Saturday, June 19, 2021

Action Figure Review: Bo-Katan Kryze from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

   It's been kind of tough to find new Star Wars: The Black Series figures recently so I was thrilled to find a Bo-Katan Kryze from season 2 of The Mandalorian, one of the newest Star Wars figures around! Bo-Katan first appeared in season 4 of The Clone Wars and quickly became a fan favorite. She was voiced by Katee Sackhoff in the animated show and it was pretty incredible that Katee Sackhoff returned to portray her in live action for The Mandalorian. She became a major player and with how season 2 left things I'm expecting her to return for season 3. While it's still quite silly that Hasbro and Disney cannot get on the same page so that most figures are ready for store shelves when the show is actually airing it is nice that they managed to have Bo-Katan out relatively soon (remember how it took Hasbro almost two flipping years to have a figure of Luke Skywalker on shelves after his appearance in The Force Awakens) and she's extremely show accurate. Let's check her out after the break...

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Action Figure Review: Jaxxon from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

     2021 is the 50th Anniversary of Lucasfilm Ltd. and Hasbro has been releasing quite a few Star Wars figures in conjunction with the milestone. Well, perhaps I should say re-releasing as most of the figures so far have been re-releases in new packaging. There's new stuff coming out, though, like the hard (impossible?) to find Target exclusive Clone Wars figures and the Fan Channel exclusives based on the Star Wars Legends books. Previously known as the Expanded Universe, the Legends stuff is composed of pretty much all of the Star Wars comics, novels, and video games released before April 25th, 2014. Disney has borrowed many characters, ideas, and concepts from the EU/ Legends material and Hasbro seems to enjoy mining it, too. Announcing Jaxxon T. Tumperakki in the Black Series was a pretty bold move. Firstly, this guy has long been one of the strangest Star Wars characters of them all and sort of a punchline of a character. Secondly, it's pretty crazy that this guy appeared in the Black Series before appearing in the 1/18th scaled Vintage Collection. The 6 inch Black Series is clearly Hasbro's favored scale now (it's mine, too) but it definitely seems kind of wrong to deny the 3 3/4th inch lifers a figure who has been around and who has been requested in toy form by fans since 1977 (he first appeared in issue #8 of the Marvel Star Wars series). He's here, though, and I'm pretty thrilled. I figured we'd never get him! Let's hop to it and check out Jaxxon after the break...

Monday, June 14, 2021

Vehicle Review: Battle Ram from Hot Wheels Premium: Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 

   Mattel has released two extremely well done Masters of the Universe vehicles in the Hot Wheels Premium so far and I'll go ahead and say that the third release is also spectacular: The Battle Ram! The Battle Ram is a pretty iconic vehicle for MOTU and Mattel's miniature, diecast metal version of this Eternian siege weapon is a fitting tribute. Let's take a look at the Battle Ram after the break...

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Action Figure Review: Omega Sentinel from Marvel Legends Series: X-Men by Hasbro

 
   While I'm very familiar with Marvel Girl/ Jean Grey I can't say the same about her series mate, Omega Sentinel, who I'm reviewing today. She's part of the recent House of X/ Tri-Sentinel series of Marvel Legends figures although from what I have gleaned she's actually from the Powers of X comic series. Weird, huh? I purchased this figure just because she was incredibly cool looking so I had to do a bit of research. Omega Sentinel is actually Karima Shapandar, a former Indian police officer who was turned into some sort of Sentinel through nanotechnology and who has been part of the X-Men at times. I'm definitely more focusing on comics from the late 60s- through the early 90s in my current reading but I very well may get around to some of the series she shows up in in the future. For now, though, I'm just enjoying a cool figure. Let's take a look at her after the break...

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Action Figure Review: Lady Jaye from G.I. Joe: Clasified Series by Hasbro

 
   I actually found Lady Jaye back in May (the same time as I found Flint) and I've since seen her in stores 2 or 3 times, meaning Hasbro actually seems to be doing a decent job of getting this series of figures in stores. For some reason they're doing really small series with the G.I. Joe: Classified Series as the most recent case pack is only made of three different figures: Flint, Lady Jaye, and a repacked Cobra Commander. Lady Jaye is another A- /B+ lister and a welcome addition to the theme. Like most of the Classified Series she really feels like a true update of her vintage design with some more modern elements. Of course, she does have some of the elements of her vintage figure that make her feel outdated, too, namely a larger camera and a javelin launcher. I wish she had a more useful primary weapon, leaving the javelin launcher as a secondary weapon, but that's not the route Hasbro went with her. She's quite cool, though, and does have the swappable hair feature that I first remember from the Dungeons & Dragons Drizzt figure from earlier this year though I'm sure some import figures have used the feature previously. Let's take a look at Lady Jaye, the G.I. Joe team's covert operations specialist, after the break...

Friday, June 11, 2021

Jeopardizing June: Hordak Mini Bust from Masters of the Universe by NECA

 
For June 2021's themed Masters of the Universe series of reviews I'm trying something a bit different: The theme is a mystery and you have to guess what the subjects of the reviews have in common! Check out all the details and how to enter the contest for a prize package here.
 
   Last month's Malevolent May was a month long tribute to Hordak but, lo and behold, the ruthless leader of the Evil Horde has made himself known again for Jeopardizing June! This time I'm checking out the Hordak mini bust that was released by NECA in 2005 during the time when the Four Horsemen were really getting the chance to go wild and release lots of stuff they didn't get a chance to work on in Mattel's main 200x line. NECA's releases were for display rather than play but they really showed off the great redesigns of the 200x era, especially the mini busts. NECA called these mini busts (as opposed to their micro busts, which were tiny), but they really seem to be about 1:4 scale. I picked up this Hordak statue from a comic shop probably around 2010 to use with my Masters of the Universe Classics to use as some sort of giant Hordak projection (like the Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back). It's a great bust and is the standard edition which had a run of 1,500 (there was also a Convention Exclusive sold at SDCC  2004 and Wizard World Chicago 2004 which has a run of 750 and an Artist Proof with a run of 150. According to this 2004 press release from Raving Toy Maniac the Convention Exclusive was supposed to have a metallic red base while the later standard run would have a black base but mine has the larger run number (1,500) with a metallic red base. I actually haven't seen any pictures of a black based Hordak so maybe NECA ended up not changing it? The mysteries! Let's take a look at another excellent Hordak product after the break...

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Action Figure Review: Marvel Girl from Marvel Legends Series: X-Men by Hasbro

 

   Like I said in yesterday's review of the Tony Stark (A.I.) figure from the Shang Chi/ Mr. Hyde series, I'm much more familiar with older Marvel comics stuff than I am anything newer. I have no idea what House of X is about but I do plan to read it now that I've been reading a lot more Marvel stuff, particularly X-Men, lately. I absolutely know who Marvel Girl is, though, and I was pretty excited to see this figure on shelves. While it appears that this figure is based on the rather recent House of X storyline and Grey has gone back to using one of her older costumes and her original codename I just picked this up because it's a great looking classic Jean Grey. I'm currently reading the X-Men Epic Collection volume 3 (1968-early 1970) and this is the outfit Jean's wearing throughout most of that book. I dig the old school comic styles and while she's not going to replace the main Jean Grey in my collection (the Jim Lee/ animated series styled Jean Grey from the "Love Triangle" 3-pack) I'm happy to put her on my shelf of cool variants. This figure is part of an X-Men series completely based on the House of X books which is pretty interesting. I can't think of many Marvel Legends series of figures completely based on such a new story. Yeah, new movies and TV shows usually get a full series but it's rare to see that happen with the comics. It's kind of cool, though. Let's take a look at Marvel Girl after the break...