Thursday, 28 November 2013

Emma Frost: Astonishing X-Men (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Emma Frost
Last and definitely not the least Legends figure from the Wolverine Legends Wave (a.k.a. Puck Build-A-Figure Wave) that I'd like to show is none other than this gorgeous mind-manipulating siren, Emma Frost! This is the 2nd Emma Frost or White Queen we had from Hasbro; the first one that was released 5 years ago is just hideous and I think it's about time they should create a new one, and I'm glad they did. While still sporting the Astonishing X-Men "uniform", you can see a much better improvement on this Emma from the old Emma. With her and Rogue (who will be coming out next year) branded as the "Manipulators of Memories", she will indeed manipulate and mesmerize you... if you don't stop staring at her!

Again, there is no "X" logo painted or embossed on this X-Men figure just like freelance Wolverine. I don't know what's the deal here with Hasbro but this time, I cannot complain with the paint job cause it doesn't look like she has some smudges like we had with Cyclops. Although I got nothing really much to tell you about the paint details, but I like the choice of flesh tone they used on this figure; it almost seemed skin-like for that matter. You may not actually see the colour shading on her "beach blonde" hair on these photos but there are some fine light gray highlights running through it. Silver lipstick!- I like that, but the eyes look like it need some alignment.

Hasbro apparently used the Jean Grey body mold for Emma. They used the same pair of hands but replaced her feet. She got her high heels, which make her a bit taller than Jean. I like the detail over her chest- talking specifically about the indention and the shape that made up her brassiere. Moreover, the curves and the contour that formed her mind-blowing body is phenomenal. This newer Emma Frost is undeniably more voluptuous than old Emma from the Annihulus BAF Series.

What's missing with this Emma Frost is her signature white cape. Looking almost half naked may still give her that appeal but to fully present an accurate rendition of Emma, it would have been nice if she had it. I have to steal old Emma's cape and try to snug it right in, and unfortunately it looked kinda odd seeing this floating above her shoulders.

Remember; same body mold equals the same amount of articulation. Identically, she got what Jean Grey got. Her head movement is hindered by her hair though you can ply it out of the way. She can ball-hinged shoulders with no bicep swivel, single-jointed with rotation at the elbows, hinges and rotation at the wrists. She got diaphragm swivel that cuts around the edge of her bra. Ball-hinged hips, which I don't like. Upper thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, hinges to the ankles with rotation and ankle pivot for the leg part.

With her heels, she stands about 6.3 inches tall; just about a tiny bit taller than Cyclops who's also part of this Wave. Nevertheless, I think she is a must-own figure for me to complete my Astonishing X-Men team. The only problem I might be having is I won't be able to put her on display without an action figure stand. Pointy heels are not designed to stand! Overall, I like this figure; yet another improvement done by Hasbro.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Cyclops: Astonishing X-Men (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Astonishing Cyclops
The Wolverine Marvel Legends Wave has its ups and downs. I know it's still early for me to say this since I still haven't covered Emma Frost and the Build-A-Figure Puck, but after taking them all out from their packages, Astonishing Cyclops appeared to be the best thing that happened in this Wave. While Wolverine doesn't have the "X" logo and Sabretooth looks too macho, this guy here is simply a mirror image from his comic book counterpart, which I think, should be if you want to make action figures based off from comic books.

Also known as the Puck Build-A-Figure Series, Cyclops carries with him Puck's arms in the package. Thankfully, he doesn't come with that infamous Hasbro action figure stand, which already has taken some space in my collection box. From what I heard, we won't be able to see the running change which is the Phoenix Five Cyclops sooner or later this year but hopefully we will see it as a ComicCon exclusive in the future.

The rendition is accurate and quite astonishing. One thing I'm not too impressed about is the way Cyclops' yellow arm bracers are painted. Looking at all these smudges and scuffs make me wonder if there's anyway these guys from the "paint department" can go back to art class. It's also the same issue I had with freelance Wolverine and some Hasbro Marvel Legends figures. Notice that his yellow shin guards is a lot yellower than his arm bracers if you take a closer look, but overall, the paint job is decent.

Cyclops, in the comics, pretty much has an average height with an average physique, and what's more fitting than to use the Black Panther body mold or the Bucky Cap body mold to a Cyclops action figure. Repeatedly being used, I got no problem with this body mold. In fact, it is the perfect body mold for an average-sized superhero. The only part that is different in this figure is the orientation of his hands and fingers. While the right hand is simply clenched, the other one is on an "optic blast" pose... or whatever perverted pose that is going through your head. Zooming in at the head sculpt, I must say he looks very akin to Scott Summers; the width of his jaw and the sculpt on his visor is perfectly shaped.

About his articulation, there are no changes or anything distinctive that could at least make Cyclops different from those figures which have this body mold. The neck is on a ball-joint, shoulders are in a ball-hinged and has swivel to the biceps. He got double-jointed elbows and hinges to the wrist that allows a full rotation and flexion; very useful when you get him into the optic blast power pose. Ab crunch, waist swivel, T-jointed hip with upper thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, swivel to the mid-calves, ankle hinges and pivot are basically just there, which you probably should have skipped reading if you already knew about this body mold.

He stands at 6.2 inches tall and he is very much in scale with the rest of my Marvel Legends. If you're looking for a Cyclops to be part your of 6-inch action figure collection, you may get the Cyclops that comes with the Brood Queen Build-A-Figure piece but I suggest this newer version simply because it is the best!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Sabretooth (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Sabretooth
Hasbro needs to be reminded that Sabretooth is not suppose to appear like a sexy body builder. It seems like on this one, they toned down his savagery. For all I know, he suppose to look like "the king of the jungle" or the Wolfman! This little grimmace over his face can no way scare a Jubilee in a dark alley. I don't know what Hasbro was thinking but apparently, they used the Luke Cage or the Hyperion body mold, which made this action figure incredibly macho and I still couldn't get my eyes to get used to it.

Sabretooth is part of the Wolverine Marvel Legends or Puck Build-A-Figure Series that comes with Puck's baby-sized head. He stands almost 7 inches tall and compared to the Marvel Select Sabretooth, right away you can tell that the Select is the better version between the two. I'm not saying that the sculpt on this figure is bad. I mean if you look at all the muscle folds, the bumps and the curves along with these creases around his costume, they are well proportioned and didn't come short on details.

However, this body mold is incompatible on Sabretooth. The body mold worked well with Luke Cage, but with Sabretooth? To me, he looked some kind of an exercise/fitness guru we see on TV. Both his hands are on a "claw-attack" mode, like that of Black Panther yet bigger... but don't have pointy claws, it's a shame! Moreover, he doesn't have that big white fur that goes at the back of the neck like the Select one, which could have added some good points to the sculpt. He has a decent head sculpt, though I think this modern look could get Wolverine more or less intimidated.

I like the lighter orange and brown colour scheme on this Marvel Legends Sabretooth, which for most part, reminds me of the original classic version. But like most Hasbro Marvel Legends, nothing on this paint would ever get you excited. The colours are flat with no paint variation or shading. The funny thing is Sabretooth has this weird brown nail polish, which could have been better with gloves and again, with the claws.

The amount of joints is equal to that of the Luke Cage Marvel Legends. The neck is ball-hinged that can let his head move at any direction. Ball-hinged shoulders that allows Sabretooth to raise his arms to the front, back and to the sides. He got swivel to the biceps, double-jointed elbows and ball-hinged wrists useful for his "claw-attack" pose. He got an ab crunch and waist swivel at the torso. Sabretooth got T-joints that allows him to kick. His legs have upper thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, calf swivel, hinged ankles and ankle pivot.

In the 6-inch category, I honestly recommend the Toy Biz Marvel Legends Sabretooth more likely than this Sabretooth, because this newer one doesn't really captured an accurate rendition of his features. The Marvel Legends Puck Series Sabretooth may be a good thing to have just for comparison or if you're a huge fan of this character, then I suggest this one should be part of your collection.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Wolverine (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Wolverine
If there's one guy in the Marvel universe who I think, doesn't have any allegiance to any team or any type of super-duper boy band that exists out there, it is the Wolverine! No X-Men logo means- I don't give a damn where we wanna put him. X-Men or Avengers... or Alpha Flight? Purposely or not, I'm just glad Hasbro didn't bother putting it. I should start calling him the "freelance Wolverine" if this is what this action figure is all about. He may look like a variant from Wave 3 X-Force Wolverine but he is actually part of the Puck Build-A-Figure Series or the Wolverine Legends Series, which is probably a tie-in to that Wolverine movie released this summer.

I gotta say that the colour scheme is "very Wolverine". We know him by his traditional yellow and blue uniform even on this one, who doesn't have the team's logo. But honestly, I prefer the brown version over this one; yellow just look cartoonish and doesn't fit well with his persona. I like how the paint is applied with no runs and bleeds. Mine has minor scratches but it's not a big deal. However, the big deal for me are the joints that connect his hips to his legs; appearing like a blue strip everytime you spread the legs out. Another complaint I have are the claws, which should have been painted with grayish silver like the ones on X-Force Wolverine.

Though I'm not entirely satisfied with the paint job, but the sculpt on this action figure is the best out of any Wolverine-sculpt I've seen. Using the same body mold as the X-Force Wolvie (which I am glad they did), freelance Wolverine's short and stocky built gives an accurate rendition of the superhero. The claws are straight and very stiff, bringing justice to those flimsy Wolverine-claws we had from the previous ones.

Articulation-wise, Hasbro has given this action figure a generous amount of articulation. He has a ball-jointed neck that lets his move in a variety of angles. With a pair of "shoulder blade joints" added to his ball-hinged shoulders, his arms can hyper-extend to the front and back to give you a more dynamic "pouncing pose". He got double joints to the elbows, wrists are hinged and it rotates, the torso has swivel to the diaphragm and waist, and got a Y-jointed hip that has a weird diagonal movement when you raise the legs upward but can be remedied through those thigh cuts. He got double-jointed knees, mid-calf swivel, and hinged ankles with pivots.

Overall, he is a very poseable figure! In addition, the claws are removable and gives you dozens of option on how to display this rage-fuelled mutant. Freelance Wolverine comes with this infamous Hasbro action figure stand like the one with "high def" Doctor Doom that has pegs to help him stand on top of it.

Adding this Marvel Legends Wolverine to my collection helps me in my mission to complete the essential members of the X-Men team as well as with the Avengers. I could have purchased any 6-inch scale Toy Biz Wolverines that are still out there and would still look good once displayed, but this new Wolverine looks way better compared to his predecessors.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Frost Giant (Marvel Universe)

Marvel Universe Frost Giant
The first ever Marvel Universe figure has finally arrived in this blog! Say hello to this big blue meanie... or we call him the Savage Frost Giant in the Thor lore. For someone who collects 6-inch Marvel Legends figures, this action figure won't disappoint because the scale is perfect. Now from what I heard, the body mold on this figure is from the Icons Series Thor by Hasbro, and it is hard to tell when you got a torso all covered with body armour with all these amazing details. Frost Giant is a two-pack special edition that comes with a 3.75-inch Loki as shown on these pictures. This character showed up in the first Thor movie appearing as a movie-version of himself and not entirely looking as a comic-version like this figure here.

The paint work on this figure is almost comparable to McFarlane's style. The first thing that sticks to your eyes is Frost Giant's chest plate and his furry shoulder covers and loin cloth that is filled with a lot of colour shading. War and winter is bestowed upon him; his chest plate looks worn and battle torn while the covers over his shoulder is painted with bits of silver dry brushing looking like he has been out from a snowstorm. Despite the decent amount of paint work on his arms and legs, the detail on the torsal area is overwhelming.

Overall, the sculpt on this figure is crafted very nice and smooth. He got that "elven ears" and nose ring sculpted over his head, which gives him the feature. Again with the chest plate and fur, the amount of sculpt on this area is... rich! Scratch marks and dents, and that fur-like appearance all worked well with this figure also with the straps around his legs.

Frost Giant comes with two different accessories. He got his battle helm made of a soft rubbery plastic that is painted and sculpted beautifully; almost looking like it's carved from a bone. You can also see it got a hole bored at the top of this skull-turned-helm which looked pretty badass. While the detail over his helm may get you amazed, the battle axe is a bit of a bummer. I must say though that is very well sculpted, but paint? The colours are just solid and flat.

The articulation on this figure adopted most of the articulation that the Icons Series Thor has. He got ball-jointed neck that lets his head move up and down, and turn 360. Ball-hinged shoulders that can move all the way up but hindered by his shoulder covers. He got single-jointed elbows, rotation at the wrist and has fingers that articulated individually at one hand where I usually place the axe because the fingers at his right hand is just hard and stiff to snug the handle in. Frost Giant got a ratchety ab crunch and swivel to the waist at the torso. His legs can move forward and back but is being limited by his loin cloth. He got double-jointed knees, hinged ankles but no rotation and pivot.

This Marvel Universe action figure stands at 12.5 inches tall and maybe about an inch shorter than our Marvel Legends Giant Man, which I must say an ideal height that could mix well especially to your average 6-inch scale Marvel Legends. In conclusion, I think this figure is truly awesome and you may include him into your collection if you're planning to get all of Thor's enemies.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Thor (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Thor
Here's an action figure that I should have reviewed a long time ago- better late than never I guess, but behold Hasbro's Marvel Legends Modern Thor! Released during the first Return of Marvel Legends Wave (or the Terrax Build-A-Figure Wave), this action figure was seen at the San Diego Comic Con 2011 as an exclusive then appeared on retail the following year. Gradually, I became to like this Thor because of how decent the paint job and sculpting, which is actually better than the ones from Toy Biz. With Thor: The Dark World coming this Friday, this review may considerably be in perfect timing.

I would like to start with the sculpt of this figure. His chain mail and cape is impressive. Though not as detailed as the Marvel Select Thor, the chain mail is indented to look more like "scales of metal" placed on top of each other. The cape is textured with a very nice wave effect that kind of flowing towards the side. Thor got this wide jaw and has this Nordic facial feature, which captured the exact same look from his latest version in the comics.

Paint-wise, some areas are painted with flat solid colours and areas with good paint shadings. I like how this gray and bluish glossy paint on his headgear and chain mail (respectively) is done; making it looked worn as well as these discs around each corner of his torso and at the ankles. The feathers at the side of his head needs a bit more shading but what I'm bummed about is this strap that sort of hanging around his waist that should have had some shading on it matching his belt. He got these gray circles painted over his loin cloth that are, for everyone's info, looking like the ones in those comics.

Thor comes with none other than his hammer... or Mjolnir. Also, there is a part of this piece that needs shading and that is the handle. Here you can see that it is just painted with solid brown but the head is painted generously with silver dry brushing with the added cracks sculpted around the sides. Like I said, he got a strap at his right hip where you can basically slip the handle into it something like a holster.

The articulation may not impress someone who is very particular with poseability. Although roughly, this Thor three or four more joints than Select version of Thor but still you can't seem to get him to pose far beyond that. Hindered by his stiff shoulder-level hair and his long cape, his head cannot aim up nor the torso to do a flying Thor pose. He got ball-hinged shoulders, bicep swivel, single-jointed elbows that bends and rotates and ball-hinged wrists that bends and rotates. To his torso, he got diaphragm swivel but no waist swivel! His hips is on a T-joint that lets the legs move forward and back but very limited because of his loin cloth. Thor got upper thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, and hinged-ankles that bends and rotates and no ankle pivot, which could have been a savior.

Compared to your average Marvel Legends figure, this he is at the larger end of the scale; standing almost as tall as the Build-A-Figure that comes with this Wave, but with the right camera angle you can get a decent photo for your Legends Avengers team using this Thor. Still, Hasbro should have down scaled him a little bit. I think this Thor looks a lot cooler and if you're a 6-inch scale collector like me, I'd recommend getting this one.