Friday, 28 June 2013

Iron Man - Mark 42: Iron Man 3 (Marvel Select)

Marvel Select Iron Man - Mark XLII
Upon purchasing this Marvel Select Iron Man Mark XLII (Mk 42) at my local comic bookstore, I say I have officially got an Iron Man action figure based from the Iron Man 3 movie. I never really bothered ordering the one from Hasbro, although that one is more articulated, but the 7-inch scale with all its great amount of details feels just right for a movie-based action figure. In this case, aesthetics outweighs functionality. Then again, I would still get into everything that are nice and nasty about this figure.

The overwhelming gold colour of the Mk 42 armour makes it one of my least favourite Iron Man suit, let alone how crappy the suit was in the movie. But somehow in my view, I think that movie would probably give the producers and screenwriters some thought on how the character, Tony Stark, is prepared to face yet another otherworldly beings in the Avengers 2. It's like a stepping stone to Thanos.

Anyways, enough of that movie. The colour scheme of the Mk 42 is like a reverse polarity of the Mk 3, Mk 6, Mk 7 or any standard red and gold Iron Man suit you've seen in the comics and the movies. You would not notice any shading or special paint effects (like little sparkles) around the suit, just the colours- yellow, red and gray intertwining together. The external parts are mostly covered in yellows and reds, while gray colours are applied mostly in its interior parts and joints. One thing I also notice is that the red areas are glossier than the yellow ones as you've seen on these photos. So this isn't your knight in shinning titanium alloy suit as you've probably seen in most Iron Man figures. But even without the gloss, I still think this armour looks pretty neat once on the shelf. Moreover, I like that Diamond Select painted the eyes white and not screwing it up like what they did on the MS Mark VI.

What truly impressed me with this figure is the body mold and the sculpt. Standing at 7.4 inches tall, this is the only Marvel Select Iron Man figure I've seen that has the perfect body shape. Arm and leg lengths, and torso are in the right anatomical measurements. The overall girth, specifically the chest is not too wide nor too skinny to feel and look at. Mk 42 has some robotic designs on these ball-hinged shoulders under the shoulder guards as well as the entire armour is covered with designs of "iron platings", wirings, gears and a bunch of robotic stuff.

The Mk 42 comes with interchangeable parts. Both arms can have either fisting hands or shooting hands, or both at the same time. Just by popping its head off, you can replace it with an unmasked version and reveal the man behind this great invention. And if you're ready to get him back into action, you can always put that armoured head back to its place.

Not surprisingly, this Iron Man cannot do a more pronounced flying pose. It is a Marvel Select; it is what it is. However, the articulation on this one is not as bad as its predecessors. In fact, this is one of the most articulated Marvel Select figures along with MS Ultron and MS Captain America.

The Mk 42 got ball-jointed neck that lets you turn its head 360. It got ball-hinged shoulders that lets you turn and move his arms up and down with two of these shoulder guards that are ball-socketed that moves along with the arms but limits it as you move further upwards. And so the only way for you raise it higher is to get these removable shoulder guards out of the way. It got swivel to the biceps, single-jointed elbows and ball-hinged wrists. One thing I like about the hands is that it have these soft pliable plastic wrist guards that bend as you try pose it shooting its repulsor rays, but I'm a bit worried about the wear and tear of these plastics and so I better not use it constantly. Moving on, Mk 42 got diaphragm swivel that can rock front and back, and side to side. No waist swivel, but it has this T-joint, ball-hinged hips and thigh cuts around this area. It got double-jointed knees that kinda reminds of those Play Arts Kai figures. Both toes can point up and down, ankles can swivel and turn 360 as well as do the pivot!

At the bottom of its feet, there are peg holes which suppose to latch on to a base stand. But unfortunately for this guy, its base stand does not have any pegs (which made me wonder), and so you just have to get him to stand on the right position to get it to stay there in place. The design of the prop really look awesome even with its plain metallic gray colour.

MS Iron Man Mk XLII vs. MS Iron Man Mk VI (size comparison)

Next to the Marvel Select Iron Man - Mk 6, the Mk 42 stand probably half an inch taller and it is much leaner compared to it. I definitely recommend this figure for its richness in detail and better articulation. Marvel Select figures comes cheap ranging between $20 to $26 bucks, so its not much of an acid burn in your wallet.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Well Zombie: The Walking Dead (McFarlane Toys)

The Walking Dead: Well Zombie
Humpty Dumpty got bitten by a zombie, and just before he turned to one of them, he had a great fall deep into the well of doom,... and turned into something like this guy! Once you separate this action figure into two pieces, it's just like looking at a brown "disfigured" egg cracked open but with all its entrails coming off from its cavity. Mmm... Now there's an idea from me on how you should paint your eggs for Easter; Walking Dead-style!

This Well Zombie appeared probably somewhere in the mid-episodes of The Walking Dead: Season 2, where Shane, Glenn and a few others saw this overweight walker trapped inside a well. They lured it with a "meatloaf on a hook", which turned out not working for this fresh meat-lover. So they used Glenn to go inside the well and skillfully tied its upper body with a knot. And just as they knew they were about to pull this walker out, its soft and rotten belly started tearing apart,... and then the ugly part came.

This action figure lets you relive and re-imagine that scene; letting you able to expose and eviscerate its guts as much as you wish, but then you'll probably just stop playing with it for a second because of how these enormous amount of sculpt and paint details could mesmerize you. Regardless of how accurate the sculpt and paint application is in relation to the T.V. show, you cannot hate McFarlane Toys for making the Well Zombie appear as real as possible.

Unlike any other Walking Dead action figure zombies, the Well Zombie seem to stand out because of its unique body type and variety of skin deformities and alterations. You can see some skin folds hanging loose around its face, arms, belly and back. There are bite marks, bullet marks, skin tears, abrasions and ulcers all over its skin surface with blood kind of oozing out from its wounds. Never seen such a zombie with a whole lot of skin problems that may give any woundcare expert such a hard time. In addition, the Well Zombie has this rope sculpted and molded across its nipple line and to the back where it meets with a "real rope" that's just hanging behind it.

On top of its head, you can see some fine hairlines being sculpted, which is nicely done. However, there are no distinctive colours applied to its hair, and I know a lot of people thought the Well Zombie is a baldy but no... McFarlane just completely painted its head with flesh tones. Another complain I have are these peg holes at the rim of its ripped belly that suppose to lock the pegs whenever you need to "re-assemble" this walker. I guess those are the only complain I have with this figure. As for the rest of it, especially the abdominal cavity with all its entrails, is absolutely amazing.

There are a couple of accessories that comes with this walker. It got this meatloaf with this fishing rod and hook tied all around it, and then you got this attachable/re-attachable well-detailed intestine that you can plug in and out at the lower half of the cavity. And I have this Well Zombie lay there with its guts all over the place and.... uuugggghh! This dude is so messed up.

The Walking Dead figures are not really known for its high amount of articulation. You can never get this dude to climb on stairs, throw a right jab or do a somersault! It's strictly for display like a vase in your living room. So this is going to be short..., Well Zombie's head aims and turns to the lower left and upper right. It got ball-jointed shoulders that lets its shoulders raise up with some limits. It got single-jointed elbows with ball-joints that lets it rotate, and has hinges to the wrists that lets you move its hands up and down. No waist swivel; it only has thigh cuts at the lower part that are not even worth mentioning.

This walker stands about 4.8 inches tall; just a little shorter compared to Michonne's pet zombie which, I believe, is a reasonable height. I think this Well Zombie is one of the iconic zombie-characters in The Walking Dead universe. I've been watching this show since Season 1, so if you're a fan like me, grab not only the DVD's but also these figures. Friends would surely envy you for it.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Superman: Man of Steel (Movie Masters)

Movie Masters Superman: Man of Steel
If you don't think this Superman action figure looks a lot like Max Brooks, well... at least I can tell you why this figure doesn't even have any resembling feature from that actor who played the role in the Man of Steel movie. But taking the movie aside and just focusing on this figure as it is, I think this is a unique rendition of a Superman that shows a much cruder and more realistic feature (even with the Max Brooks face sculpt) than the good ol' pretty boy look. I mean- it's not that terribly bad! And I think Mattel did an almost flawless job with the overall sculpt and paint application on this Movie Masters Superman.

Sporting a Kryptonian-designed latex suit based off the movie of course, Superman got all these waves and streaks of metallic gray paint decorated around his legs and torso as well as his entire wrist bands. The entire suit is mostly covered in glossy blue paint with no shading or any form of contrasting colours. Surprisingly, Supe's signature cape has some minor shading on it but barely there. Probably, the most eye catching paint app is the ones on his face having these darker brown colours at the side of his jaw; pronouncing the shape of his manly chin and cheek bones.

The "S" crest, which is not actually an "S" but a some sort of alien symbol, is sculpted pretty damn movie-like! However, if you look at the bottom tip of the crest closely, there is just a lack of glow and gloss, and the yellow paint surrounding the "S" is a little faded. But it's not really a huge deal, I think. I can always repaint and retouch it. Likewise, he comes with this small figure base stand in the shape of that crest, which doesn't really come in handy but great for aesthetic purposes.

And so moving now to sculpt. What truly amazes me is the texturing on his blue and red suit that's mimicking the fabric from the movie; something I less expected to see. The measurements (length, diameter and shape) on his arms legs and torso are in perfect harmony with each other. You can see how that six-pack emerged just like that of a body builder along with Supe's well-sized chest girth. Now if you ask me how I feel about his hairstyle, I'm not totally loving it nor I'm upset about it. I am glad that this Superman doesn't have that ridiculously symbolic front curl over his forehead, but then I don't know why it kinda turned out like grandpa's style of combing his hair. It doesn't bother me though but I wish Mattel could have fixed it.

The articulation on this figure is more or less like your Marvel Select figures except for those hip joints that I'm not really fond of. Before I checked each joints on this action figure, I tried to "flying pose" him... and the result is not what I desire. If only he got an ab crunch and a neck that leans and turns all the way up, then surely, this is going to be your "Up-up-and-away" Superman. But I can't wait for that Play Arts Kai version of the Man of Steel Superman, which will be, not surprisingly, more articulated than any Supe figures.

The Movie Masters Superman got a ball-jointed neck that lets his head move up and down, and side to side. Fortunately, he got ball-hinged shoulders and swivel to the biceps that lets you raise and adjust both his arms to give him, at least, some decent flying pose. He got single-jointed elbows, wrist twists, waist swivel, a T-joint on his hips that lets the legs move a little forward and back and, of course, he got these DC Universe style side-hip joints that lets you spread his legs; revealing these sharp angles around his groins. Superman only got single-jointed knees, lower calf swivels and ankle joints that lets it move up and down, and needless to say, no ankle pivots.

Upon size-comparing Superman to some of my 6-inch figures (like my Marvel Legends obviously), he is a tad small to some extent that I should carefully choose which ML figure would be compatible for his size. He doesn't go too well with most ML figures, but he looks perfect standing side by side with the Revoltech Iron Man.

This Movie Masters toyline is a growing and improving toyline specializing on DC characters, and I recommend you to start getting them because, who knows! Maybe they will come up with another cool or even better movie action figure to be released.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Incredible Hulk (Marvel Select)

Marvel Select Incredible Hulk
For awhile, I was having an internal debate on which among those Marvel Select Hulks should be my number one favourite, but now I've finally arrived to a decision that the Marvel Select Incredible Hulk figure stands out over the MS Hulk Unleashed and even the MS The Avengers Movie Hulk for a couple of reasons. Reason one; I like the sculpt, the muscle mass and the overall size of this figure better than other Select Hulks. Reason two; this Hulk got more aggression, monstrosity and madness than any Select Hulks. The Incredible Hulk action figure lives to its name; incredible indeed!

With his enormous size and weight comes a valid reason why you gotta put him at the bottom shelf. But with or without his base stand, Hulk stands well stable and you don't have to worry of this guy ending up on your head. And speaking of Hulk's base stand, I think this ground pounded stand is very useful and compatible for all sorts of figures regardless of scale, and it has nice details too!

Since I've admired the sculpt and body mold on this figure, let me start with it. First, the Incredible Hulk's overall girth is perfectly wide and well balanced, and with arm and leg lengths that are well proportioned. Secondly, the face sculpt really captures the image of a raging, smashing Hulk, but there is just one gripe I'd like to point out and that is the size of the head is a bit of a small scale for his body; it's probably the size of your average Marvel Select head. Lastly, the detail on his skin and muscles with all these ripples, dimples and bulks is phenomenal.

Moving on to paint, I honestly don't like this type of green because... it's just too freakin' green! I like the green better on the ML Face-off Hulk, and I think, ideally, that should be the "standard green" for any Hulk figures. But anyways, this one has shadings that defines the size and shape of his muscles. The Incredible Hulk's purple jeans are kinda like dry brushed to make it look like it's faded. Furthermore, Diamond Select emphasized the skin detail by applying contrast unto these bulging veins around Hulk's arms. Thus, looking like they're pumping all that blood into his arms, but I gotta say this figure got some decent paint detail- not perfect but decent.

I'm not going to complain, like I used to, with the articulation and poseability on this action figure or any of the Marvel Select figures. It is what it is,... but I'm starting to see some paint fading around his shoulders and hips; something I didn't expect. Every time I move the shoulders, these huge muscles starts to rub against each other, taking a toll on its paint.

The Marvel Select Incredible Hulk has 8 points of articulation namely, a ball-jointed neck, ball-hinged shoulders, single-jointed elbows, wrist twists, waist swivel, ball-hinged hips, ball-hinged knees that able it to bend and turn side to side, and hinged ankles. This action figure got no bicep swivel and thigh swivel like most Select figures we've seen.

This monster of a figure stands about 9.2 inches tall and inarguably the largest Marvel Select figure ever since. This Hulk may mix well with any Legends figures but if you're looking for a perfectly sized, scaled and sculpted Select Hulk, then this is the one I would recommend.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Giant Man (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends BAF Giant Man
Action figure collectors and combiners like me would search every corner of the planet to become proud owners of the rarest of the rare or become champions of an ultimate toy hunt. Some toy hunts are effortlessly easy to accomplish while others are more of a challenge, but here's a build-a-figure (BAF) action figure that is easy yet costly to complete the fact that you gotta purchase 10 action figures that each come with Giant Man-body part. Fortunately, you'll get them all in eBay but with varying price tags; depending how hot the demand is regardless of whether it's new or used.

For Marvel Legends collectors, especially the ones specializing Toy Biz Legends, Giant Man is undoubtedly a must have figure. I brand myself a "selectionist"- I choose and pick the best version created by either one of these companies because, honestly, not all of Hasbro figures or Toy Biz figures are great. But if I rank all the BAF figures out there, Giant Man would be like "2nd runner up" next to my all time favourite build-a-figure, Sentinel (by Toy Biz).

Giant Man's most beaming feature is actually not the size, but rather the head/face sculpt. I have to say that this almost turns out to be like a real face with the perfect size and symmetry. The grimace over his face is sculpted with precision, and it definitely doesn't have that cartoony look. The size and shape of the muscles of this athletic body type are sculpted sensibly as to what Giant Man would probably look like if he shrink himself down to Hank Pym. However, I find the length of the legs awkwardly long, and it's actually not in perfect proportion as per relation with his upper torso. Looks like Hank here got his daddy's long legs!

In comparison with Hasbro, the paint application done by Toy Biz with their action figures is way more phenomenal. As you look at Giant Man closely from head to toe, you'll notice, maybe 2 or 3 different colours applied together in some muscle areas, which basically had something to do with contrast. Just as the sculpt bares realistic features over his face, the application of shading on this area further enhanced it.

No other words to describe the articulation of this action figure but... fantastic! Giant Man got a ball-hinged neck that lets his head move all the way up and way down, and turn 360 to the sides. Each arm got ball-hinged shoulders along with these scapular joints, like the ones on ML X-Force Wolverine, that goes forward and back. Also, he got double-jointed elbows, wrist swivel, and individual finger articulation (except the thumb), which I am truly impressed with. Furthermore, these fingers don't have that knuckling joints which, in most cases, ruin the sculpt on the hand. His torso has an ab crunch, a waist swivel and a couple of ball-jointed hips. Then to his legs, we got our upper-thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, thigh cuts, ankle pivots and last but not its least, toe articulation.

Out-rivaled by the Sentinel's size, the Marvel Legends BAF Giant Man stands about 13-inches tall, and can go with any action figures from any of these toylines, Marvel Select, Marvel Universe or even those ML Icons Series, but I would rather have him being in the Marvel Legends group because that's where he belong ideally. Without any further advice, just grab this figure if you like Marvel Legends.