Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Abomination (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Abomination
Halloween is the perfect time to think about some of the scariest and wackiest costumes that may get your friends flip out into amazement. And it's the perfect time for me, as a collector to show some ugly and those gruesome looking action figures that I currently have in my collection. Last year, I had Spawn and Pitt figure as my Pre-Halloween Monster Treat and this time I got none other than the most monstrous villain in Marvel's roster, the Abomination and it is from Toy Biz Marvel Legends. I personally call this dude "the merman on steroids" apparently because of his gills and oversized muscles but make no mistake, he is one of those baddies that could go toe to toe with the green Goliath. From that reason, he is a must-grab for me to face-off with my 8-inch scale Face-Off Hulk.

To be accurate, Abomination stands about 8.2 inches tall and he is like 2 millimeter taller than the Hulk. Notably, this guy has always been known to be a lot bigger than his archenemy, and so for a Marvel Legends figure at this height is perfect!

Compared to the Marvel Select Abomination, you can see that the paint application on this version is not that complex and highly detailed. Though you might see a bit of colour shading around his arms and other areas but the entire figure is dominantly painted with darkish green. The paint job on his face, however, is well done with those dirty-whitish teeth, glowing yellow eyes and dark pigmentations on top of his head making the face just look crazy.

Adding more monstrosity, you can see some bumps sculpted over his head and that signature fish-like fins around his ears... it's just an "abomination" when you have all these creepy looking parts around his face! Looking at his arms, legs and chest, you can see some skin warts randomly distributed around his scaly body, in which the scales are done by just having lines and ridges geometrically sculpted across his body- again, not as impressive as the Select Abomination. This guy is wearing a black speedo (very classic) and he got like these Ninja Turtle-like toes, however, he got an extra one sticking out at the back of his heel, which I honestly just realized when I got this figure.

Coming down now to articulation, I think it's not very "Toy Biz" of them for not incorporating some important joints that seem to be already a standard to this toyline. I still think it got some decent poseability though but this Abomination doesn't have wrist swivel, ab crunch, mid-calf or ankle rotation. The neck is on ball-joint that lets his head move side to side but hard to have him look up. He got ball-hinged shoulders, swivel to the biceps, single-jointed elbows, hinged wrists with hinged fingers! He got waist swivel, T-jointed and ball-hinged hips that lets his legs kick forward, back and to the sides. He got swivel to the upper-thighs that does the rotation of his legs. Single-jointed knees, ankle hinges and pivot are also incorporated.

The Marvel Legends Abomination is part of the Onslaught BAF Series, which comes with the arm; another reason why you need to grab this figure beside the fact that, like I just said, he is in perfect scale with any Legends Hulk you have in your collection. The poseability may not please you but this action figure is recommendable.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Andrea: The Walking Dead (McFarlane Toys)

The Walking Dead: Andrea
It is all dead and walking this October for me, and this time I'd like to talk about Andrea (action figure) from The Walking Dead. You know I used to like Andrea; her character is strong, smart, and rivetingly exciting until she slowly spiralled down just like a falling autumn leaf and into the lamest moment we've ever seen her in the show... and then she died! Her story might have touched the hearts of some viewers, but I just love the Andrea that i know from Season 1 & 2. And by the time I saw the first four episodes of Season 3, Andrea was dead on arrival to me. Thankfully, this action figure has a McFarlane style of paint job and sculpting, and doesn't look as dull as the character.

The cool thing about this action figure is that she has a coat that you can have her wear or remove it whenever you feel like. This is actually like Michonne's hood where the accessory is made of pliable plastic that bends and works its way around the contours. Other accessories include a handgun, a scoped sniper rifle with a wooden stock that looked like Rick's, and the ultimate zombie killer- the pitchfork!, which I think should be the weapon of choice if you're dealing with zombies.

Putting the coat on to Andrea can be a little tricky but I find it a lot easier if you pull her head out and put it back on once you put her leathery coat on nice and tight. The only problem you'll be dealing with this action figure is her hands. You'll never gonna have any luck getting her to hold the pitchfork nor the gun in a proper manner.

The paint detail, however, on this figure never fails to impress me. Even as simple as her white dress shirt already has tons of colour shading along with the wrinkles and creases that made it stand out. Her dark pants are also loaded with sculpting details such as fabric lines and dirt that matches her dark leather coat. Her face sculpt may not look exactly like Laurie Holden but just think of it like a teenage version of her. Also, she got a holster glued to her hips where you can keep her gun.

Moving now to articulation, I'd say her joints and movements are basically the same with that of Michonne's. She got a ball-jointed neck like every Walking Dead figures we had. Ball-jointed shoulders (and again no bicep swivel), single-jointed elbow that flex and rotates, and rotation at her hinged-wrists. No swivel at her waist. She has a Y-jointed hips that lets her legs move at a certain limit. She got upper-thigh swivel, single-jointed knees with rotation, and ball-hinged ankles that rotates and pivot a bit.

To complete your Walking Dead gang, you must have Andrea. Sadly, I wasn't pleased with her character in Season 3 but nevertheless, she still look hot! Andrea stand about 5 inches tall and can add yet another awesome look unto a display of Walking Dead collection.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Merle Dixon: The Walking Dead (McFarlane Toys)

The Walking Dead: Merle Dixon
Don't you just miss this guy's crap? I don't know why they even introduced such a B.A. of character and then killed him off after he did his first and final epic performance on that Season. I guess that's just the way it is, but I will sure miss this rugged built redneck with a tongue as sharp as his bayonet, and his irreversibly interesting personality that makes this entire show addicting and entertaining. But still addicting as it always has been, we still got Daryl, Michonne and a good direction from the crew of The Walking Dead. And every time someone dies, there is always some new and sometimes, much cooler characters that gets introduced.

But of course, nothing could ever take the place of Merle just as on Daryl's. He is part of the Dixon Brothers 2-Pack that I've showed in my Daryl Dixon review. Merle has a gun that goes apparently to his left trigger hand and has a holster at the waist made for it. The holster can also be used as a sheath for his knife but I wish he has a separate pocket for it,... nor these bunch of keys had anything it may cling on Merle. Another gripe I had with this figure is his trigger hand that couldn't hold probably his best accessory- the assault rifle. Both the rifle and the knife cannot be wielded properly and ends up around his shoulder and waist area.

But the sculpt on this one is absolutely gorgeous and every time I look at this figure, I can just see Michael Rooker in it- like some kind of a miniature version of him. It very much captured his head and face! You can also see some texturing over his tank top, and just wrinkles and folds every where around his clothing. Moreover, Merle got some accurate sculpting over his amputated arm with all these straps and braces all put together like an arm of a cyborg. I think this is the most well sculpted Walking Dead figure ever made by McFarlane.

I said it over and over again that the paint jobs on these figures are unbeatable. By perfectly blending all these colours and shades, all these sweat and dirt looks almost... real sweat and dirt! If you look at his shirt, Merle got this stain that could be some kind of zombie snot but more likely just dirt. Even as simple as a shoe has lots of colours to make it as real-looking as possible.

Good thing about this figure is that his eyes aren't looking at a certain angle like that of Daryl, which make it easy for me to pose his head in ways where he is properly looking at you. So the articulation on Merle is not that many. He got a ball-jointed neck, ball-hinged shoulder (without bicep swivel), single-jointed elbows, rotation at the elbows and wrists. He got a Y-joint with swivel to the upper thighs, single-jointed knees with rotation, ball-hinged ankles and a little bit of ankle pivot.

If you're following the TV show or maybe just collecting McFarlane figures, I would recommend getting Merle not only because he's one of the major TWD characters but also of the high amount of detail that you can add to your display. He stands about 5.1 inches tall; just a "millimeter" taller than Daryl and could be in perfect scale with the rest of the figures in this toyline.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Daryl Dixon: The Walking Dead (McFarlane Toys)

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
In just 4 days, Daryl, Michonne and Rick will take us once again to the land of the dead. That's right! The Walking Dead's big three will be bashing, stomping and blowing up some zombie brains on October 13, and when I say "big three" that means they're my top three tough characters of the show that made this all fun and exciting. You gotta agree with me on that. I know this may sound uncomfortable to all Walking Dead fans out there but if Daryl dies, then there will be nerd rage all over the place! He is like the Wolverine in the group. With his interesting personality, he will totally make your day once he let everyone talk to his crossbow.

This Daryl Dixon action figure comes with Merle in this 2-Pack Dixon Brothers special by McFarlane Toys. Taking a look at this 11x8-inch box, you can find an artwork inspired from that of Season 3 and a portrait of Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker respectively as Daryl and Merle. Moreover, Daryl is the exact duplicate of the Daryl we had in series one released awhile ago from this toyline.

Once again, I am blown away from the tremendous amount of details on this figure. The paint job nearly matches that of Daryl in the TV series with his dirt covered T-shirt and somewhat baggy pants. His beard and mustache are decently painted and designed but I wish McFarlane could have put a little bit of dirt over his face for an even more scruffier look. Same goes with his arms, it needs more colour shading than this. Like the action figure Rick Grimes, his eyes are looking at a certain direction.

As far as the sculpting goes, I'm satisfied with how the head and face sculpt is done. However by looking at the body mold, Daryl looked like he got fractured with one leg (right leg) misaligned; hoping that this is only a factory defect. Nevertheless, I like how the arms are curved and how it helped him hold his crossbow. Daryl also got a knife sheath and a squirrel fur attached around his waist.

He comes with three different accessories; all of which are weapons. Getting an axe and a gardening tool is a nice thing to have with this figure, but I still think that the crossbow alone would have been fine without the other ones. Daryl's Bowie knife adds some badassery in him, which can be held around his grip using tape!

You can't really do a lot of dynamic pose on this guy or any of The Walking Dead action figures. They are only intended strictly for show. The articulation is as follows- ball-jointed neck that lets his head rotate 360 and lean to any direction. Ball-hinged shoulders along with swivels at the mid-shoulder. Single-jointed elbow, hinged wrists and wrist rotation. He got a waist swivel but doesn't do its full potential and he got no ab crunch or diaphragm swivel. He got a T-joint that lets his legs move forward and back but doesn't allow it to move to the sides. He got single-jointed knees with rotation, and no ankle pivot.

Daryl stands at exactly 5 inches tall and he's perfectly well scaled when compared to Rick and Michonne. Even though I'm completely impressed with the detail of this figure, it just irks me to see that leg being deviated, but then it is what it is. Hopefully, other TWD figures won't have the same problem.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Rick Grimes: The Walking Dead (McFarlane Toys)

The Walking Dead: Rick Grimes
...Or should I say "the exclusive" Walking Dead Rick Grimes action figure from The Walking Dead TV series. This is the third Rick Grimes released by McFarlane; the first one was in Series 1 (Deputy Rick Grimes in his uniform), followed by the one in Series 2 and now this one which just came this week. I am sure there are still some Series 1 and 2 Rick Grimes out there sold at some local comic/toy stores but this is way better and I have to pick this one over the others. Although he looked considerably like a variant of Series 2, but with the added scruffiness over his face and minus the hat (apparently given to Carl), I think he is much cooler that way but that is just my opinion.

The packaging here is the same as with the Series 3 Michonne and her pet zombies. Inspired from the show's third season, an artwork of the prison can be seen throughout the package with, of course, a portrait of Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes

When it comes to paint job and sculpting, McFarlane Toys never fails to give you such a huge amount of it; making this figure very highly detailed. Rick's white T-shirt looked as though he's been collecting dirt, blood and sweat out from dealing with walkers. Likewise, his arms and face looks messed up and dirty. The paint shadings around his pants and boots made it look worn and "battle damaged". I like the paint apps and all... but the one minor complain I have with this figure is the eyes, which I think it would have been better if it is looking straight rather than having his eyeballs rolled towards the left.

The sculpting on this figure is absolutely phenomenal. The head and face sculpt may not had captured the looks of the actor but it is clean and well sculpted. All these wrinkles and folds around his pants and shirt looks very real.

Likewise, the accessories that he comes with are painted and sculpted beautifully. Rick's weapon of choice, the revolver is painted with metallic silver and got all the details you need to see, but the most amazing accessory he has with him is the scoped rifle that looks as though it's made out of wood with its long barrel and trigger that Rick can carry well with his "trigger hand". Other than his favourite guns, he also comes with this 5-inch long "catchpole" he used in one episode of the season that has two loops at each ends and can be held using a pair of extra hands, which are also nicely sculpted.

But the articulation on this figure is not as impressive as the details. If you look at all human action figures of The Walking Dead, you'll notice that they don't have something standard in terms of articulation. In Rick's case, he doesn't have any articulation at all around his knees; not like Michonne. His neck is on a ball-joint and so he can look up and down at a decent angle and turn his head 360. Rick got ball-hinged shoulders but no bicep swivel, single-jointed elbows with rotation and a ball-hinged wrists that lets his hands move up and down and twist to the sides. He got a waist swivel and doesn't have any articulation around the hips! However, he got these swivels at the upper thigh that cuts somewhere from the side of his hips down to his crotch forming like a "V". He got hinges to his ankles and ankle rotation. So this is what you need to expect from a McFarlane toy.

In comparison to The Walking Dead Michonne figure, Rick Grimes stands a little bit tall at about 5.2 inches. I say he is probably in perfect scale with his crew. As far as recommendation goes, if you're not an articulation junkie and if you're diehard fan of The Walking Dead, then this figure might be for you.