Friday, 31 October 2014

Zombie Magneto (Marvel Select)

Marvel Select Zombie Magneto
Witness Magneto in his finest role in comic book history. A role that took him guts! -a zombie! Well... swallowing a pumpkin bomb and blowing it up inside his own gut may also look like one gutsy move but nothing like being a flesh-eating zombie could have prepared Magneto and his beloved fans from this. An alternate universe that got comic book readers shocked, the Marvel Zombies series is a story about all our favourite superheroes turning into undead locos. Being in a world filled with super-powered zombies is one scary shit, and being human-kabobed with a steel pipe by this "monster of magnetism" is a lot scarier.

And our poor Green Goblin gets a taste of what it's like to be chewed like a candy on Halloween. He seemed to be hanging onto his toy for that one last bite but our ghoulish friend here learned that spicy pumpkin bomb- no good for stomach. Zombie Magneto comes with this base stand strewn with a lot of dark paint shading and wash that looked so much like downtown on a rainy day. Unlike most Marvel Select base stands, this one doesn't have pegs to support with "standing", but I guess it's alright as long as his feet are steady. What's interesting though is that his soles got peg holes and it's useless when you got no pegs to attach it to.

Upon removing his infamous helmet, Zombie Magneto's face/head strongly reminds me of Evil Ash at the final fight scene (where his face turned into a complete skeleton). There is not a speck of feature that would tell you that it's him... or a reminiscent of him! Only by putting that helmet on would you be able to get a positive ID.

But Diamond Select did a great job with his head sculpt; with the one eyeball missing and the jaw hanging. And like that decomposed face of his, there's also a complete absence of skin and muscles found to his left knee. I like how the joint on that knee blended and become part of the bone. And everything just looked bad and beat up; being ugly never looked this good! The way those wounds, bite marks, and that blown up belly and torn cape are sculpted made him remarkably badass!

The choice of colours are perfect. The application of dirty white mixing with brown shading to his skull and knee... and those vertebrae inside his gut mimics the true feature of a bone. As far as those wounds and skin tears goes, it looked as if they are the same colour as his suit but they are actually a more darker type of red with an added shading to it. And of course, we have the classic red and purple colour scheme of the great Magneto.

The articulation on this figure is as zombified as the way he looked. There is no rotation at the waist nor at biceps nor at the thighs! This may disappoint people who are particular with articulation and poseability, but, I mean, what kind of dynamic pose would you want from a zombie? ...the splits? Surprisingly, we got ankle rockers from Zombie Magneto that we normally don't get from Select figures. The head can only rotate and lean forward and to the sides. He got ball-hinged shoulders, single-joints at the elbows and rotation at the wrists. He got a Y-jointed hip, double-jointed knees, and ankles that can move up and down.

The Marvel Select Zombie Magneto is typically your "staction figure" (statue+action figure) that prides itself on details with less articulation. It is an action figure that could satisfy the eyes of both fans of superheroes and zombies, and especially those who have read and loved the Marvel Zombies books. For collectors, this is an awesome figure that is highly recommended.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Blastaar (Marvel Legends: SDCC Exclusive)

Marvel Legends Blastaar (SDCC Exclusive)
If you're not yet familiar with the Thanos Imperative Series boxset, the Marvel Legends Blastaar might get you to believe he's a Build-A-Figure. The reason why I said that it's because he's big and stands at about 8.5 inches tall, and possesses the body mold of the Ultimate Green Goblin BAF, but no! This action figure came as it is like what you're looking at right now. Moreover, he is the main attraction and the only supervillain in this boxset; hidden inside the mouth of the Galactus Engine in which you can view Blastaar by sliding it up and open. It's a pretty fancy packaging that deserves a place at SDCC but the action figure... umm, may not be the kind you expect from such a huge event.

Honestly, my impression of this figure is a bit of a mixed bag; leaning more towards the negative. I see no issue with Hasbro reusing the Ultimate Green Goblin or the Avengers Movie Hulk body mold, I mean... it still applies to Blastaar without making him look odd. My concern is that they could have at least tweaked his pants to make it look more like a "space suit-pants" than a pair of jeans. What's funny though not obvious, is that you can still see the back pockets... with the needle works! Looks like this alien race finally got a hold of our precious Levi's!

This SDCC Exclusive does not come with any accessories but towers over the rest of the figures that comes in this boxset. Now if I have to rate and rank all five of these figures, Gladiator takes the top spot then Star-Lord at 2nd place. Medusa sits at 3rd followed by Blastaar and last and my least favourite, Black Bolt. I just feel like there has to be something more they could do on the Marvel Legends Blastaar to make him look more impressive.

If we look at the overall paint job, there are a few areas that needed to be fixed. I like how Blastaar's bracers, belt, kneepads and shoes appeared to be worn out, and I like how they applied a generous amount of black wash over that furry-looking hair. However, there are no shading or any paint variation in any other parts. Blastaar doesn't seem to have fingernails! And I believe that those hair-like features over his chest would also look nice around his back- he needs to look like a man-beast or a big alien ape-dude, you know!

Speaking of which, the head and face sculpt is spot on! Blastaar has this beautiful angry look over his face and his hair is nicely and realistically combed- this is probably the selling point for this figure! The definition of his muscles is outstanding and if you like the sculpting on the Avengers Movie Hulk then you'll definitely like this one. The sculpt on this figure is not bad at all, even the look on his bracers, belt, kneepads and shoes don't seem ugly. One thing I don't like is his hollow feet and I don't understand why Hasbro can't just give him some nice looking treads at the sole of his feet!

The articulation on this figure looked a lot the same with our Ultimate Green Goblin. There's no rotation at the waistline; just the diaphragm swivel making up for it. With his thick furry-looking hair, it doesn't take a genius to figure out if that head is poseable. Blastaar's arms got hinged shoulders, bicep swivels, double-jointed elbows that bends at a certain limit because of those bracers, and hinged wrists that can rotate. He got ball-hinged hips, rotation at the upper thighs and double-jointed knees. The ankles can bend forward and back plus pivot towards the sides.

With some good features and some bad one, I guess the main reason why you should get the Marvel Legends Blastaar is his size and well-rendered facial features. He doesn't look bad once he's on a display platform while you're just looking at him from a meter far. But if you're into figures with nice paint work and sculpt, then you're looking at the wrong figure and, in general, the wrong toyline. Hasbro Marvel Legends doesn't really excel in that department. In conclusion, I think this Blastaar figure is the best Blastaar figure out there for now.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Gladiator (Marvel Legends: SDCC Exclusive)

Finally, a superhero made for this body mold! After months of contemplating about this latest male sculpt and design for Marvel Legends figures, I finally get to appreciate it through the SDCC Exclusive Gladiator. Knowing Gladiator's physique, the definition and mass of its muscles are just right for this warrior from space. He is part of the Thanos Imperative boxset along with Star-Lord, Black Bolt, Medusa and Blastaar (which I'm going to review next), and out of these five figures, Gladiator is my most favourite and that's definitely something to do with the way he is rendered.

Marvel Legends Gladiator (SDCC Exclusive)

His one and only accessory is his removable cape which is made with this soft plastic material. I absolutely liked how it is sculpted; it has these folds going from top to bottom looking more realistic as it rests secure on his shoulders... thanks to that peg underneath his cape which plugs right unto Gladiator's back. Moreover, the cape doesn't impede with any movement on the neck or the shoulders- so a round of applause for that well executed design!

Clearly, you'd notice that this is the ML Luke Cage body mold (another SDCC Exclusive) or some call it the Hyperion body mold that Hasbro is using. This is the type of body mold where medium built yet muscle-bound characters are meant for. It got upsized pecs and thigh muscles but not rivalling that of Hulk's. Gladiator has a perfectly well-done head sculpt; it's the exact face you'd see in the comics with his signature mohawk hairstyle and his pointy elf-like ears!

The paint application is pretty decent. Some have complained about how the colour shadings are sloppily done, but it is not that noticeable. Again accurately basing it from the comics, he got that red, blue and bronze-like colour scheme, and an emblem that is perfectly marked and positioned despite all that rippling on his chest. I also noticed that the blue colours are smooth and glossy unlike the rest which are just matte-finished. They did a good job of adding some blue/purple shading at the top of his mohawk to prevent it from looking like a solid slab glued on his head.

With that broad chest, Hasbro could have added an armpit/shoulder blade joint but hopefully we'll see that in the future. Basically, it's the same type and amount of joints we've seen from Cage. Gladiator's head is on a ball-peg that allows it to aim at almost any angle. He has hinged-shoulders, rotation at the biceps, double-jointed elbows, and the wrists have hinges as well as they rotate. He has an ab crunch useful for that "flying pose" and waist swivel. He has T-jointed that allows him to kick and do the splits. His legs has rotation at the upper thighs and ankles, double-joints at the knees and ankle rockers for that awesome superheroic pose!

Adding up that hair, Gladiator stands at about 7.3 inches tall- definitely a much taller figure compared to Luke Cage or any of the Legends figures with this type of body mold. Every time I see this body mold, it just make wish Hasbro could remake Drax the Destroyer by using it but that's just a suggestion I would like to see happen. This SDCC Exclusive action figure deserves recommendations not only because of the amount of articulation he has but also his overall feature. This is one of the "feel-so-right" figures in my collection.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Medusa (Marvel Legends: SDCC Exclusive)

Marvel Legends Medusa (SDCC Exclusive)
The SDCC Exclusive Medusa action figure may literally bring a bad hair day to any Marvel Legends collector who dare to tangle with her. With hair weighing almost equal to her body, Medusa is tough to pose and hard to get her to stand on both feet, let alone those high heels that she is on. Having said that, doesn't mean that this is a bad action figure. She's a lot better than the Black Bolt figure and the rendition is accurate! I mean, what can we make of a Medusa action figure without her long and thick hair? It's a signature feature you can't avoid of not having.

The only real issue I noticed is her height! Standing next to Black Bolt, Medusa is 3 or 4 mm taller to her husband (or boyfriend) but this is not the first time we've seen such issue with Marvel Legends figures. ML Emma Frost stands also taller than Cyclops! I mean... really! What's up with these tall girlfriends Hasbro?

But I think it's a lot to do with her heels that gave her the odd scale. Another thing I've also noticed is that her body is sort of a "mixture" of the different Marvel Legends female body mold we've seen in the past. To be more specific, Medusa has Black Cat's wide hips, Jean Grey's chest and Emma's feet combined into this one single body which is mixing quite perfectly well. However, it's the sculpt on Medusa's long elegant-looking hair that makes her fabulously appealing.

Even though I am not quite familiar with all Inhuman characters, I believe (strongly) that the colour scheme on Medusa's suit is accurately rendered. The burgundy painted over her hair is pretty eye-catching; following how her hair looked in the comics, and I just wanna mention how her face looked stunningly attractive- that is how you create a beautiful head/face sculpt!

The poseability is entirely the same as with some of more recent and more improved female body molds we've seen. Yet despite that decent amount of articulation she got, it is deemed useless for she is a pain to pose. Her hair is limiting her head movements as well as her torso. There are no rotations at the biceps but rather has elbow rotation. Her wrists are hinged plus it rotates. Medusa got rotation at the upper thighs, double-jointed knees, hinged ankles with ankle rockers.

Regardless of her poseability issue, the SDCC Exclusive Medusa is the only Marvel Legends figure where I can give some special considerations. It is rendition over articulation- it is what it is and how it should be. With Hasbro already starting to introduce Marvel's Inhumans members, an essential character like Medusa is a must-get to assemble the team in the future. Quite sadly, you can't find her on any retailers and this what makes collecting much of a challenge.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Black Bolt (Marvel Legends: SDCC Exclusive)

Marvel Legends Black Bolt (SDCC Exclusive)
Of all the action figures that came inside this Thanos Imperative boxset, Black Bolt is the only figure that rendered me speechless- literally gave me the idea of what it feels like not to speak or even clear my throat... like Black Bolt! This is the guy who has the power of destroying your house with just a single whisper. A loud scream can destroy the entire moon (they say), thus this silent type of guy that he is. To compare this SDCC Exclusive Black Bolt with the first Marvel Legends Black Bolt figure we had from the Nemesis Build-A-Figure Wave, this one here looked a lot better but still hasn't fixed that one major issue- his wings!

This time, Hasbro went with these sturdy plastic for Black Bolt's folding fan-like wings which is actually a good decision. However, these non-retractable and/or non-removable wings doesn't give you many good-looking poses. It seems like the only way to make a striking "Black Bolt pose" is to get his arms raised sidewards. But by having him stand upright and straight just makes my eyes sore. With these plastic wings sticking out at the back of his arms, it is as ugly as those silky cloth wings of the old Black Bolt. Hasbro could have thought of a better idea than this one.

Just right before you take him out of the package, you'll know that this is yet another Marvel Legends Bucky Cap or Black Panther being utilized again! I'm starting to think this is the go-to body mold for laziness and a situation where they run out of ideas. And since this is a Comic Con Exclusive, I believe it would have been great if Hasbro introduced a newer body type but instead we got this one, which is being reused, remodelled and recycled for years. The only features they added are the wings at his armpits and that tuning fork sticking up on his forehead. Otherwise, nothing changed- it's all Bucky Cap's.

There is nothing really much to say about the application of paint on this figure. As simple as the way his suit looks in the comics, 85% of this figure is covered in black. Running along his shoulders and torso, and across his waist is this metallic silver paint zigzagged in an orderly symmetric fashion. His wings and that tuning fork are silver painted as well, while the exposed skin on his face is painted flesh. There are no paint wash, colour shadings or whatsoever- it's probably a little tricky when you have a character all dressed in black to be translated into a 6-inch action figure, and so I got no problem with it's simplicity.

If you aren't tired reading yet another same old information about it's articulation, then there is no reason for you to skip this part. If the body mold being used is the same, so as the joints and the hinges. It's entirely the same as with our ML Black Panther and ML Hawkeye. What I really hoped for are articulated collapsable wings that the ML Archangel have for Black Bolt. That would have been mind blowing especially for this SDCC Exclusive action figure!

If I have to choose between the one from Nemesis Wave and this Thanos Imperative Set Black Bolt, there would be no second thoughts that I'm going for this one! Even with the hopes of giving it a newer body mold, I think the Black Panther mold works for him. I got no gripes with the paint job. The only thing that irritates me are these wings. Overall, it is a decent figure but not the best. "3 Stars" if I want to give it a rating.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Star-Lord (Marvel Legends: SDCC Exclusive)

Marvel Legends Star-Lord (SDCC Exclusive)
Wanna know what I think about this guy? Star-Lord is this year's most awesome superhero thanks to the talent brought to us by Chris Pratt. I was never really a fan of this Marvel character and his bunch (to be quite honest) not 'til I saw the movie which got me digging through the comics and started learning about their story. Yet despite Pratt's outstanding acting performance on the character, I still prefer the comic book version of Star-Lord in a 6-inch Marvel Legends action figure over his movie counterpart, which happened to have been released following this one last July.

Unlike the movie version, this figure is pretty hard to get! If you haven't gone to SDCC (2014) then your best option is on eBay, which are sold at prices that might take you aback! He comes in this pretty unique boxset with a Galactus Engine artwork and design (which I showed couple of months ago) along with other characters that seemed to be involve in the Thanos Imperative storyline. So if you haven't read that story yet, check it now but in the meantime let's get into this figure.

Noticeably, you can see that this figure used the AIM Soldier body mold, which looked kind of a uniform by the French Foreign Legion in World War 1. The only differences they have are the head sculpts and the belts. Everything is just repainted but still it worked perfectly on Star-Lord! The way the head is sculpted is accurate to the comics. His hands are on a trigger finger-pose to hold his guns properly. Probably one minor issue this figure has is that he does not have holsters to store his weapons, but otherwise, the use of the body mold and the overall sculpt is perfect.

I also got no complain with the paint application. These dark hues of blue that goes from his neck and down to the boot cuts are painted evenly. As well as the red lines that are running along and across his shoulders and torso showed little scuff marks or wears. The added emblems painted over his chest and forehead made this Star-Lord figure looks just right.

The Marvel Legends Star-Lord has a pair of two identical handguns- the "element guns", which look like not the version from the movie but from what we've seen in the comics. It just look like your standard handgun- nothing extraordinary and not something that came from outer space. My only complain about it is that it doesn't even have any paint detail. It's just this one piece gray plastic that I wish Hasbro might wanna consider doing some improvement in the future.

Having the AIM Soldier body mold, Star-Lord can still execute some decent poses like many Marvel Legends figures. His head is on a ball-neck that allows for rotation and leaning towards the sides. He's got ball-hinged shoulders, double-jointed elbows and hinged wrists at the arms. At the torso, he got an abdominal crunch, waist swivel and T-jointed hips. His knees are double-jointed and his ankles are hinged and got the rockers.

The SDCC Exclusive Star-Lord action figure stands about 6.4 inches tall- exactly the same height with our Marvel Legends AIM Soldier. If you're building your team of Guardians of the Galaxy then this action figure is a must-have, let alone being the leader of the team. The overall rendition to his comic book look is being greatly respected with this action figure. I totally recommend this figure but I wouldn't recommend you to pay "scalper price" just to have him.