punch straightforward.

The sculpt and paint application is mind-blowing. He's got some realistic feature like his rippling muscles and his bronze-like helm, and even under his shoes got some great sculpting in it.

He has the "unmasked" variant, which I wouldn't recommend buying- I like him better with his helm on. I think it would have been great though if his helm is removable much like the Marvel Select Movie Iron Man's mask but... oh well, I guess Professor X has to try a different strategy or get the unmasked variant, which would cost you another $25 bucks just for the sake of having a Juggernaut vulnerable for mind-raping.

Juggernaut comes with this nonsense of an accessory, which I guess you need to put behind him as though he is leaving a trail of destruction. With Juggy standing twice taller than this thing here, I'm not quite sure how those guys at Diamond Select Toys are using their judgement. Maybe they ran out of ideas!

MS Colossus vs. MS Juggernaut (size comparison)

He can blend well with both Marvel Select and Marvel Legends action figures. As you can see he is bulkier and more massive compared to the MS Colossus. Having them face off each other just look awesome with Colossus, of course, as the underdog. There's nothing else I'd like to say about Juggy other than advising you to have him in your collection!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Sabretooth (Marvel Select)

Marvel Select Sabretooth
If you want to see a more accurate look of the 1994 X-men Animated Series Sabretooth, then fix your eyes on this one, because this here snatched all those features. His hair is pure bright yellow, he got these big lower incisors exposed, plus he's tall... and pissed; he's just like the Sabretooth I know coming out from a T.V. screen! The MS Wolverine too has this animated look like Sabretooth here. Although the articulation is a bit of a bummer, this figure is not really that bad! Marvel Select Sabretooth is not as bad as the MS Thor, but definitely not as good as the MS Movie Captain America. A collector like me would always want an agile fighter like Sabretooth to be more poseable for better display.

And speaking of display, this action figure comes with this base where you can have him attached to its pegs. The detail on the base actually looks gorgeous; it got a metallic wash and came with this "Caution" sign that you can just throw wherever you like. As for Sabretooth, I think the sculpt on his head and body parts just looks amazing. I like how Marvel Select put a little bit of detail unto his clothes; giving a little bit of life to his cartoonish look (I still can't stand his hair).

Moving on to articulations. I did spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get him into a crouching stance as if he is preparing for a fight. The problem with his legs is that the knees are not double-jointed, and his legs spread outward every time you raise them up but... I managed to get this big cat to prey. His hunched back has helped alot in achieving this pose, and although he got these "spreading legs," the knee swivel and ankle swivel remedied this problem, but I still think these legs needs some improvement.

I don't have a problem with his arms; the wrist can move up & down and do a 360 swivel, and so he's got enough articulation in there to rip some guts out. Oh by the way, those claws and those shark fins at the back of his elbows are a little pointy and may cause injury, so have your kids handle him with caution.

With a perfect camera angle, you can get a great photo of MS Sabretooth together with some Marvel Legends figures but still you can't deny the fact that he is too big and not really in scale once you have him stand side by side with Legends like Wolverine and Colossus, and others.

Not making friends, are we?

This figure came out couple of years ago. I bought this guy just this year and I'm actually working on getting some of those old and worth keeping Marvel Select figures. And with this Sabretooth, I probably would keep him. I definitely recommend this guy and advise you to add some tone to his hair.