Photo review of the new Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Samurai Ninja Turtles and Samurai Usagi Yojimbo figures.
Salem here with my second Hot Toys review. This time around I’m going to cover the Wolverine figure from X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
After I received my DX01 Joker figure, I knew I was going to get sucked into buying another Hot Toys figure; I just wasn’t sure which one it would be. Then I saw the initial pictures of this figure, and knew what it would be.
The packaging is as nice as any of the Hot Toys boxes I’ve seen pictures of online, and as nice as the DX Joker box I have sitting on my shelf. Unlike the Joker box though, this one just has a paper lining with graphics and text between the outer box and the figure tray. The box doesn’t feel as thick either, so I would suggest caution before tearing into the box to pull the tray out. The outer box mimics some of the movie posters featuring the 3 claws, and the Origins logo. The sides of the box have a nice shot of the figure, and the back features a nice shot of Logan with all the usual Hot Toys info about the people who worked on it.
Now I’ve seen some comments online about the likeness to Hugh Jackman, and I can understand it to an extent, but I think the figure really captures the look from the film, but more importantly, it just screams Wolverine to me. It’s true that he looks better at some angles more than others, but I am not going to say that he looks nothing like Hugh did in the film.
If you have any other Hot Toys figures, you have an idea about the level of quality that they put into the clothes that these figures come with. Wolverine comes with a great leather jacket that matches the movie very well, and has a nice weathering effect. He also has a nicely tailored button shirt that has tiny, in scale buttons glued in place, and two snaps that close the shirt at the bottom, giving the figure that James Dean half open shirt look. His last shirt is the white tank top that Logan sports throughout a good portion of the movie. It matches the film well, and has a nice design that work wonderfully in this scale. Next are his jeans, which look great for this scale. They have a nice denim texture to them, and the stitching matches up to 1/1 scale jeans. He also has a working belt with a detailed buckle and his dog tags with his name on them. The last little detail as far as clothes go (and I don’t really consider them clothes) are his black cowboy boots.
One of the selling points of this figure was the new sculpted rubber torso under all those clothes. The body looks a little small without the shirts and jacket, but the work that went into it are phenomenal. All of his skin is painted very well, and he even has visible veins up his arms and neck, and on his torso. His arms are also a new (as far as I know) sculpted muscle variety, and also feature painted arm hair.
The articulation is everything you would expect from HT, and he delivers on all the poses I tried out on him. The jacket does limit his posing a small amount, but you can still get him into enough of the “claws out” poses to satisfy that need. A word of warning though, due to the rubber torso cover, you need to tilt his head up (face forward) BEFORE you turn it, or you can run the risk of rubbing off some of the paint on his neck. There are instructions in the package, but just a heads up.
As far as accessories go, he seems a little light after getting Joker, but he comes with the must haves, the claws. These are quite sharp, so be careful while popping those hands on. I have read multiple stories of people online stabbing themselves while switching hands. He also comes with his aforementioned dog tags, a pair of open hands, and a pair of clawless fists. I would have welcomed the inclusion of a cigar, as it was part of the film, and a big part of Wolverine’s shtick for so long in the comics.
In summary, if you can still find this figure, I would suggest snagging him as soon as possible. I have seen mention of this becoming harder to find, so if you have connections you can utilize, do it. Otherwise the evilbay may be your only option to own a wonderful figure that starts off the Hot Toys Marvel figures. I hope to get the Blade 2 figure that has recently been released, and if I can, you might see me return with a review of him. But until then, happy toy hunting.
A Happy New Year to all of my dear readers. The New Year means it’s time for my Top 10 action figures of 2014. I know I haven’t had many reviews the past year, but my 1 resolution for 2015 is to get back to bringing you as many new reviews or news pieces as possible on a consistent basis. With that out of the way, I will say that choosing the figures this year was more difficult than I thought it would be. That’s a good thing, as it means many companies put out some worthwhile product. I’ll preface this list with the fact that some of these figures weren’t purchased locally for one reason or another.
So let’s get down to it.
Starting off the list at number 10 is The Star Wars Black Series Storm Trooper. The cannon fodder of the Star Wars universe gets the 6 inch treatment. If you’d already gotten the Sand Trooper, you already know the majority of what this figure holds. The only big difference is the helmet, one of the shins, the belt, and the clean paint job. Due to the army building potential of this figure, they were quite hard to find for a while, especially when many local stores are choking on figures from older waves.
Coming in at number 9 is The DC Collectibles Crime Syndicate Ultraman figure. This guy is one of the most articulated DCC has ever produced, and whet the appetite of many figure fans for the same treatment to be given to his ”real” counterpart, Superman. He just about all the articulation you could want, a softer rubber cape that doesn’t hinder his posing too much, and sculpt that matches the source material near perfectly. The only drawback to the figure was a pungent plastic smell, which has dissipated over time. Sadly, we are still waiting on a Superman and Batman that truly match the standard this guy set.
Next on the list is The Bandai FiguArts Mario, a figure that many fans of the property have been waiting for since the 80s. There have been plenty of static mini statues of the Italian plummer, his brother, and other characters from the various games, but this was the first truly articulated version. He also came with some blocks to interact with, and coins that you could display as if they popped out of the “?” blocks. This guy, along with 2 different diorama sets were first released in Japan, but eventually made it to US online retailers, as well as local Barnes & Noble stores. The line is continuing with the just released in Japan, Luigi, as well as a prototype shown of dino buddy Yoshi.
Coming in at number 7 is the BAF of Groot from the Hasbro Guardians of the Galaxy series. If you saw the movie, you likely ended being a fan of Rocket & Groot, whether you knew who they were from the comics or not. In general, the entire set of figures from this wave was wonderful, but Groot evokes the look of the movie model like many of the others don’t quite. His headsculpt and expression allow you to mimic many emotions with just a head title and turn. While ALL the figures weren’t ideal (space armor Iron Man), I gladly bought them all to get this guy.
Roaring into the number 6 spot is The Star Wars Black Series Chewbacca figure. Chewie was one of the figures from the 2014 wave 3 assortment that I didn’t see much of locally, so I ended up getting him, Luke and Darth Vader through Amazon. I’m not the kind of Star Wars fan who has to have every character who appeared in the films, but Chewbacca is one my must have figures for the line. The headsculpt is amazing, even though he has more of a growling expression with the open mouth. The fur sculpt around his hands looks best with his arms down, but he has enough articulation that he can get into most of the poses you’d see him in throughout the trilogy. There have been leaked images of a new version with closed mouth, so I’m hoping he could come with the mesh bag and “broken” C-3PO to go on his back.
Coming in at the halfway point is NECA’s Bad Blood Predator figure. NECA has been going strong with the Predator line for some time, and even had other amazing figures from the same wave as this guy, including the “Shredator” Enforcer Predator figure. This guy is unique due to the comic book style deco he sports, which is a more vibrant, flat paint job. He sports a three bladed wrist blades, various skull and bone trophies adorning his armor, and 2 severed heads that hang from his belt. He ships in a solid case all by himself, and has been seen at Toys R Us as recently as stores begin their after the holiday restocks.
Slashing his way into the number 4 spot is NECA’s Ultimate Freddy Krueger figure. This is the articulated figure fans have been asking for since NECA began making product from the film franchise. Besides the articulated legs, Freddy comes with 2 alternate heads, an alternate hand with green “blood” spurting out of the chopped off finger, a skinned face “mask” and the telephone with the tongue sticking out of it. He also has a soft rubber sweater overlay that allows for his waist and torso articulation to get a better than average range of motion. NECA has noted they are going to do other ‘Ultimate’ figures, so I eagerly wait to see what they will be.
Swooping in to the number 3 spot is NECA’s 8 bit NES/Blu-Ray bundle 89 Batman figure. This entry is sort of a twofer, as they are technically 2 releases, but only one of them was sold by itself. The figure is actually a shrunk down version of NECA’s amazing ¼ scale Keaton Batman, which we thought was all we could get, at the time. It turns out that NECA found a loophole in their contract that let them release a version from the NES Tim Burton Batman movie. Towards the end of the year it was revealed that they managed to find a way to release an actual film version of the figure, but it was bundled with the Diamond-Luxe Blu-Ray version, and sold on ebay. That sold unbelievably fast, and NECA kept fans up to date on progress of it being released elsewhere. That ended up being to TRU, where it was only sold with the standard Blu-Ray of the film, with a sticker signifying that. For fans old enough to remember, the figure is packaged as homage to the old Toy Biz Batman figure from when the first movie toys originally came out. The scarce availability aside, the figure is amazingly articulated, like all of the best NECA figures have been, and comes with a second pair of hands, Batarang, and grapple gun.
Number 2 is a figure (and variants) that just slid into the list for 2014, though some people won’t actually receive theirs until sometime this year, The Four Horsemen’s Gothitropolis Raven figure. The figure, and all his variants began as a Kickstarter campaign back in July of 2013, which ran until August of that year. The campaign exceeded everyone’s expectations, and all the stretch goals that were revealed, were met and surpassed. The figures arriving would end up being a mystery due to the sheer number of backers, and some reasons that only the Horsemen know for sure. Despite any drama that might have caused, the figure lives up to the very high standards that the Horsemen have strived for in each of their creator owned properties. The sculpting and paintwork is phenomenal, and the articulation is incredible. Some of the figures received by other backers had stuck joints, but a quick heat with a hair dryer or a dip in boiling water will loosen them right up. The base figure comes with an amazingly detailed staff weapon, and 2 alternate sets of clawed feet; 1 pair of closed, and a pair of grasping feet. The Horsemen’s online store had some figures for preorder, but they have been sold out since they went up. Nobody knows for sure if there will be more, but if you are interested, your best bet is to check ebay or other online locations for people who might be selling some of the figures.
Topping the list at number 1 is not just 1 figure, but all 4 of The Revoltech Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures from Kiayodo. These are import figures, so you won’t be able to find them in any of your local stores, unless you happen to have one that imports figures from the Far East. If you are a fan of the new TMNT show on Nickelodeon, then these are the figures for you. The Playmates figures are great for a mass market retail line, but if you want figures as close to the show’s model sheets, then you want these. Each of the turtles has a moveable eye system activated by moving the back of their bandanna, an alternate head, their signature weapon, and a display base of some sort. The articulation on the figures allows for some amazing poses, and their wide feet allow them to balance on 1 foot unassisted, which is great for ninja running poses. These guys sold fast, so you might have to spend more than you’re comfortable with, but Amazon and Big Bad Toy Store have some in stock, if you are inclined.
That wraps up the top 10 for 2014, but I would like to give mention to some figures that just missed the cut this year.
As you can see, last year had an amazing array of figures, and with what’s solicited for this coming year, we look to have stiff competition for the top 10 next year.
Thanks for reading.
I’ll see you in the toy isles.
As we close out 2015, it’s time to take a look back at the top action figures of the year. These types of lists are always subjective, but out of all the things I’ve gotten this year, these are the 10 items I’m most impressed with. As you go down the list, you might notice a theme, which just happened to be the way the year in toys went for me, but it doesn’t discount a lot of other amazing figures.
I will actually have some reviews coming up of some of these figures, so you will be able to get a more in depth look if anything here peaks your interest. Without further ado, let’s begin.
While Funko’s Legacy line has been plagued with issues among the 2 Game of Thrones waves, the Firefly wave, the lack of paint details in their Magic the Gathering line, and even some people’s experience with this figure itself, he makes my list. The Rocketeer movie came out in 1991, so I was sophomore in high school at the time, but it was one of the more faithful adaptations of a comic book to film that had happened yet. While the initial promo images suggested the rocket pack and the front flap to the jacket were going to be removable, the production figure did not. The swappable heads might require a little heat to avoid breaking the neck, and the hips could be an issue, but I have never had a problem with mine. I am happy to have a figure of a movie I loved (and still love), that I can display with a Hasbro WW2 era Captain America, so they can fight for the USA.
I have been a fan of the CW’s Arrow since season one, so when DC Collectibles announced they were making figures, I was excited. We first got the season one look with the grease paint in a 2 pack with “Deathstroke”, everyone wanted the season 2 look with the domino mask and compound bow. This figure represents it fairly well, and comes with the bow and a few arrows. While the articulation does limit the poses he can get into, for instance he can’t get into a full draw of the bow pose, he can be displayed in some fight scenes with other figures in his scale. I am anxiously waiting for the next figure in his season 4 “Green Arrow” look.
The Alien franchise was another series that helped influence my early teenage years. I was only 10 when Aliens came out in theaters, so I experienced it on television at home later, but it left an impression on my tastes in sci-fi/horror films. This look for Ripley, is the one I think of the most when I think of the character. The other obvious look is her in the bra and panties, but the likelihood of that being done in figure form is slim to none, so I am happy to have the version in the collection. Ripley has all the articulation that you would come expect from any of the newer NECA figures, especially any of the “Ultimate” figures. While I think the facial expression is a little vacant, I prefer it to some always angry/screaming face.
Mezco’s One:12 Collective line wowed the online toy community last summer con season when the initial figures were shown off. My exposure to Judge Dredd has been limited to a few of the Batman/Dredd comic book crossovers and the dreadfully panned Stallone Dredd movie. With that said, when I saw the initial prototype of the Mezco Judge Dredd figure, I knew I had to get him. He scales really well with other 6 inch figures, and if you have any of the ThreeA WWP 6 inch figures from Ashley Wood, you have some readymade dregs for Dredd to bust. His shoulder armor pieces are held in place by small magnets, as is his badge. This is an amazing idea, and works pretty well, as it allows them to shift when you move his arms. The suit it tight, and is a faux leather like material, so he can’t really get into any deep crouches or extreme poses, but for some typical Dredd poses, he’s more than capable, and he looks like he’s come straight from a comic. The next question is, do I really need his upcoming Lawmaster motorcycle?
If you’re reading this, you might wonder why I included this figure when NECA already released basically the same figure 3 times before. While I have some of the original figures, this “Ultimate” version comes with 3 heads, is loaded down with assorted weapons, and has articulated legs. That last bit was the biggest selling point for me. While I liked the previous figures, they had static legs in a single pose, so you couldn’t make any little adjustments, or even pose him on a motorcycle, which was a big set piece from the film. There were comments online that the Terminator didn’t need to be getting into Spiderman poses, but I have 2 pictures in the gallery to show why this update was needed. Both from scenes that are integral to the story progression in the film. I’m happy to have him, and I can now retire the cobbled together “custom” I made a few years ago.
Growing up in the 80s, you had to have at least a passing knowledge about the Transformers, even if you weren’t a fan. I was a fan, and had quite the collection of the “Generation 1” toys growing up, and the combing group of evil Decepticons, the Constructicons, were among some I wanted. I don’t remember if I had them all as a kid, but I know I had a few of them. Just ahead 30 years and some of the independent “third party” companies created their own updated versions of the combiners and the combined form, Devastator. It wasn’t until last year that we found out that Hasbro was going to release their own version of the Decepticon stalwart, but he was going to be at Toys R Us. The figure is huge, practically dwarfing small children. While he does have a few issues, he is an imposing figure that you can find at retail if you’re lucky, for less than the “third party” versions cost.
When I think of Superman, Christopher Reeve’s version is the one I usually think of first. While I have the Hot Toys version, I was hoping for a version that would fit in with my DCC Arrow figures, as well as the Michael Keaton Batman figure NECA snuck out last year. As it turns out, NECA and WB were working on something, because NECA announced on Twitter that there would be a bundle with assorted DVDs, of not just a shrunken down version of their 1/4 scale Christopher Reeve Superman, but their Heath Ledger Joker, and Adam West Batman figures. They were first available through ebay, but eventually started to show up on Toys R Us stores. Those were the only 2 options, and unfortunately for those looking and not aware, NECA has their own reps who go to TRU to stock the shelves, so their products don’t show up in TRU’s system. That was only part of the problem, as we found out that in the rush to get these figures out before the holidays, the first batch of Superman figures (and in some cases the other 2 figures as well) suffered from some weak plastic/molding issues, and were breaking right out of the package, and in some cases, IN the package. I grew up with this as MY Superman, so I was willing to risk the issues to get an in scale movie Superman to go with my other similar figures. I have 3 of them, all of which have no issues, so that should attest to how much I love this figure.
Coming after the bombastic success of the Tim Burton Batman movie, this animated series took the gothic feel of the movie and combined it with an amazing design sense and incredible storytelling. The series debuted right before I graduated from high school, but it didn’t stop me from fully enjoying it, and even getting some of the old action figures. Over the years, fans would wonder aloud if we would ever get 6 inch, updated figures inspired by the series. Cue DC Collectibles, who announced figures of not just the original series, but of the New Batman Adventures slight reboot. There are many amazing figures thus far in the line, depending on your preferred animated look, and DCC has even listed to fans and improved the figures as they have gone forward. While the figure itself suffers from some limited articulation due to the design, he looks amazing just standing there with Robin next to him, and the Batmobile behind then.
Frank Miller’s Batman The Dark Knight Returns reinvigorated Batman after a lull in the 70s, and following the Batman craze of the Adam West Bat era. While action figure and comic fans have gotten occasional figures of some of the characters over the years, we never got anything truly amazing. That all changed when Mezco announced and showed off their One:12 Collective TDKR Batman figure. He was a 6 inch figure in a cloth outfit, with sculpted head, hands and feet. This was new territory, and looked like an attempt at pulling off Hot Toys style in a 6 inch format. There have been 5 versions (black and white 2015 NY Toy Fair, standard back & gray, Previews (comic shop) light blue & gray with bat oval; a Mezco exclusive dark blue & gray; and a battle damaged version with the Mutant Leader at this year’s SDCC. He comes loaded out with extra hands, an extra head, flight stand on a bat symbol base, and depending on the version you get, a hand gun or even a sniper rifle from a pivotal scene from the book. The articulation is outstanding, and the tailoring on the costume is almost Hot Toys level. I have 2 versions myself, and hope to eventually see a TDKR Superman, Joker and Carrie Kelly Robin in this style. Based on release schedule though, might be waiting a while. They might make a best of 2020 or beyond list, if it happens.
Yes, I know you’re saying to yourself: “This isn’t an action figure.” You’d be correct, but it is a vehicle FOR action figures, and an amazing one at that Those of us who collect figures are used to the cheap, generally undersized vehicles that mainstream companies trot out to “appease” fans who ask for them, just look at the retail shelves right now. Occasionally companies with throw us a bone, but that doesn’t always work either, look at the Matty Collector Ghostbusters Ecto-1 that Mattel announced in 2013. That item had some of the same ingredients this Batmobile has, but was being sold for quite a bit more. The Batmobile has rubber tires that rotate, front wheels that you can steer right/left, fights 2 of the DC Collectibles Batman figures, and has several light up features for about $100. The thing is massive, made of a nice sturdy plastic, and looks like it drove straight out of your TV. This is a centerpiece to any collection for Batman fans, and I am certainly happy to name it my toy of the year.