Sunday, 27 January 2013

DeLorean Time Machine: Back To The Future (Diamond Select Toys)

Diamond Select DeLorean Time Machine
"Marty... I shrunk the time machine!" Well then finally, we got a science experiment that does not only prove time travel but also prove shrink rays (mixing two sci-fi movies actually), but someone or something has got to stop shrinking the number of days. It seems like yesterday when I enjoyed celebrating the New Year, and now January is ending then we'll come to 28 days of February... and then spring and summer, and so on. It seems like we're travelling forward into the future at a fast rate then realize things just suddenly changed. No wonder "time" is such an interesting place to travel. No wonder fiction writers come up with these time machines and time travelling gadgets that send us back in time, and the DeLorean Time Machine is inarguably my favourite of them all... it's the coolest time machine you'll get to ride on.

For this review, I'm gonna be having a little break talking about articulation, accessories and the stuff that I like to mention on an action figure. There are just two things to talk about; design and feature.

Before I begin showing you the cool things about this toy, I'd like to give you a bit of a background on this old futuristic car, the DeLorean DMC-12. This was built between 1981-82 by DeLorean Motor Company. This was the only car produced by the company and it still exist today but only a few of it runs around the streets and rarely been seen. This car has always been an iconic figure for the Back to the Future trilogy and the entire movie industry.

Now, first lets take a look at the design and the detail around this car. It measures about 7x15 inches and all I can say is- Diamond Select Toys captured the shape, the contour and the design of the original DeLorean from the movie. Even the interior got all the parts accurate like the dashboard and gauges, and especially that "flux capacitor" between the two seats. They didn't miss out on all the parts. One thing they didn't include though is the DMC logo in front of the grill.

The innovated back trunk has got some really nice Doc Brown's science stuff molded on it with some bronze and silver paint wash going in there. At the rear, it got these tail lights under this pair of modified tail fins looking like a blazing jet engine. The wheels are rubbery so it runs forward pretty straight; having these wheels gripping firmly unto the floor.

The body is painted entirely with silver and the interior is painted with beige. Nothing really going on under the chassis, it's just painted with black. The entire car is made mostly of hard plastic so it's not really heavy and probably going to break easily, so stabilize the wheels if you want it displayed.

Now lets get into the feature but before that, lets be aware that this one I have is the part 1 version and it doesn't have features like the flipping wheels and extra sound effects. This DeLorean got the left and right Gullwing doors and a hood that opens facing the windshield. What's mind blowing is that little flux capacitor that lits up and glimmers everytime you turn this thing on. You'll see it on the video.

We can start by activating the DeLorean by popping the hood of this car where we can see a switch. So it's really simple, all we have to do is press this button rear top and it will start making some sounds and lights (I have to use a video camera on this).

I would definitely recommend anyone, probably around my age to get this mini-replica of the DeLorean. If you haven't watch the movie, then go watch it! Have your kids watch the movie as well, I'm sure they'll love it! Bring this mini DeLorean at home, and I'm sure they'll get pretty excited.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

He-Man (Masters of the Universe Classics)

Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man
Here's another iconic character from the 80's cartoons and this time from the Masters of the Universe- He-Man! Probably alot of you have already seen this He-Man action figure so many times but this is sort of a prelude to what I'm going to be showing some time around this year- I don't know when but I'll be reviewing and giving you my thoughts on my little MOTUC collection this 2013. "Little" because I'm only picking up a few of them especially the main characters and without any second thoughts, He-Man was the first thing on my list. Regardless of all these different special features and gimmicks from different MOTUC figures like extendable necks and furry skins and stuff, the most powerful man in the universe is still the most awesome action figure in this toyline... and nothing can beat the hairdo!

The paint apps on He-Man is not really that of high degree and complexity and this is what you'll expect on all MOTUC action figures, but you gotta love how Mattel maintained the original classic look of He-Man and the rest of these guys. Moreover, they made some improvements with his sculpt; having a more realistic and proportionate anatomical structure and muscle mass than his 25-year old ancestor.

But I got one real gripe about how this figure is designed and these are his huge joint fasteners that are making some huge holes over his knees and elbows, and it just not eye-appealing. He got some decent amount of detail on his loincloth and that strap crisscrossed over his chest with the cross emblem at the center. Now this cross may be the Knights Templars cross or of religious origin but I got zero clue as to how and why He-Man adopted this symbol (someone needs to do some 'xplaining here). I am neither a hater nor a fan of this cross; this for me is just "He-Man cross" but personally though, I like the "H" symbol better.

The articulation is actually not bad. Not the best though; there are good ones and some issues but you can get a few nice poses from He-Man here. Lets start with the good stuff! He got this double-hinged shoulders that lets you raise his arms straight up especially when you get him to do that "I... am... He-Man!!" thing. The neck is ball-jointed and the hips are ball-hinged. He got bicep swivels, wrist swivels, upper and lower thigh swivels, ankle joints, ab crunch and ankle rockers. Now the bad- the ankle joints and rockers are pretty loose and wiggly (hopefully on mine), so it was ridiculously time consuming to get him to stand and do some dynamic pose. No double-joints to the elbows and knees, and I'm not sure why Mattel have not considered installing this. Overall, the articulation on this figure is more likely average.

He-Man comes with a variety of weapons; his primary weapon of course, the Power Sword, along with his battle axe, shield, and this half-Power Sword, which probably goes with the other half that Skeletor has. His shield has this clip behind that fits perfectly around his forearm and/or may go at the back hanging unto his holster. The holster for his weapons is entirely removable; so get him topless, get him go berserk.

Standing around 6.85 inches and with an enormous muscular  physique, he can mix in well with some Marvel Select or TMNT figures.

Recommending this figure to someone is completely unneccessary; He-Man is undoubtedly the most essential character in the lore. Regardless of what the entire critics say about him, He-Man is a default item to all MOTUC collectors.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Playmates Toys)

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) are ageless! Forever, they will always be an all-time favourite for kids and "big kids" across the planet. And for all the generations and the levels of the human evolution to come, TMNT will always be around kicking some butts in the comic books, animated shows, and on the shelves! Despite all the different versions of the TMNT, the butt kicking turtles I know and that I'm a huge fan of are the ones in the late 80's, and I'm very pleased that Playmates Toys reincarnated and reintroduced that classic feel into these new TMNT action figure collectors edition.

Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael & Michaelangelo - TMNT Classic Collection by Playmates

Normally with this blog, I single out just one action figure and talk about it per blog entry but in this case, the common features of these four turtles are alot with only a few minor differences that it's preferable to put them together in one blog.

(clear stands not included)
First, I'd like to point those commonalities then proceed with taking a close look at each of their unique features. What I like about these action figures is that they captured the best of both areas; sculpt and articulation. Obviously, the sculpt and body mold is the first thing you'll notice and they're all alike, no one is leaner or bulkier or shorter than the other, and their bodies are well proportioned. They all stand about  6.5 inches tall. They are the perfect quadruplets!

The paint apps on these figures are not highly detailed- it's plain solid colours. This is the rendition of the classic cartoon series in the 80's and I got no issue with that, but their eyes... oh those eyes! Except probably Raphael's, but the rest got these chameleon-like eyes; you're not sure where they're aiming at! - some ninja move I suppose.

Now if you think Toy Biz Marvel Legends rules the "articulation realm," wait 'til you get your hands on these turtles. They each got a whopping 32 points of articulation and they are highly poseable! They all got ball-jointed neck, ball-hinged shoulders, bicep swivels, double-jointed elbow, wrist swivels, individual finger articulation, diaphragm swivel, T-jointed hips, upper-thigh swivels, double-jointed knees, hinged ankles with no ankle rockers, and toes can move individual.

Each turtle comes with their own weapons and they got special holsters for it. However, all these weapons can be wielded by all four of them; you can have Donatello wield Raphael's sai on one hand and Mike's nunchuck on the other. You can swap their weapons whenever you feel like. Leonardo and Donatello wear these straps and belts across their torsos while Michaelangelo and Raphael just wear the belts. All their belts got buckles with their initials embossed on it. In addition, they come with these manhole covers with pegs that serve as bases, and each one got a name. But without using the bases, these guys can stand on their own feet pretty well,... except probably for that complex martial arts pose, then it's time to use a clear stand with that.

So lets start with the leader of the band, Leonardo. He is the only turtle here with a removable holster for his weapons, while his brothers got theirs molded on their straps or belts. He carries his favourite swords, which I personally call the Ninjato. I know some guys call it the Katana or the "Samurai Sword" but they need to know how the two weapons differ from one another, and the Ninjato perfectly classifies Leo's swords because it's short and straight. Anyways, he wears the blue bandana and blue elbow and knee pads. He got the darkest shade of green of all the four, and he looks kinda smirking his mouth to the left.

Smirking to the right is the smart and brainy Donatello! He wears the purple bandana and carries this simple yet deadly weapon called the Bo that you can snug right across his back. One thing that is inconsistent with Don's Bo staff is that the "grip tape" laced around the mid-section is suppose to be purple (matching his bandana)... and not white, yet I've seen some of it being white and some got the purple one- so I'm not sure which one is accurate. But regardless of whether it should be white or purple, Don's combat staff has a reasonable height and diameter.

Coded red is the hot head, Raphael. Being the toughest of all the four turtles, Raph got an angrier look than his three brothers with his teeth clenching. This pissed off turtle wields his primary weapon, the Twin Sais where he keeps them at these holsters located at the front of his belt. Interestingly, these Sais are somewhat created to fit right in between Raph's fingers, so you can have him hold his Sais stylishly and ninja-like which is pretty impressive. Raphael has the brightest green tone of the four.

And lastly and definitely not the least is the life of the crowd, Michaelangelo. Despite being the party dude, Mike here still has that stern look on his face. It's like he's saying- "I may be a jolly little fellow but you still need to keep your distance." Furthermore, Mike got the worse pair of eyes of the four. Now it's probably easy to fix and customize these eyes yourself but still it is an "F" mark on whoever designed these freakin' eyes. What's exciting about Mike though is his pair of nunchucks that got all these real chains, and this is what made some action figure junkies crazy about having an actual mini-nunchucks for Michaelangelo! I can't stop looking at it especially when I place them on these holsters located behind him.

I can see how the TMNT Classic Collection will succeed and become hot collectible items to those "turtle fans." I can see how awesome Shredder would look in this toyline; he's probably going to be bigger and taller than these turtles with his spiked armguards and his stuff. There's probably going to be Bebop and Rocksteady, Leatherhead, Mondo Gecko, Casey Jones... I can go on and on with all the TMNT cartoon characters and hope Playmates will release some new set of action figures anytime soon.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Dante: Devil May Cry 3 (Play Arts Kai)

Play Arts Kai Dante (by Square Enix)
Not that I am making a mockery out on this figure but I'd like to point out that the feature and sculpt on Dante's head can easily be re-used for a female action figure. I mean it is possible and yet, for me, this is probably a more accurate rendition of Dante on an action figure. I always look at him as one of the pretty boys in the game world. You know those video game characters with unblemished skin and nice hair; as though they are being followed by a hairdresser while fighting bad guys (Final Fantasy is filled with them)! But I like Dante, I adore his job being a devil hunter and this guy is crazy, and having this action figure in my collection just fattens my heart. What I really like though is the DMC4 Dante that was already out before this guy here, and it's not that because this version of Dante I have has a juvie feature, but because he just lack some aggression over his face.

Nevertheless, this Play Arts figure is probably among those figures with superb articulation. Even Dante's trench coat can move! With a few snaps and clicks at the bottom part of his coat, you can get a dynamic air assault pose from Dante. The two ball-hinges that made this pose possible is what make this action figure unique. In addition, he has these pair of hinges that are located between his shoulders and chest (I don't really know what to call them) that would allow you to move his shoulders towards the center of his body. This is useful when you want him to cross his arms while holding his handguns; again for that dynamic pose and stylish gun fight.

Other areas of articulation are pretty much Play Arts standard. ball-jointed neck and shoulders, ball-hinged elbows and wrist. He's got diaphragm swivel and ball-jointed hips; this guy can salsa! And I like how this figure hides his ball-jointed hips with this soft rubbery thing that's part of his pants, and again with the double-jointed extending knees. They also incorporated a couple of mid-calf swivel, hinges to both ankles and rockers that are almost not there.

But you gotta like Play Arts for being consistent of keeping both decent articulation and high amount of sculpt and paint apps together. His red trench coat just looks leathery and feels leathery, and the details such as the straps, elbow pads, and the creases and all that are being molded and sculpted professionally. Dante got two holsters at his back where you can snug his handguns tight and fit. I like how his dark faded jeans came out having a little of these brown wash all over the place. Dante got this perfect male model body, and he got this strap across his chest, which, I presume, a part for his holsters and kinda act like a protective covering for his male nipples.

Dante comes with some basic accessories and this really cool weapon called the Nevan! You won't have this on the DMC4 Dante and this Nevan here can actually turn from this hellishly cool-looking guitar to this demonic scythe (looks kind of like an arm of an insect). And of course, he got his primary weapons; his two handguns- Ebony and Ivory, and his humongous sword- The Rebellion that almost rival his height.

Speaking of height, this DMC3 Dante may look tall prior to being size compared due to his skinny body type, but he is actually an inch short to Solid Snake. For me, this height of Dante is not so accurate since he is long-legged and he's probably the same height as Snake.

Now the question is... should I recommend this figure? Well he runs like around $68 bucks on retail so might as well get him than pay more than a hundred on a DMC4 Dante. Personally, I prefer the DMC4 Dante because of the more mature and masculine looks of his, but this one is not bad.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Solid Snake: Metal Gear (Play Arts Kai)

Square Enix's Play Arts Kai Solid Snake
What a way to start this year with this awesome Solid Snake action figure from Metal Gear! Now this has nothing to do with the Year of the Snake of the Chinese astrology, it's just that it's about time for me to introduce another Play Arts action figure after that marathon of Marvel Select and Marvel Legends reviews I had last year. So lets get on to Solid Snake shall we!

The sculpt on Snake's sneaking suit is probably what makes this figure a real stunner. It just looks like it's wrapping tightly around his body and emphasizing those muscles, kinda like what latex does to a Marvel superhero. The paint app is highly detailed with a mixture of grays covering his suit as well as dark shading around the creases. The sculpt and paint on those belts, straps, and bags are gorgeous! If you look closely, you can see how it tries to imitate nylon fabric.

Also, great paint job and sculpt on Snake's head; with flesh tones all over his face, and the hair just looks nice. Although the headband looks great with all its creases for his frown, I find his eyes looking a little strange, kinda like he's intoxicated or something... it's probably the booze last night!... but it's deemed unnoticeable at first glance.

The first thing that caught my attention with regards to articulation are the toes. Snake's toes are not hinged but they're "swiveled." Now I'm not sure if this is suppose to replace and imitate the ankle rockers because it don't seem to do the job pretty well... and it looks odd. Another issue he has are those shoulder pads that're restricting his shoulders to raise up. Although I am kinda bummed about it cause I thought I can prone this guy while aiming his rifle, but what can you do. I wasn't expecting this on a Play Arts figure.

Play Arts has this signature articulation, "the extending knees" and I have talked about it in my Spartan - Mark V review that as you flex those double jointed knees, it seem to get longer and goes to normal as you unflex it back. But with Snake's knee pads, it's not obvious. Other articulations includes diaphragm swivel, ball-jointed hips, ball-hinged elbows, ball-hinged wrists, ball-jointed neck and my favourite collar joints!

Solid Snake comes with a few accessories; an assault rifle, a handgun with a removable silencing barrel, and interchangeable hands. I was hoping a knife for this figure! ...but oh well. I guess he is not CQC trained yet. The silencing barrel for his handgun is made of soft plastic, so it's really bendable and it's hard to straighten it up. So I advice you to put a small piece of metal rod (if you find one) inside the barrel to fix this problem.

He stands about 8.5 inches tall, and you can't really have him play war games with the Spartan - Mark V, which is also by Play Arts, but he is in perfect scale with those Mass Effect figures.

Spartan (Halo) & Solid Snake (size comparison)

If you're a gamer and a huge fan of the Metal Gear game series, then I definitely would recommend you to get this action figure. Overall, Solid Snake has a satisfactory playability and poseability, and a fantastic sculpt and paint. Until next time, and please do check out my other reviews.