Sunday, August 31, 2014

#82: Hot Toys Captain America The Winter Soldier - Black Widow

The Hot Toys version of Black Widow from The Avengers was almost my first Hot Toys figure, but I held off, getting Joker and Loki instead. From what I've heard, it was an improvement over the Iron Man 2 version, but the costume itself was a bit fragile. But when the Winter Soldier version came along, I felt it was time to take the plunge.

The box isn't anything super crazy, since this isn't one of the deluxe figures, but it's got a picture of Scarlett Johansson on the front, and it looks nice enough. Underneath the lid is a cover which has a picture of the actual figure on it, and then underneath that is the tray holding the figure and the accessories.

So here it is. It's perhaps not the most perfect likeness I've seen on a Hot Toys figure, but it's still pretty good. This is my first Hot Toys figure with rooted hair, so we'll see how that works out long term. The instructions advise that the hair arrives with product pre-applied to it. The great thing about Black Widow's costume is that it is so easy to adapt to live action. Just add some "tactical" detailing, and boom there you go. This version has a mix of cloth and leather-like material, with most of the costume being cloth. It's got more give than the leather stuff, which is good for moving the figure around. She's only in her costume for the first 20 minutes or so of the movie, spending the rest of it in civvies or disguise. While they could have opted for a casual look figure, the costume is definitely more iconic looking.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

#81: Transformers Generations - Rattrap

Hasbro is slowly but surely redoing all the Beast Wars characters. Well, maybe not all of them, but we've been getting a few every now and then for a couple years now. I've been keeping an eye out for Rattrap, but only managed to see his case-mates on shelves. This was one of those cases where I was able to find him by keeping an eye on online prices and waiting for them to come down to reasonable levels. Lately, that seems a more effective method than checking brick and mortar sources.

Rattrap's beast mode is pretty cool. The tail is bendy, with a wire inside so it holds shape. The mouth opens, and he can even sit up on his hind legs, although his stomach is a mish-mash of robotic parts. The mouth can open as well. His gun stores in his body in this mode.

Robot mode is pretty decent too. He has a rifle that can be split into two smaller guns, and what the internet is saying is an explosive charge which can be stored in his forearm. The transformation is one of those where the instructions are sometimes not as clear as one would like. But it's not too difficult.

#80: DC Comics Multiverse (Batman Returns) - Catwoman

The Christopher Reeve Superman figure wasn't perfect, but I really liked it. The Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman isn't as good, so my nostalgia is having a harder time making me like the figure. For starter's, there's the head. The ears are just too tall and narrow, and are sticking straight up rather than being at more of an angle. They make it look more like a bat-family cowl. Otherwise it looks okay. There are both bicep swivels and then forearm swivels close to the elbow, so bending the elbow feels like it's going to pull out the forearms since they're a softer plastic. The whip just looks too long and too thick. And her heels make it hard for her to stand, so of course this line doesn't include stands.

Friday, August 29, 2014

#79: DC Comics Multiverse (Superman The Movie) - Superman

As I mentioned in my post about the General Zod figure, I was looking forward to the Christopher Reeve as Superman figure. I watched the original Superman movie countless times when I was younger, so Christopher Reeve is pretty solidly cemented in my mind as the definitive live action Superman. Except for expensive 12 inch figures, Christopher Reeve Superman figures have been sadly lacking, so I'm glad Mattel finally got around to releasing one to retail. I really wish it was in the six inch scale, though. It says "adult collector" right on the packaging, and the vast majority of Mattel DC movie figures have been in six inch scale, so it feels like a missed opportunity, just like all the other movie figures in this smaller scale. But that's Mattel for you. On the plus side, I do think it's a pretty good likeness, and they even sculpted the shield on his chest. It's kind of amazing how generous Mattel is with new tooling on these figures when they were so stingy with it for DCUC figures. In the end, it's Christopher Reeve as Superman, and that's awesome.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#78: Star Wars The Black Series - Clone Trooper

The other new figure in this wave is the clone trooper. I've done a lot of clone army building in the past few years, but even though this is a plain shiny trooper, the new scale does make this one stand out. This is the Phase I armored version of the clone trooper as seen in Attack of the Clones, and presumably there is a Phase II from Revenge of the Sith to be released in the future. It will be interesting to see how many clone variants Hasbro ends up releasing in this scale. If the Stormtrooper and the clone trooper are any indication, it seems that only armored characters are given the double hinged elbows in this line. There are swivel joints in the thighs, but they are well hidden by the armor. The shoulder armor does limit how much the arms can be raised. For accessories, there is the long clone trooper blaster rifle, and the smaller blaster.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#77: Star Wars The Black Series - Anakin Skywalker

One of two new figures in the fourth wave is Anakin Skywalker as he appeared in Revenge of the Sith. Of the various prequel appearance for Anakin, this is probably the one most people would want, so it's not surprising that it's the first one released. It's a pretty good looking figure, although the face sculpt isn't the best likeness. It's one of those heads that looks good from some angles, but at other angles looks more like a stunt double. I think the eyes are painted a little off. The articulation is good, and the hips aren't hindered, as the lower parts of the tunic are soft goods on the sides, and a softer plastic on the front and back. Anakin includes high lightsaber, which has a detachable blade, and the handle pegs into his belt for storage.

Anakin's other accessory is an alternate Sith-eyed head, with messier hair.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

#76: Star Wars The Black Series - Stormtrooper

Not surprisingly, the Stormtrooper was released in one of the first few waves of the six inch Black Series. Unfortunately, it was stupidly hard to actually find. Hasbro did re-release it in a later wave, of which I ordered a case online in order to get one. If I could get only one Star Wars figure, a Stormtrooper would be on the shortlist, it's one of the most iconic looking characters from the series. So I'm glad to finally get one in the new scale. It looks good and has great articulation. Okay, the armor on the thighs kind of prevents the figure from going into any deep stances. But the head has a really good range of motion, from up and down to tilting to the side. Accessory-wise, it comes with a blaster rifle, and the traditional Stormtrooper blaster, which can be stowed in the holster hanging from the belt. It's a bummer these guys are so hard to find. Not that I want to army build with 20 dollar figures, but troopers rarely warm pegs.

Seeing the comparison, it's really bringing it home to me how poorly shaped the smaller scaled Stormtroopers' helmets have tended to be.
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