Thursday, 26 September 2013

Iron Patriot: Iron Man 3 (Marvel Select)

Marvel Select Iron Patriot: Iron Man 3
If you haven't visited your local Disney Store yet, check out all their toys and you'll see this exclusive Marvel Select Iron Patriot from the Iron Man 3 movie. I gotta say I just like how this 7-inch scale action figure turned out to be amazingly accurate based off from the movie. Basically, the Iron Patriot is just a repaint of the Marvel Select War Machine (IM3 Version); baring colours of the first Avenger, Captain America. His body mold is different to the Marvel Select Mark 42 Iron Man, and so there are no re-uses and reconstructions here. You only got features that are entirely unique on this guy.

As far as the movie is concerned, I was actually surprised Iron Patriot came out a lot cooler than the Mark 42 probably because he is more intimidating and had this all-for-business type of persona dealing no issues within himself. However, I was a little bothered about that scene where the President somehow got into the Iron Patriot suit but couldn't even free himself with his arms being tied in chains- doesn't make any sense. But overall, I think the movie was great but not as awesome as the first two movies.

Looking at the paint job, a lot of people wanted the Iron Patriot to have that shinny metallic look like most Iron Man figures we've come across. While I think that this type of look may as well work with this figure, I believe the matted finish on his paint gives a better result on cameras. Also, one thing I like about the paint are the decals over his shoulders, arms and hips that are perfectly printed/painted without smearing. He got this red, white and blue colour scheme with the blue that kinda lean towards being indigo and white that is rather silver.

The sculpt on this figure is done from the interior mechanical part to the exterior protective shell of his body. Taking a closer at the ball-joints over his shoulders and hips, you can see lines and all sorts of details that are noticeable every time you lift his arms or move his legs. Iron Patriot has that housing for his missiles sculpted over his forearms, which is the same with that of War Machine. Like the Mark 42, the hinges and joints on this figure blend seamlessly as though it seem to have not existed.

And just like the Mark 42, Iron Patriot comes with a base stand (or a prop) which is very nice to have for your Iron Man display. Get like maybe 5 or 6 of these and you can have your very own Hall of Armor right on your shelf. Most importantly, he comes with this nicely sculpted shoulder turret that is removable and got some decent articulation in it. He also has an interchangeable head which has the exposed face of Don Cheadle as Col. Rhodes; sculpted perfectly to look almost close as the actor.

Now for the articulation on this figure, he is not as articulated as his Marvel Legends counterpart. I didn't even bother do that Iron Man flying pose because it is just not achievable. However, poses like aiming to shoot repulsors or preparing for a take off can be done easily. The shoulder turret is highly articulated which can turn and point at any direction except probably when you have it turned where his head is on its way.

Iron Patriot has a ball-jointed neck that lets his head move side to side, and move up and down but very limited. The shoulder guards are hinged and, although it helped quite a bit with the articulation on his shoulder, it only goes at a certain point and so you can't really raise his arms way up high even with the ball-hinged shoulders. He's got swivel to the biceps and forearms, single-jointed elbows, hinged wrists that flexes and rotates. There is no waist swivel but he got a diaphragm joint that lets him turn towards the sides as well as get him to lean at any direction. The hips are T-jointed and ball-hinged, and the legs got upper thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, and ankles that flex, rotate and pivot.

Again, compared to Iron Man Mark 42, Iron Patriot is a little heftier and a centimeter taller which is good... the fact that I think Rhodes probably has a much larger physique than Tony Stark. If you haven't had an Iron Patriot within the 7-inch scale, I would recommend getting this one because of all its detail and neat feature. Definitely, a must-have figure.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Rocket Raccoon (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Rocket Raccoon
So I finally got my fingers around this small Build-A-Figure by Hasbro. Looking at yet another one of these small yet nicely sculpted figures, I personally think that it's nice to see something new... but a 2nd, 3rd (Puck) and a 4th (Jubilee) one? C'mon Hasbro! What happened to those good ol' BAF days? If this wasn't Rocket Raccoon, I would have just saved my money and pass with this Wave like that Hit Monkey. But it's him and being an essential part of the Guardians of the Galaxy, it is a must have action figure and I definitely gonna get the rest of them as soon as they're released.

Here is Rocket Raccoon compared to his much older fellow Marvel Legends Build-A-Figure, the Sentinel! Standing at just 3 inches, no doubt this figure is in perfect scale with the rest of Marvel Legends figures, no doubt this is an awesome figure, and no doubt Hasbro has saved some spray paints and hard plastics.

But for such a small figure, I gotta give Hasbro some credit for doing a fine job on sculpting his tiny little hands and feet, and those tiny little teeth once you open his mouth. You probably couldn't get any better Rocket Raccoon than this one right here. I have to say that the sculpting and texturing over his uniform, all his furry skin and tail is excellent. He comes with this one little assault rifle with a blade at the tip and a red rocket that is well sculpted and fits just right into either of his hands. It would have been much cooler if he had two of these guns albeit the fact that both his hands are sculpted to hold guns but... it is what it is.

No shading or any kind of variety on the details when we talk about the paint. However, I do like how they did the paint job inside his mouth with that raccoon teeth, gums and tongue coming out perfectly without any runs or bleeds. The eyes could have been your standard regular eyes but it's painted with gold/brown, which is still good. And just as what we see on an average raccoon, this rodent from outer space got all that features but with, of course, his red and blue Guardians uniform.

Just by looking at this figure, you can easily count the amount of articulation he has. As you can see, he doesn't have any joints on his hips, legs and feet so you can't really do any dynamic pose with him. Rocket Raccoon though got a pretty nice articulation on his neck that lets his head lean towards the sides and rotate 360. He got ball-hinged shoulders, single-jointed elbows, elbow rotation, wrist rotation and swivel around the waist. You can open or close his jaw and turn his tail at any angle but they're just minor features that doesn't really help with poseability.

For you to complete the Marvel Legends Rocket Raccoon, you just need to get the Black Panther, Jean Grey and Wrecker from this Wave. I would recommend and suggest that you get this figure if you're planning to assemble your Guardians of the Galaxy team.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Spawn - Image 10th Anniversary (McFarlane Toys)

Image 10th Anniversary Spawn
To all you articulation junkies, here's a Spawn action figure that's going to suit your cup of tea. He's no Hasbro figure (obviously, since when did they make Spawn), but from the guys that brought us statue-like action figures that barely has any articulation in it- McFarlane! This time, they totally made one hell of a step into offering us not only a Spawn with McFarlane-style sculpting but also with a wide range of movement made possible through his 25-point articulation, and that doesn't even includes the articulation over his cape! This Spawn is special; so special that McFarlane released this super-articulated figure to honour Image's 10 years of comic book awesomeness, which is kinda nice for them and a little bothersome. I mean, why do it only for this "special occasion" when these guys could have done this a long time ago? There is no question McFarlane Toys can do it.

I will begin this toy review with articulation since I'm obviously excited with it. So Spawn's demonic cape is articulated which are simply swivel-type of joints that allows you to cover or uncover his entire body like curtains around a window. He got a ball-hinged neck that lets his head look up, down and to the sides. Surprisingly, Spawn got this scapular/shoulder blade joints like the ones on the X-Force Wolverine, which allows him to move his shoulders forward or back. Like those Marvel Legends or Marvel Select figures, he got bicep swivel-joints, single-jointed elbows, mid-arm swivel and hinges on the wrists. His torso is complete with all three major "torsal" joints namely; diaphragm swivel, ab crunch and waist swivel. He got a T-joint that lets his entire legs raise up and forward or to the sides. His legs have mid-thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, lower calf swivel, hinged ankles, ankle swivel and ankle pivot... and toe joints!

Now the ankle pivot on this one is a little tricky. You have to rotate the ankle swivel around until the joint marks are aligned at the front before you can pivot it to the sides. So I think that's very damn cool.

The paint application on this 10th Anniversary Spawn is consistent with any McFarlane Spawn figures you've seen. Starting with his big red cape, you can see some black paint shading done between its folds as well as its surface to make it look worn and battle damaged. Spawn's body is mostly covered in black with a few gray shadings to define his muscles, and the spikes around his arms and ankles are painted with a silvery metallic type of gray; making it more realistic. The colour designs comprising of red and white over his arms and torso are painted perfectly without any runs or bleeds.

If you've been collecting Spawn figures and figures with highly complex details, this one won't disappoint you even with the added amount of hinges. As you can see on these photos, the hinges are barely noticeable and blending well with the sculpt of this figure. And of course, one shouldn't ignore McFarlane's trademark design on the cape which has been, as well, consistent all throughout like the one on The Art of Spawn - Spawn on my last year's review. In addition, attached under his belt buckle is a 14-inch long metal chain that is almost twice longer than Kratos' chained weapons.

And with all these great detail, comes a base stand that is also greatly detailed. Obviously, this is the dome of a cathedral where there is a cross and where there are pegs (in pairs) in two different areas that give you that option of having Spawn either stand in front of the cross or have him perch on top of it. I prefer having him perch on this 12.5-inch base stand, and it is surprisingly very stable. Even with some weight on the figure, you wouldn't think this could fall or collapse.

I couldn't stop myself from comparing this Spawn to a Marvel figure and I want to see which toyline this figure is more likely compatible with. Marvel Legends or Marvel Select? As you can see here, Spawn's overall girth has to be a little wider to be able mix well with the Selects. I think he leans more towards Marvel Legends even with this height of 7 inches. Such iconic figure with great amount of detail and poseability is pretty hard to come by. And if there is one Spawn figure I would recommend to any collector, it is this one right here.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Big Red Predator (NECA)

NECA Big Red Predator
When you're big and wearing red, you'd probably get spotted easily by your prey as you hunt her around in a thick jungle. But if you're a Predator, that won't matter as long as you got your cloaking device with you to use at anytime. Combining killing precision and style is what the Big Red Predator is all about. Right away, you can tell that this Predator is not your average Predator. What's phenomenal about it is that the fans love Big Red more than any Predator figures. Unlike most NECA Predators, which are based off from those major movies, Big Red, with its interestingly unique outfit, is based from a fan-made movie on YouTube entitled, Batman: Dead End. With its ornamental belt and two katana blades, this Predator is ready to show you the way of the Samurai... in its own fashion.

Compared to our very own classic Predator, Big Red's sculpt and body mold is basically the same with few tweaks here and there to give it its own feature. The body armour; gauntlets, leg guards and shoulder guards are as same as the classic except that the Wrist Blades are housed unto Big Red's left gauntlet instead of the right. Moreover, its Bio-Mask has these two yellow pebble-like indentions likely for aesthetic purposes, also with all these black streaks painted over its big red mask.

And around the waist, is a well detailed belt inspired from that ancient Samurai culture together with a couple of these sheaths for its swords hanging at the right hip, while still preserving that Predator loin cloth. Also, it has all these trophy skulls held together with a string which goes down diagonally across its torso. The only thing that this Predator is missing though is its infamous Plasma Cannon, which probably not gonna fit in with Big Red's theme.

Big Red's name comes from its chosen colour scheme- RED. It is all painted red as you can see here, but gold to its Wrist Blade and hair clips. Its skin colour is kind of brown-yellow at the front with dark pigmentations dominating the back area. Why it has this jaundice skin?- it's probably because of "colour compatibility". The red goes well with the yellow on Big Red's case.

Gladly, I am pleased that this Predator has a pair of interchangeable hands. You can change its open palmed hands into these "sword-gripping" hands to wield its katanas. Like a true Samurai, Big Red carries the long katana and the short katana, which fits perfectly in each of its hands. Unfortunately, it's impossible for this Predator to do a two-hander with one single sword.

Like the articulation of the Boar Predator or any standard NECA Predator figures, Big Red's neck are ball-socketed so it can lean towards its sides and rotate 360. It got ball-hinged shoulders with no bicep swivel, single-jointed elbows with elbow rotations, and ball-hinged wrists. No diaphragm swivel; wishing they'll incorporate it soon, but Big Red has waist swivel to do the function. It got a T-joint and a ball-hinged hips, upper thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, ball-hinged ankles with ankle rotations and ankle pivots.

This action figure stands at about 8 inches tall and I really wish they could have scaled him up a bit to literally define the "big" in Big Red, but I totally think this is a really good purchase the fact that it's one of a kind and that I'm a huge fan of the Predators.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Black Panther (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Black Panther
Some people might tell you that greatness and beauty depends on how complex the details are picked up by your own naked eyes. That's not always true. We are always amazed by the amounts of paint shading and sculpt on figures created by McFarlane and NECA, but the Marvel Legends Black Panther figure begs to differ. Like the real panther itself, the blackness made this Black Panther figure majestic despite the overall simplicity. Combined with some shades of blue, it's easy to appreciate the definition of his athletic body type. This figure may be an instant favourite to any collector.

Rebranded as the "Blue Panther" by some ML collectors, the amounts of blue shading on this figure would likely surprise you by the time you lay your eyes on it, but then you would realize that it's actually part of getting the Black Panther to stand out once he is on the shelf and to be comic book accurate at the same time.

The paint application is basically the blacks and blues blending in and fading out over each other. Strikingly, Panther's pair of gloves and boots are painted with a solid colour of blue while these evenly arranged dark lines are drawn through it that made this figure more bound from the comics. In addition, his eyes are painted with silver over his traditional mask.

Then again, the body mold is from the Marvel Legends Wave 2 Bucky Cap (which I haven't done a review on yet, surprisingly) like the one they also used on the Marvel Legends Modern Hawkeye. The only difference is, obviously, the head sculpt which is thought by others to be on a larger scale. But for me, I don't see anything wrong with it and he actually looks well proportioned. Also, Panther's hands are both in "claw attack" mode and so it's nice to see him having hands specifically designed for him.

If you've already read my review on the ML Modern Hawkeye, there is no need for you to read this part because the articulation is entirely the same. No added joints but I wished Hasbro could have added the shoulder blades articulation like those on the X-Force Wolverine just to give Panther a more pronounced claw attack. So the head turns up, down and sidewards and he got ball-hinged shoulder, bicep swivel, double-jointed elbows and hinged wrist that lets you aim his claw forward. He got waist swivel, ab crunch, T-jointed hips, upper thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, mid-calf swivel and the Hasbro ankle pivot.

Same with the Modern Hawkeye, he stands at an ideal height of about 6.2 inches tall. In my opinion, I think Black Panther is more rightful to be in this body mold than Bucky Cap or Archangel. With no accessories or other stuff glued unto it and with less paint app, it's easy to visualize what type of body mold we're talking about. So I better start calling it the Black Panther body mold! I highly recommend this figure and choose it over the Toy Biz version. It is in perfect scale with the rest of my 6-inch Avengers display... and he comes with the Rocket Racoon BAF part, which I am trying to complete.