Thursday, 18 December 2014

Android No.18: Dragon Ball Z (S.H.Figuarts)

S.H.Figuarts Android 18
Dr. Gero is not only a scientist, he's also an artist who creates synthetically engineered half-bio half-mech people that are breathtakingly gorgeous. Although he made a lot of terrible things, almost destroying the entire planet as one of them. But if there is one good deed I'd like to shake the scientist's hand with, that would be giving a midget-sized "nose-less" guy a chance to date a fine blonde chick like Android 18. This ala-TX Terminator hottie is no ordinary chick- she's fast and got stinging kicks due to those lovely legs. No wonder why it's hard for our love-stuck Romeo to snap out of it and face the truth that... she... is a machine!

But can this S.H.Figuarts Android No.18 by Bandai lives to that level of expectation of the evil-genius, Dr. Gero? We'll definitely find out as I'm starting to feel like Krilyn must be pervert for hitting on a pre-teenage girl. From the looks of this figure, she's definitely not 18 (in both feature and age).

I hope it's obvious to everyone that 18's boobs are lacking in size. In fact, it's too shy that it feels not there at all! Based from what I've seen from the animated TV series, this chick has quite some shape on her chest but this figure is not accurate. You may or may not remove her "denim vest" but if you do, it will definitely shake your head in disbelief. Minus the vest, the entire torso just look unappealing and so it's advisable to keep it on. For the rest of the sculpt, I got no complain; they are done right and excellent.

The figure is mostly a beautiful and vibrant palette of colours. She's clean and straight without some paint issues. 18's orange boots have the reflective finish while the rest of the figures are matted but all painted consistently from part to part.

All these accessories she brings make it easy to recreate those moments from the show as well as some fun and random poses. Android 18 comes with 4 pairs of alternate hands and 4 alternate faces. In addition, she got 2 alternate hairs and hair bangs- each one has the windswept effect type and the drop dead straight type. Like his twin brother, she also comes with a crossed-arms as seen in my Android 17 review. She also got a few interesting accessories that are not for her to wear, but for the previously released Klilyn from the same toyline that's perfect for recreating the "The 18 kissed Krillin-Scene". We got Klilyn's head having that nervous look and Android 18 having her lips protruding, ...and it's all up to you put them together. You will also get an additional left hand designed to hold the Self-Destruct Switch for Klilyn which is also included in this package.

The articulation, for the most part, is the same with our S.H.Figuarts Android 17 but has the added swivel around the biceps. The only problem with her movement, as you might have already guessed, is on half of her legs. There is no way she can do the splits with that skirt, but what can you do. She gotta have that skirt! But the articulation is well-engineered which gives this figure that nice organic look.

Should I need to say more for recommendations? The S.H.Figuarts Android 18 definitely deserves a recommendation to any DBZ action figure collectors out there. Despite the flaw, you can never find a good-looking Android 18 with some great amount of articulation than this one from Bandai.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Android No.17: Dragon Ball Z (S.H.Figuarts)

S.H.Figuarts Android 17
A smug little prick that is, if I want to give him a name! Android 17 is one of those anime/cartoon characters that gets into your nerves and I love how DBZ made his personality the way it is. But taking that aside, it's interesting how Goku and his buddies never gave these androids actual names even after the Cell Saga and the following seasons. I would definitely feel awkward and funny if I still call my wife Android 18 and my brother-in-law, Android 17... or just "18", "17" for short. I guess we'll never know what's going on inside Klilyn's round-perfect head.

One thing I know for sure is that 17 is 18's twin brother and you can't just get an Android 18 action figure without getting Mr. Smug Little Prick here. For a character that played a slight big role in the animated show, this action figure is considered a must-have for collectors.

First,... the accessories. It's plenty but sadly and annoyingly some of them are not necessary! He got two interchangeable holsters- one has a gun in place and the other one has none. Why can't we just have one holster for one removable gun that holds and keeps it?- that way Bandai could make some room inside his box for accessories that might be important. Also, he got two interchangeable belts- one has the holster hanging while the other has none... again, this could have been better if it's removable. The only accessories that made sense to me are his two scarfs that you need to interchange for that crossed-arms you might want to attach on 17.

He got a total of 5 pairs of interchangeable hands plus one for holding his gun, but what truly impressed me are the interchangeable hairs, especially the one that is windswept and kinda like it's moving that has a nice sculpt. Along with it, comes 3 different faces of Android 17- normal, mad and angry.

Now for the sculpt. I hate to say that the sculpt of this figure is a bit ruined because of one single mistake Bandai did to his shoulders. They didn't do a good job of gluing 17's "shoulder pads" thus every time you raise his arms sideways, you see these pointy flaps hanging underneath his armpits. Also, he got these gapping crotchpits that are too obvious but not as angular as the ones from DCUC. The overall sculpt is not that perfect nor too horrid.

There is nothing much to say about the paint application except for those bright perky colours on his shoes and socks, and that a few colour shading over his scarf. The rest of the body parts are painted solidly and mostly with blacks and blues. Paint smudges and scuff marks?- none of that exist with S.H.Figuarts action figures like this one.

As usual for S.H.Figuarts figures, you got tons of poseability options. His head is on a ball-joint that allows him to move his head at any directions except for having him "look up" because of that long straight hair. The shoulders are on a double-ball peg, elbows are on double-joints and the wrists are on ball-hinges. He got a diaphragm swivel plus a waist swivel on his torso. 17's hips are on T-joints with double-ball pegs in it. He got rotation to the thighs, double-joints at the knees, ankle hinges and pivots, and toe joints.

If there are things I want to complain about S.H.Figuarts figures it would be its poor execution and the unnecessary accessories and this Android 17 is a perfect example of an action figure having those flaws. Nevertheless, this is probably the best Android 17 action figure out there (if there are any other) being well-rendered and very much articulated. Standing at 5.5 inches tall, he's in perfect scale with the rest of the DBZ figures. For the sake of completing a collection, I recommend this figure.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Klilyn: Dragon Ball Z (S.H.Figuarts)

S.H.Figuarts Klilyn
Klilyn or Krillin or however you say his name, we all know who we're talking here. He is that midget-sized baldie who's ever "nose-less" since he was born. To be in his shoes, it's probably like having an eternity of a bad cold but without the headache. You will notice that the guy sounds as if there's something stuffed in there every time he talks. This guy has been around fighting alongside with Son Gokou since the very first season of Dragon Ball; longer than any character who is part of the show! Being BFF's with the Saiyan guy, it's no surprise that his character remained essential... although not 'til DBZ GT where their enemies had gotten a lot more powerful. Sorry Klilyn, this is now a real Super Saiyan show!

When you buy him at probably between 50 to 60 dollars, you get this standard box that has been utilized in every S.H.Figuarts and S.H.MonsterArts action figures with the artwork as the only thing that is different. We got his name written on the side and a pixelated form of his face at the other. The back of the box shows what action poses you might want to try with this Klilyn figure, but I always like to pull something of my own.

Inside the box, Klilyn got a shitload of accessories- most of them are interchangeable parts. He got 7 pairs of hands in total and an extra hand (that pegs into his right wrist) for the infamous Destructo Disk- Klilyn's signature technique! In addition, he got three heads; each has different facial expressions. I know one of these heads can be used when he does the "Solar Flare" technique. The other ones are just his happy-smiley look (with the grin) and his angry look.

The Destructo Disk measures at nearly 4-inches in diameter and could cover almost his whole body since Klilyn stands at only 4.6 inches tall. It also comes with this clear plastic tube that joins this yellow disk together with his palm which imitates those moments when Klilyn was about to serve that oversized buzzsaw of death as it's being suspended, ...spinning and hovering above his fingers.

I came to an assumption that Klilyn and Son Gokou would bare the same colour scheme since that's what they appeared to look like in the animated TV series, but upon comparing the two figures, Klilyn's suit appeared to be brighter than Gokou's. Furthermore, he got the Master Roshi's kanji painted over his back and the left side of his chest. I am once again impressed with how clean and even the paints are applied on an S.H.Figuarts figure.

The body mold could easily be mistaken as Son Gohan's but Klilyn is unique. He kind of looked like a downsized Son Gokou with all the wrinkles around his suit looking all the same. The face sculpt and its rendition is accurate; holding a feature that only Klilyn has- the six little impression on his forehead. Overall, the sculpt is perfect.

The articulation, even with the downsizing, is the same as with our S.H.Figuarts Son Gokou. Same joints- same fun! Dismally, Klilyn's head can't move all the way up to make a good flying pose but he got a ball-peg at the top part of his neck plus another one at the other end between his clavicles. He got double-ball joints at the shoulders, double-jointed elbows and ball-pegs at the wrists. Waist rotation, double-ball jointed hips, double-jointed knees and ball-pegged ankles are incorporated.

If you've purchased any of the S.H.Figuarts Dragon Ball action figures, then this figure shouldn't be something you're not eager to get. The rendition and poseability is beyond my expectation, and he's probably one of the best Japanese import toys I had this year along with Son Gokou. Not getting him would be a crime especially if you're a DBZ action figure collector since he's one of the main characters in this universe.

Friday, 5 December 2014

White Ranger: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (S.H.Figuarts)

S.H.Figuarts White Ranger
Now here is the coolest and everyone's favourite Power Ranger of all time, the White Ranger! He got the most awesome Zord, has the most astonishing suit, and an epic sword that can talk. Besides to being bestowed with such great coolness, this newcomer has been granted a leadership role to lead his team of colour-coded fighters with the Red Ranger as his wingman to battle the forces of evil! If I was Jason, I'd be miffed! The Red Ranger has always been like the "Optimus Prime" in the group, not until this new lovely fella came along that made the more experienced Red Ranger second in command. It's just uninspiring, but that just my impression... this story in particular.

As far as my impression goes with the S.H.Figuarts White Ranger, also uninspiring! White Ranger has a decent range of movement (I'll give him that) but it has his fair share of issues mostly because of the poor amount of accessories.

The White Ranger only comes with two interchangeable hands... just TWO interchangeable hands and that's not even half the amount of what the S.H.Figuarts Red Ranger, the Green Ranger and all the other Power Rangers in this toyline have. He got a couple of fisted hands (left and right), a cleft hand on claw-attack mode, and a weapon-holding right hand. Speaking of weapon, his signature sword- the Saba has two interchangeable blades, one is short and the other one is long for which I don't know why Bandai made that. It is completely unimportant and undeserving of praise.

I can't complain with the paint application though. You see none of those sloppy gloppy paint jobs like with some of those Marvel Legends. This figure is clean, scuff-free and smudge-free! You can tell it by the way they painted his headgear. All throughout, the colours of white, black and gold have been consistent.

The sculpt captures all of the features the White Ranger has. The emblem over his chest and the design on that belt buckle is pinpoint accurate. The head/face sculpt is perfectly done without the strange feel that something is deformed. He also got the sheath plugged at the side his hips to keep his Saba, and it is also sculpted very well to house his weapon. I am very pleased with the sculpt and paint of this figure.

One of the many things S.H.Figuarts is good at is the incorporation of joints and hinges. Let's head down to the articulation! The neck is a double-ball pegged that allows the head to rotate and lean at almost every angle. He got armpit joints that allows his shoulders to move forward and rotate. He got double-jointed elbows and ball-hinged wrists. Surprisingly, there is no waist swivel (correct me if I'm wrong) but he got the diaphragm swivel as a replacement. His hips are on double-ball joints, so it allows his legs to extend and kick at any direction. The White Ranger got double-jointed knees, rotation at the ankles, ankle rockers and toe joints!

It's a shame that the playability of what's suppose to be a high-end Japanese import toy is limited because of accessories that are lacking. At a 60-dollar price point, paying that amount for an S.H.Figuarts White Ranger is not satisfying. It is not worth the money! You can however enjoy the pristine look of the character that is so much accurate to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Agent Venom (Marvel Legends)

Imagine walking into your local drugstore; looking for something for a headache and then suddenly "BAM!" ...a Marvel Legends figure sitting right next to a Tylenol! But imagine the intensity of the headache you get if the action figure is a frickin Walgreens Exclusive and you live in Canada! Not only that this is a poor marketing strategy but also a lack of empathy to those Legends fans who are outside of the States. However, this Marvel Legends Agent Venom figure looks so kick-ass and very tempting regardless of a scalper price marked on it. I think there shouldn't be any rush getting these type of figures. Just wait until you find a better deal.

Marvel Legends Agent Venom

Released two or three months after The Amazing Spider-Man Wave, ML Agent Venom was supposed to be part of that said Wave with the Ultimate Green Goblin Build-A-Figure but for some reason, he ended up being in a pharmacy as an Exclusive item. Although, the packaging looked very similar to the ones from the Wave in terms of artwork. He is like the prodigal son that was lost and had been returned to his folks! Kind of interesting to see figures popping up on store shelves like this.

What blew my mind is the amount of accessories this figure has. He got a semi-automatic rifle, a handgun with a laser sight and two regular handguns for a total of four guns that fit enough around his grasps. And that's not all you can do with his guns! Agent Venom got these tendrils that you can plug behind him and look almost like the ones on the ML Carnage but not as awesome as his, which work like extra hands. These tendrils can also hold his guns very well, and having all four of them in place make him super-cool!

Agent Venom's utility belt and chest armour are actually removable. They are all made of these soft rubbery plastic making it easy to dress him with these wearable accessories. His shoulder pads are also made of the same type, which allows his shoulders to move freely without being hindered. The only thing that worries me since there are no hinges incorporated unto his shoulder pads, is the fact that overtime the plastic gets damaged and torn as the result of bending. To avoid it, maybe bending it should be done less often.

Paint defects can be seen rarely from an all-black action figure. As you look closely, the spider-symbol may be painted a little sloppy but I think it just goes naturally with him having this "symbiote suit". There are some though that are just obvious like the paint rubs around Agent Venom's ball-hinged hips but it's not noticeable once you get him to wear his belt with all the stuff hanging and covering almost the whole hip.

With the entire figure almost covered in black and the addition of a chest armour, it's hard to tell that this is a Ultimate Captain America body mold! One clue for you to be able to realize is his black utility belt which is identical to that of Cap's. What's bothering me... again, is this gun (in a holster) being molded or glued together with his leg. It would have been much better if Hasbro made this an actual holster to store Agent Venom's weapons. The texturing on his body armour is wonderfully made; having that rough organic feel like a scorpion's body.

The articulation of this figure is entirely the same with our Ultimate Captain America. The ab crunch is the only joint that is compromised because of that chest piece he is wearing. His head is on a ball-peg. Shoulders and hips are on a ball-hinged. Double-joints to both elbows and knees. He got rotation at his mid-arms but no hinges at the wrist (that's no good). He got rotation at the thighs and ankles plus an ankle pivot.

As far as recommendations goes, I would totally recommend him to anyone especially to a Spidey-fan but I wouldn't recommend and ask you to buy it at double the price like some prices you see on eBay or even in comic book stores. Agent Venom stands at about 6.5 inches and is on perfect scale with the rest of your Legends figures.