Sunday, 31 March 2013

King Grayskull (Masters of the Universe Classics)

MOTUC King Grayskull
Well what have we got here? It's He-Man's great great uber great ancestor whom he calls upon every time he empowers his sword. "By the power of Grayskull...!", He-Man yells as this dude wakes up from his beauty sleep, smites He-Man with a bolt of lightning as He-Man redirects it with his sword to himself. I wish my grandpa can do that for me; "empower" my bank account every time I yell outside his grave, but I guess it's only in Eternia where you can bug some ancestral spirits to gain ancestral powers. Fortunately, this dead guy is pretty accomodating with every wish He-Man asks 'cause before he died, he vowed to aid his future sons and daughters, and future great great great sons and daughters if ever one of them finds and takes his Power Sword. It's kinda like that story of the 12 knights and a king who took a magic sword locked on a magic stone.

King D'vann Grayskull, or King G (for short), looks more like a battle-scared barbarian than He-man  with his The Beatles-style hairdo, and that what makes King G the real bossman. Definitely, everyone should notice King G's red robe with all the rips and tears at the edges along with this white wool cloth thingy that clings unto and covers his shoulders. It actually feels like suede when you touch this wool cloth mimicry.

You've probably stumbled into the wrong impression that King G and He-Man both have the same height and body mold, but no they're not. Although they have the same body type, but the body mold is different. You can see here on one of these photos that King G is a little bitty bit taller and bulkier than He-Man. I, myself got into the impression as well and was greatly surprised when I looked at them closely.

Comparing him with the strongest man of the universe, King G has a few of what He-Man have with added features and some minor modifications. King G has these long loose ponytails coming down from both side of his face to his wide jaw while his long majestic hair on his back goes just right at armpit level. Like his hair, King G's loin cloth is long and full supported by this aluminum-like belt around his waist. The sigil emblemed on his chest, I should say, looks more like a kickass asterisk-symbol rather than a cross, which I think is much cooler.

King Grayskull comes with four different weapons or accessories. To say the least, he got his main weapon, the Power Sword. And unlike He-Man's, this Power Sword has a blazing blue tip that he probably buffed up using his magic. Then again, we're being re-introduced to these two sword-halves that you can assemble or disassemble, which I still don't know the sense of all these gimmicks, since if you're giving He-Man and Skeletor each with sword-halves, those guys already had a sword-half of their own!

King G comes with a shield, which you're probably familiar of, but the one new and unique thing that comes with this guy is this sparkly blue "spirit orb" or the "power orb" (I don't really know its name).

The articulation on this guy is the same as your standard MOTUC action figure. His head can rotate 360 but you gotta take off the king's robe and bend his ponytails out of the way. He's got ab crunch, waist swivel, and ball-hinged hips that lets move his legs foward and back. He's got a wiggly ankle pivot that kept me busy having to get him into a dynamic pose. He got swivel to the biceps and wrists, and his elbows and knees all remained single-jointed.

King Grayskull stands almost 7 inches tall, and he may work well with some of your Marvel Legends and Marvel Select figures. Just imagine having King G battling Thor in your display! You may know me as someone who collects Marvel stuff, but Masters of the Universe Classics action figures are also one of my growing collections.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Kratos: God of War (Play Arts Kai)

Looks like someone here's messing around with Hades' barbecue grill! You guys care to give him a face cloth? Interestingly, this character doesn't really exist in ancient Greek mythology. There is a demigod though by the name of Cratos but this dude doesn't closely resemble the Kratos that we know from the game. However, Sony did pick up a perfect name for this ill-willed walking time bomb. Kratos is a Greek word for power. The word- "democracy" comes from two Greek words- demos (people) and kratos (power). Whether the people power in democracy is true or not, one thing about Kratos is that he literally defines the true meaning of power. And honestly, it's actually quite liberating to play a character that can slay gods.

Play Arts Kai Kratos (by Square Enix)

And about the "Hades' barbecue grill" thingy, I meant to point out the paint job on Kratos' face. I think it is a little excessive on their part that they covered his entire forehead and cheeks with some gray and black paint to the point where you'll barely recognize him. I don't think this is helping with the contrast on his face at all, and this is my only complain with this figure.

The paint job on his upper and lower body is phenomenal. I like how the blending of light and shadow came together between his rippling muscles along with his tattoos. On his right arm, he wears this Golden Fleece Armor that is very well sculpted and painted, and again, having these dark colours around the corners to make it look alive. Most impressive of all is the sculpt and paint on the belt and tunic that are high on details and artistry. Furthermore, Kratos' Blades of Chaos looks like a fiery lava with the application of red and orange.

Ignoring the paint job on his face, the face sculpt is actually pretty game-accurate but I'd rather praise the NECA version Kratos for its angrier and more vengeful look. The length of his arms, legs and torso are well balanced and proportioned along with the size of his muscles. Molded around his wrists are chains made of hard plastic that tries to mimic these real metal chains that link the forearms with his weapons.

Like every Play Arts figures, Kratos has a ton of articulation. His head can move up and down, and rotates 360, and he got this neck joint under his collar bone that lets him bend his neck all the way down. With that Fleece Armor molded unto his entire right arm, it is not possible for this arm to be raised sidewards yet both arms got swivel to the biceps, ball-hinged elbows, ball-hinged wrists that flex and rotate, and armpit joints that lets you thrust his arms forward.

Moving on to his torso, he got diaphragm swivel and waist swivel hidden underneath that tunic. Kratos' got ball-jointed hips and the Play Arts Kai double-jointed knees, which you've probably seen in my Solid Snake review. His ankles can move up and down, rotate 360, and got these little ankle pivots.

The features and accessories he comes with includes 2 pairs of interchangeable hands which you can have either the gripping hands for his weapons or the half-opened hands for choking his enemies or gouging the eyeball of a Cyclops. Also, he comes with another pair of weapons that he used in God of War 3 called, the "Claws of Hades." Both Kratos' weapons can go with these metallic chains that you can hook under his wrists. With this 1.5 inch plastic rod, you can have him carry his weapons around his back while have him carry his other weapons with his hands.

Kratos stands about 9.2 inches tall, and it just looks weird to see him standing almost as tall and as big as the Play Arts Dante. Usually, this is the problem you get from the Play Arts line- these guys don't care much about proper scaling especially with game characters that are not related to the same company. But against the average Marvel Select figures, this guy just towers over them like they're little children.

Nevertheless, I would totally recommend this action figure if you're someone like me who is a big fan of the God of War games, and the godslayer himself! This action figure is something you might want to treasure.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Huntress: Hush (DC Direct)

DC Direct Hush Huntress
This what always comes into my mind every time I see superheroines wearing less textileries and more skin exposure, and it doesn't really require me to do alot of mental straining. It's "marketing strategy", believe me. Ever been to Hooters? Anyways, one of my favourite superheroines, Huntress has been opening alot of windows for male locker room talks as effectively as her belly-windowing uniform since 2003. And for me, this is alot easier on the eyes especially with this accurate rendition of the Jim Lee-style Hush version with its neat paint job and great sculpt... and her mind-blowing curves.

Clearly, with her lack of articulation, this Huntress is your typical art-display action figure that may look pretty on your shelf. If you want a Huntress that can deliver a number of fighting poses, then this one here is not for you.

The paint detail looks pretty simple but the way the colours are applied is just flawless- with little smudges or any imperfections. Looking closely on her purple armguards, knee pads and boots, there's all these tiny sparkles and grains of purplish sand but it feels very smooth. And I find this rare and unique on a figure while the rest of the parts are painted with solid purple, black, white and fleshy colours.

Starting with the head, you can see how her dark flowing hair is sculpted beautifully, and how part of her bangs kinda went above her mask and her face. Nothing more I could say about her face sculpt but the perfect face sculpt on a female action figure (comic book-wise). You can see the orientation of her hips are kinda swayed to the right while her left toes are half-flexed. So the only recommendable pose this figure can do is a "walking pose." Huntress carries this grappling gun that is molded together with her hand just as her utility belt and holsters are molded around her hips and thighs.

Though Huntress has the likeness of your average DC Universe action figure, her articulation is not as many as those guys. But in fairness, she is more articulated than Ninja Spawn of McFarlane Toys. Her head can turn side to side probably within a 60 degree arc. Shoulders can move forward and back. She got single-jointed elbows and no wrist articulation as well as none on her torso. Her thighs can move foward and back and she has single-jointed knees but no articulation on her ankles.

Before moving on to her accessories, Huntress has this nice and soft, and very pliable cape hanging around her back, and this for me, should be a standard for any cape-wearing superheroes. So... she comes with this metallic looking Bo staff that you can slip right through her left hand grasp. Also, she comes with this Batman base for you to stay away from having a hard time standing her up with her own feet! Honestly, it took me half an hour to finish her photo shoot because her "foot issue."

Standing at about 6.2 inches tall, I'd totally recommend her if you're all into statue-like action figures. I believe you'll definitely love the way this figure is sculpted and painted, and looked as if she came out from a comic book. And if you're more into DC stuff, of course, Huntress would be a great addition.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Captain America - Ultimate (Marvel Legends)

The Marvel Legends Wave 4 Ultimate Captain America is probably my second best Cap action figure in this toyline, next to Bucky Cap from Wave 2. This is the fourth Captain America we had in four consecutive Return of Marvel Legends release and... aren't they tired making these guys? Not that I don't like the character, but I'd like to see a little variety going on and I hope Hasbro will take a break creating these shield wielding superheroes.
Marvel Legends Ultimate Captain America
This could have been easily my favourite Captain America action figure if only Hasbro didn't screw around with his holster. Like most Marvel Legends (Hasbro) Cap, the holster is located and kind of strapped around the right thigh. However, the handgun is molded together with its holster and you can't remove it nor even use it like on the Bucky Cap action figure. In fact, this is probably just a gun handle being glued on top of this holster.

The same can be said with Cap's Bowie knife. I like the utility belt and vest and everything, but this could have been better if it's designed to keep his stuff (like his knife), and could have been deemed as an improvement from his predecessors' lack of storage for accessories. Everything else with the sculpt is completely fine, and I got no complains with the head sculpt and body mold.

The shield that comes with this Cap is far better looking compared to Commander Steve Rogers', Bucky Cap's and US Agent's shield. They used a glossier and shinnier paint on this one; making it look metallic.
The paint job on Cap's star spangled uniform has less detail on it with just solid red, white and blue colour scheme, and mine has some little tiny scrapes on the paint but it actually doesn't look obvious. Most of the colour shadings are done around his belt and vest. One thing Hasbro carelessly forgot to include is "the symbol of a white star on a red circle" on each of his shoulder. Keep in mind that this is one of Ultimate Cap's distinctive features and they just screwed up, big time!

Ultimate Cap has a fair amount of articulation and, as always, they incorporated ankle pivots on him. He got a ball-hinged neck, hinged shoulders, double-jointed elbows, and swivel to the biceps and mid-forearms. For movement to his torso, he got an ab crunch and waist swivel. He got a couple of ball-hinged to the hips, upper-thigh swivels, double-jointed knees and mid-calf rotation.

You can absolutely take off Cap's utility belt and vest! It's made of soft plastic so it is easy to remove or wear.

The height and size is a little on the larger side of the scale. He's almost of the same scale as the ML Bleeding Edge Iron Man, maybe even bulkier than him but then they would look perfectly fine once you got the right camera angles.

I can't say to you that I would recommend this action figure nor it's the worse action figure you'll ever have. He got some good qualities such as articulation and accessories. Although this is an inaccurate rendition of the Ultimate Cap with some pretty depressing features (like the gun holster), but the entire design is pretty neat when you look at it.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Wolverine - X-Force (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends X-Force Wolverine
"I'm no Uncanny X-Force, bub!" Indeed, he's not and you'll likely know the difference if you've been buying those X-Force and Uncanny X-Force comic books. And if you're someone like me who has a bit of limited "X-men knowledge", then you'll probably just get this information from guys who have already made some reviews on this Wolverine or from other sources. But the moment I saw this Marvel Legends X-Force Wolverine, I say this is the perfect rendition of a Wolverine with an almost perfectly designed claws!

After those enduring efforts of "claw-straightening" those weak and floppy claws of the other Wolverines I have (Marvel Select, Toy Biz Series 6 and Toy Biz Series 12), I finally get to have a Wolverine with claws that are stiffer and way better sculpted. In addition, the claws are removable, and so... you'll have that option of either have him on battle mode or in a bar while on beer-drinking mode. Although the claws are a pain in the ass once you try re-attach them, the fact that it's hard to push them into these tiny holes between the knuckles but once it's in there, it becomes pretty stable.

The paint apps are really plain and simple. Just the black paint running down the center area of his uniform with all these gray metallic paint at the sides and the head top. Notice that the SDCC Uncanny X-Force version (you've probably seen it) has a lighter gray paint instead of this metallic look. So those are the clues you need to look to be able to distinguish the two X-Force Wolverines.

You can see the eyes are painted red as well as with the X-men logo around his belt, and has a decent paint app on those flesh areas but, again, it is a Marvel Legends figure so there is not so much detail in it.

The sculpt, I believe, is well balanced, proportioned and designed. I like how he has this wide jaw and a stern look (not enraged but stern) just as what I want in a Wolvie face! Some people might say that the claws are short, but I got no issue with it. Logically speaking, his claws should be in the same length with his forearms because you gotta realize that once Wolverine retracts it, his forearm should house it so as to conceal it. Long retractable claws + short forearms = doesn't make any sense.

Moving on, the articulation on this action figure is a bit of a suprise. I thought they're going to use that ab crunch just like what they had for the ML Wave 2 Dark Wolverine (Daken), but that appears to be a diaphragm swivel that lets him lean forward and back but not entirely. He got couple of these shoulder blade-joint, which is very important when you want him to do a pre-lunge attack.

The rest of the joints are mostly Marvel Legends standards; ball-hinged neck and shoulders, bicep swivels, and the wrists can move forward and back as well as rotate 360. He got waist swivel and the legs can move forward and back with its nice Y-joint inside the hip. They also incorporated the mid-thigh swivels, double-jointed elbows and knees, calf swivels and ankle pivot!

This Wolverine is perfectly in-scale with other Marvel Legends. He stands about 6.3 inches tall- too short to be around with Marvel Select figures but you may get him to blend in well with those 7-inch scales using the right camera angles. I would totally get this Wolverine if I were you, and if you're assembling the X-Force or the Uncanny X-Force team.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Ninja Spawn - Spawn Evolutions (McFarlane Toys)

Ninja Spawn: Spawn Evolutions
Collecting Spawn figures is one sick trip and I do envy those who strictly dig to these kind of stuff because there is this small side of me that want to have those mean, mature and kind of grotesque toys, and McFarlane is doing a great job at creating these toys from hell. Sadly, I don't have enough room to accomodate another toyline. I just have this little spot for Spawn figures and... boy these figures, especially this Ninja Spawn really stood out from the rest of those action figures I usually collect.

One beaming feature on this action figure is the sculpt and paint application. Like most McFarlane Toys, this Ninja Spawn combines the elements of wickedness and art. I like how the detail on the paint just looks complex yet neat. The contrast of shadows around his head cover, loin cloth, holsters and armguards is well applied.

Behind that head cover is the face of a killer looking at his target with his green eyes. Without all these red garments and extra features, the Ninja Spawn is basically the old Spawny we know when it first appeared. He got the black and white colour scheme with stuff added to his body.

The weapons looks pretty badass! He wields two customed katana blades; one short and one long, and two of these curved swords that latches into the holsters. Now these holsters are molded with the action figure as well as those two kusarigamas and a nunchuk that hang around his legs, and shurikens across his torso, and I wish they are removal and usable. Looking at how awesome it looked, I'm very displeased knowing that it's there for aesthetic purposes.

Ninja Spawn comes with this little base that goes only to one foot. Again, it has some nice details just as the action figure itself.

There is really nothing much to talk about the articulation of an action figure that almost has no "action." Like Spawn from the Art of Spawn series, Ninja Spawn here is for display purposes but you can change the way he points his blade within the confines of his statue-like arms.

Elbow joints, knee joints and hip joints are absent. You can turn his head in line with his sternum but it would make him seem like he has a neck injury or some sort of abnormality, so it's better if you have him faced to the left side. He got swivel to the biceps, wrists, waist and mid-thighs... and that's all he got.

Despite having almost zero articulation, you would be amazed by the amount of details this Ninja Spawn has and probably the rest of his kind. If you wanna have a room decorated with "dark action figures," you should definitely include this guy here for I do really think he's cool.