Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Plastic Man: Justice Series (DC Direct)

DC Direct Justice Series Plastic Man
Nothing can beat Plastic Man; he got style, charisma and a tremendous level of adaptability whichever or whatever situation you'd want him to be. I could hire him as my sales representative for selling a 15-year used car in my garage. Obviously, his beaming personality extends outward, and you can see how this figure of him looks fun and inviting and, in some aspects, interesting. Like the Hush Huntress, Plastic Man is not your typical poseable DC action figure. He is something you want to enjoy just being on the shelf like every Justice Series action figures out there. But I like this figure and it actually got some good areas I'd like to point out!

The articulation department may be upsetting and like I've said, this action figure is for display and somewhat closely related to a statue. His head can rotate 360, and moves a little up and a little down. He got ball-hinged shoulders that lets you spread his arms sideward and rotate it 360 degrees. The elbows and the knees are single-jointed, and he got waist swivel. No joints to the wrists and ankles, however, he got a T-joint to the hips which serves useless.

Regardless of all that, the details and the accessories he comes with are those areas that made this figure a real stunner. How can you not gaze upon his face with awe once you see his groovy sunglasses/goggles along with his S-shaped ala-Superman front curl? In addition, the contours and the shape of his muscles are well proportioned with enough details on it. Also, one real surprise is that those laces crisscrossing across his chest are indented, which looked as though separate from the body.

Taking a glimpse at the paint job, you can't really see any paint defect or strays that indicate imperfections. Looking closely, the way the paint had been applied is very precise and "geometric" but the colours are very flat with no shading that supports contrasts, so he looks pretty much like a cartoon.

Moving on with the accessories, you might (or might not) come into an expectation and start looking for an elongated neck, but that version is from a different toyline; this Plastic Man here comes with two different types of interchangeable arms, a spiraling lower torso, and this Justice Series base stand. This long "grappling arm" with an oversized hand goes only to his left shoulder, and the other arm- the "punching arm" fits to his right shoulder. Furthermore, these arms are super flexible so you can just bend them in a variety of ways! Same thing with his "spiraling torso", which can go right below his belt after you have already removed his hips along with the legs.

Having a comical action figure like this Plastic Man is kind of refreshing in a way that he's hilariously unique. So far, this is the only action figure standing on my "collection shelf" that lacks seriousness and could get anyone's attention. If you're collecting DC action figures, this Plastic Man is a must get.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Iron Fist (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Iron Fist (Toy Biz)
I feel there's like a "yin-yang energy" surrounding this action figure when I had examined the sculpt, paint detail and articulation. These are mostly positive though but then these negative features just surface right before my eyes and I say, whoaa, what's wrong with that! This Marvel Legends Iron Fist is part of the Apocalypse BAF Series by Toy Biz. He comes in two different types- the original type where he wears the yellow and green colour scheme, and the flaming-Iron Fist type (this one here), which I like better!

However, this guy is not immune to my ever judging stare. First, his shoulders are exaggeratingly swollen and round! It just looked odd and unnatural but viewing from the side, these shoulders may not look obviously silly. Though satisfied with the sculpt of his angry face, I am not very happy with these little "flaming stuffs" on top of his head. Toy Biz could have used that red glowy plastic like the one used to create his accessories, or better yet not have them there! It look some kind of bump on the head or some bird poop.

The paint detail is actually not bad. I see some dark shading between each muscle areas to help with the contrast. This flaming Iron Fist got this dragon symbol tattooed nicely over his chest. He is one of those superheroes I find having the strangest outfit, and I'm just glad Marvel redesigned his uniform into a more appealing one (should I say).

Now the best part- articulation. This, in my opinion, is probably one of Toy Biz's highly poseable action figure. You can really see those hinges and joints around the knuckles and toes. Iron Fist got a ball-hinged neck, ball-hinged shoulders and he got this armpit joints that let him extend his arms further sidewards. He got swivel to the biceps and mid-forearms. The fingers are also poseable and lets you get his right hand into a punching pose while a judo chop on the left hand. He got the ab crunch, swivel to the waist, ball-hinged hips, double-jointed knees, hinges to the ankles as well as on the toes and got ankle rockers that doesn't really do a nice job.

He comes with couple of these red-orange glowy plastic shaped like flames, which you can latch unto his fist or at the tip of his toes. Don't hesitate to use it with your other action figures or with any kind of props you have.

Despite all the issues I have with this figure, for a Toy Biz Marvel Legends collector, it is a great figure to have. Nowadays, it's very cheap if you buy it on your local comic book stores or even on eBay.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Archangel (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Archangel
If you're not on a mission of completing all series of the Marvel Legends action figures by Toy Biz, don't bother getting the Archangel they had over there. Hasbro's Archangel definitely nailed a quite accurate rendition of the angel of death. I'm not much of a huge fan of this character just cause I felt he needs to do something prominently extraordinary, but for me, he is one of the cool looking guys of the Marvel Universe with those metallic wings that make me wish he were in those X-men movies, and that I'm sure we will soon see. When Wave 4 Return of Marvel Legends was being announced to be released, I was highly anticipating for this guy along with the X-Force Wolverine, which are my top 2 favourite guys in this wave.

Totally, I am very much tempted to paint Archangel's wings with a silver metallic paint just to make it look glossier like the SDCC exclusive and one day I'm gonna do it, but as you can see, the wings here are made of just gray plastic. But I like how the wings are sculpted and made to look like feather-like knives layering on top of each other. Moreover, Hasbro didn't miss out on giving Archangel these smaller wings sitting just in between the two big ones. This is how Archangel's wings should look.

The paint job on his Classic X-men uniform is pretty decent. Some people say it's too pink while others say it's shiny but that for me isn't a big deal as long as the result on the camera looks nice. There are no colour shadings and contrasts on this action figure and those are the things you need to expect on a Marvel Legends. It's simply the dark blue and pink flatly being applied around his body. However when we zoom in to his blue face, we'll see all sorts of different colours but still lacked the shadings.

The body mold on Archangel is believed to be Bucky Cap's and that is why we see his right hand kinda like holding a pistol, and if you're someone like me who has been collecting these figures for almost a year, it just bugs you! Hasbro could have used a different hand that doesn't look nonsensical. But the rest of the sculpt, especially the head and the face, looks B.A.- a rendition of the evil Archangel he used to be.

Moving on to the articulation, both the wings and the action figure itself had good amounts of joints and hinges. Doing a "flying pose" with Archangel is very easy to accomplish with this ab crunch and ball-jointed neck being incorporated in this figure.

Each big wings has two hinges located at different areas; one near the spine while the other one is right in the middle so you can either extend or clip his wings together. In addition, the big wings can move up and across; able to meet in the middle for a more dynamic flying pose, while the small ones basically have single hinges that lets it flap back and forward. And by the way, these wings are removable and latches on to a peg hole at his back, so in this light, I can customize the wings without the figure on my way.

Like the Bucky Cap, Archangel has ball-hinged shoulders, swivel around the biceps, double-jointed elbows, wrist rotation and hinges that lets it move up and down. He got waist swivel, a T-joint on the hips that lets his legs move forward and back, and swivel to the upper thighs and mid-calves. Ankles can move up and down, and got the ankle rockers. It's a very poseable figure!

With the wings, he stands about 8 inches tall, but without it, he stands as tall as the X-Force Wolverine which I am sure not the accurate scale as you see them in the comics.

But then this is an awesome figure and probably the best Archangel ever yet created by a toyline, and I definitely would recommend picking this guy up especially now that Hasbro will be releasing some classic X-men superheroes with Jean Grey to be released later this year.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Michonne: The Walking Dead (McFarlane Toys)

The Walking Dead: Michonne
We have witnessed yet another heart-pounding finale of The Walking Dead; lots of surprising as well as the not-so-surprising turn of events- I'm talking about those deaths of some of the major characters. The Internet is echoing with lots of questions like "why he/she should die" or "what's gonna happen without this character now". But you see, ever since Season One of this epic show and probably since I started watching zombie films, these stuffs are all about our idea of "the survival to the fittest game," and "the arms race between humans and disease" (the virus). Though I was a bit shocked on Merle's or even on Poor Andrea's death but that's how this show rolls- one tough guy dead, a few incompetent survivors will either follow him to his grave or step up to the game. With Rick, Daryl, Glenn and Michonne left for Season 4, it's safe to say that we will still see some zombie ass whooping!

Michonne, being a tough gal she is, is probably the one character I suggest to survive 'til the end of the show. And I was suppose to make a toy review on that Well Zombie, which I showed at my other blog, but this 5-inch Michonne action figure looks pretty damn good! I even bought her Pet Zombies just to make this review even more awesome. And just a heads up, McFarlane will be releasing Michonne and her two Pet Zombies in one box so look out for that one. I bought mine in their separate packages, so it's not that bad.

Showing three of these packages, I probably start pointing out the accessories that comes with each action figure. Michonne comes with her trademark weapon, the katana along with its scabbard and a removable cape and hood. The two Pet Zombies each comes with a pair of removable arms, a removable jaw, a big backpack, and a figure stand. Pet 2 Zombie however, has Michonne's shotgun, which goes right into the bag whenever you just want to keep it.

I really can't stop looking at these fine details Michonne and her pets have. It's amazing how they put together all these variety of paint apps and sculpt into a 5-inch figure! You'll definitely not see this in other toyline.

But starting with Michonne, she has these nicely sculpted dreadlocks revealing behind the hood, and right away you can tell that this is indeed Michonne. The paint apps on her vest may not be highly detailed but there is alot of things going on there with the sculpt. Moreover, she got this faded jeans that looks pretty well detailed, and as you go down to her calves you can see tiny bit of mud and dirt and more of these stuff sticking on her shoes, which just amazes me.

The rotten flesh and the entire feature on her two pet zombies looks very gory and grotesque just as how a real zombie action figure should look. By the looks of it, these are African-American zombies obviously because of the kinky hair and the dark skin tone. In addition, you can see their boxer shorts shimmering just above these dirty denim-like pants. It seems like these zombies had been shot multiple times because of these holes around their chests, which I'm happy that they added these.

My only complaint though with the details are these shinny shackles hanging around their necks; I wish these shackles could have been painted with darker colours of brown and gray to look more like they are rusting, and with a few crimson colours for that bloodstained look. So I guess McFarlane needs to improve on this one.

If you're looking for some "high-octane" poseability, then these action figures are definitely not yours to have. The zombies here have only few articulations. They even come with figure stands to make your life easier on having them do a walking pose, let alone the lack of articulation on their legs. Their zombie heads can turn within an 80-degree arc, arms got single-jointed elbows and wrist swivels. They got swivel to the mid-thighs... and I think that's all about it.

Michonne, however, has some pretty decent articulation for a Walking Dead figure. Her articulation is comparable to that of the Marvel Select Storm, only difference is that Michonne got a diaphragm swivel that lets you move her torso forward and back, and turn it side to side. I'd pressume that her head can rotate 360 without her dreadlocks. Michonne got ball-hinged shoulders (but no bicep swivel), single-jointed elbows and hinged wrist, which can move up and down, and rotate. The only letdown here are her legs, which is pretty much limited by lack of articulation on her hip-joints. She got nice single-jointed knees and hinged ankles, but the hip-joints can only raise her legs maybe a little less than 30 degrees.

Compared to a Marvel Legends figure, these Walking Dead guys would definitely not be able to fit in no matter how you look at it. Surprisingly, they are too big to be standing around with the G.I. Joes and Marvel Universe figures. So I guess they are a class of their own.

High amount of details and my love for the Walking Dead shows are probably the two main reason why I bought these action figures. They cost only like $16 bucks each so this won't be hard on the budget and on completing the whole Walking Dead gang. I would definitely recommend you to get Michonne and her pet zombies before it runs out.