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Video Game Toys

NECA – Heroes of the Storm Thrall

If there is one central figure in all of World of Warcraft Lore to pretty much everything going on, it’s the Orc known as Thrall. Some people suggest his is a Mary Sue stand in for Chris Metzen who was basically in charge of WoW for a very long time. Even when Thrall tries to take a step out of the story, it always brings him back to fix everything. He also has the Nickname “Green Jesus”.

Thrall has had a few different roles and looks over the years. This particular design, like The Lich King, is not from World of Warcraft, but from Heroes of the Storm. Maybe with the success of their Overwatch line we can get the somewhat more iconic Hooded Shaman look for Thrall, but for now, armored Warrior will do.

There are a lot of design ideas from the Lich King that are shared by Thrall. He is loaded with detail and little scuffs and his paint work is really well done. He is also very bulky, which hinders his articulation quite a bit. Like Frostmourne, Thrall’s Doomhammer separates into two pieces to allow it to be inserted into his fist.

He definitely looks pretty impressive, though he isn’t particularly dynamic in his pose ability. The look also pushes more of an Orc Warrior vibe than the Shaman design he is more known for. He captures the look of the character well though. Certainly better than those Warcraft movie figures we got. Thrall didn’t get a figure in that line but his father Durotan did.

The real issue with this figure is that it was, and still kind of is, pretty hard to come by. The only store in the US I recall ever seeing these was Toys R Us, which went out of business. Amazon has them but they are pretty marked up. It’s a nice looking piece that would work well for general fans of the series and not just toy people, which makes it kind of a shame they were so hard to come by.

Sentinel – Roll Caskett (AmiAmi Exclusive Ver)

I’m pretty picky anymore, so it’s not super often that I end up slightly disappointed with a figure, especially one that is expensive that I didn’t randomly pick up because it was marked down to nothing at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, the 4 Inch Nel Roll Casket gets the pleasure of being slightly disappointing.

So, the figure itself is pretty decent, and I really like the Classic Megaman that I have. The real insult of this figure is the price and the dual release. The version I have is the AmiAmi.com exclusive version. It includes a hatless head and a mini figure of Data, the little save monkey from Mega Man Legends (Rockman Dash). The regular version has a hand holding a wrench and a head with Roll’s giant hat. The thing is, this figure is roughly $70 USD, and there really isn’t any reason that these two figures shouldn’t have just been “one release”.

What makes this really stand out is that in the same order, I received Figma Widowmaker, which is like twice as much figure and a ton of extra parts, for less cost. I mean, I realize these are different companies, and Figma is a lot bigger than Sentinel in terms of everything, but it really makes it obvious how much Roll is really price gouging it.

The figure itself looks good, all of the colors are nice and the sculpt looks really great for the most part. She holds together pretty well, in fact, I had a little bit of trouble getting her head apart to swap the faces it holds together so well. The joints though are a little ugly. Sentinel’s joint system works great on robots where everything is hidden by armor, it works a little less well on Roll, who is more human looking in appearance. She also has a little trouble with balance, primarily due to her skinny body and huge head. There is a stand to help hold her up, but it’s the huge claw style and kind of looks rediculous when wrapped around her.

Aside from the previous complaint of “the second figure should have just been accessories”, she really is kind of anemic on accessories. She has open hands and fist hands, though the open hands are very straight fingered and look a little weird looking. There are two face plates, one smiling, and one winking, a few more would have been nice given the cost of this figure. Then of course there’s Data, who has an articulated neck but not a lot else to do.

I don’t have a lot else to say. I hope she does all right because I would love to get Tron Bonne eventually, but I hope they have the sense not to split her up needlessly across two expensive releases. Another unrelated side note, I kind of wish Megaman Volnut would get a re-release, he’s pretty expensive on the secondary market these days, so my Roll is a little lonely. I have an old as the hills model kid but it looks pretty awful.

Sentinel – Mega Man (Classic)

Mega Man is one video game series I have extremely fond childhood memories of.  I’ve played and finished all of the games and Mega Man 3 is one title that I played religiously back in the day.  It’s a series that just begs for a good toy line but it seems like it will never achieve the greatness I had always hoped with hundreds of Robot Masters.  Years ago Jazwares put out a short lived line and I snapped all of them up, despite their mediocre quality.  I’ve dabbled a bit in some of the model kits as well.  The newest contender in the realm of Mega Man is Sentinel Toys.  Unfortunately they seem to just be keeping the same cycle of releasing only variations of Mega Man.  There was a Cut Man but it was part of a limited 2 pack.  I don’t think they have even ventured out into the realm of Proto Man, Bass, or Zero as of this review.

Sentinel Mega Man 4"

So I opted to pick up the standard classic Mega Man, to give the line a try.  These figures of course carry an import level price, but since they are a bit smaller they aren’t too far out on the high end.  Mega Man is small to be sure, he’s quite a bit smaller than I had expected, but he is sold and advertised as 4 inches, so I don’t really know what I expected.   The sculpt and design is nice and crisp, though there are a lot of visible joint seams.

Sentinel Mega Man 4"

The seams do sort of work here, given Mega Man is a robot, but it does break up the sculpt, especially when viewed from behind.  He does end up with a really nice range of articulation however as a result of all of these joints.  He can make many classic Mega Man style poses easily and holds them quite well.

Sentinel Mega Man 4"

Mega man includes a stand as well as a couple of alternate hands, an alternate face, and a blaster arm.  These are all easily swap-able and help give some variety for posing and display.  The little extra bits for storage are nice but they don’t really do a lot to keep the pieces together.

Sentinel Mega Man 4"

Is this the best Mega Man figure available?  It’s hard to say.  It’s better than the Jazwares one by light years, but Revoltech has put out a few nice looking Mega Man figures as well.  He also isn’t quite as stylized or squat as others may want in a Mega man figure, the design is closer to the newer artwork than the older artwork and the games.  He’s definitely a nice figure though, and relatively affordable as Imports go.  He also fits pretty well with other Video Game figures like the Figuarts Mario, Figma Samus and Figma Link.

NECA – Heroes of the Storm Arthas (Lich King)

I have a real love/hate relationship with NECA.  They get a lot of interesting licenses, and for the most part, do nice sculpt jobs on most of their figures.  However they use some weird plastic that’s kind of flakey and prone to breaking and often results in stiff or stuck joints.  There are ways to loosen them up but it just feels like a shame that the figures often don’t work too well out of the packaging.  In many ways, they remind me of MacFarlane Toys of yesteryear, when MacFarlane was a huge presence in the toy industry.

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

Fortunately, I didn’t have any major issues with my Heroes of the Storm Arthas.  Well, not issues that could be overlooked.  Probably the only “real” issue is that the articulation is severely limited by his sculpt.  Fortunately, Arthas isn’t really a nimble character, so he doesn’t really need a lot of dynamic articulation.  The detailing on the sculpt is where this figure really shines too, which makes the limitations it causes more excusable.

NECA HotS Arthas Lich KingNECA HotS Arthas Lich King

The detailing across all of the armor is fantastic, there are tons of little greebles and spikes and such everywhere, all of them nice and clean and cleanly painted.  The cloth cape is also a really nice touch and hangs very nicely off of his back.  Some may take issue with how brightly colored his overall design is, this figures is based on Arthas as he appears in Heroes of the Storm, not how he appears int he Warcraft Universe, which tends to be more grayscale.

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

His sword, Frostmourne is very nicely done as well.  The sculpt looks good and works from both sides with the wrap around horns on the hilt.  Someone was also smart too in realizing that the stiff plastic of Arthas’ fists would never flex out enough to let the hilt in, the handle is removable, so you can slide it up in and reattach the blade.

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

This really helps him have a nice solid grip on the weapon, and the peg in the hilt fits snugly into the blade piece without feeling like it’s going to break.  There is very little not to like about this figure, aside from the HotS vs Warcraft pain scheme.  Personally, I kind of prefer it, since it helps accentuate a lot of the detail that would have otherwise gotten lost in an all silver colored design.  His size is very nice as well to pair with other 6″ figures for an imposing undead king.  Heroes of the Storm Arthas is an excellent figure, if you can find him anywhere.

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

S.H. Figuarts – Yoshi

While he wasn’t part of the original Super Mario Brothers, in fact, he didn’t come around until much later in the series during the 4th full game, Super Mario World, Yoshi is as iconic to the Mario series as any of the main cast.   The popular Dino has even gotten several of his own spin off games.  He certainly makes sense as an addition to the Mario Figuarts lineup.

SH Figuarts Yoshi

Yoshi is quite a different little figure than Mario and Luigi, for the obvious reasons that, he’s a Dinosaur and not a plumber.  He’s actually a quite a bit more dynamic in some ways as a result.  His skinnier arms give him a lot more flexibility for outward motion than the Mario Brothers.  While his hips can rotate outward as well, he doesn’t have any knees.  I’m not sure where they would put the knees considering how short his legs are, not to mention the addition of knees would probably hurt his major gimmick.

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That major gimmick?  Mario can ride Yoshi.

Included among Yoshi’s accessories are two alternate shell pieces each with a clear saddle attached to hold Figuarts Mario or Luigi.  It’s a bit tricky to get Mario’s weight to balance on Yoshi without the use of a stand however.  Mario is a pretty heavy figure and sticking all that weight on the back of poor little Yoshi really sets things off balance.  It’s still a really nice touch to have it as an option given 90% of Yoshi’s function is carrying Mario around on his back.

SH Figuarts Yoshi

Yoshi’s other accessories are all based on alternate configurations for Yoshi.  He doesn’t have any power ups or blocks, likely because Yoshi is a bit larger than either of the Mario Brothers and he has parts like the saddle shell pieces, all of which already drive the price up.  One of the driving forces of these Mario Figuarts seems to be keeping them fairly affordable ($20-$40 vs the $50-$100 price of some Figuarts).

SH Figuarts Yoshi

Yoshi includes an extra set of eyes so he can look off to the side, an alternate mouth insert with an extended tongue, and an alternate set of hands.  He also includes a stand.  He doesn’t need the stand at all to hold himself up under normal power, and the hole for the stand is directly on the bottom of Yoshi anyway, the stand is meant to allow Yoshi to jump or hover like he does in the games.

The hands are slightly disappointing.  Yoshi has two fists and two open hands, but one of the open hands has an egg permanently attached to it.  It doesn’t come off, you’ll only break it trying.  Considering the Mario Brothers already gave us a method to attach objects to open palm hands with the turtle shells, it’s kind of disappointing that the egg can’t be removed in this same manner.  The egg would have made a great accessory for use with the other figures and having two bare open hands for Yoshi would have been a great plus.

SH Figuarts Yoshi

The tongue is a bit disappointing as well, though it may just be a problem on mine.  Basically, it doesn’t stay attached very well at all.  It’s not even a problem due to weight or balance, the pegs on the underside of the mouth piece simply don’t properly peg into the pegs in his mouth.  The real benefit that the tongue piece provides is that it means the mouth can open and close, something that I imagine wouldn’t have been a feature if it hadn’t been a necessity to allow for the tongue piece to work.

SH Figuarts Yoshi

While it’s still probably the best Yoshi Figure available, and it’s a good figure to be sure, There are a few little issue that keep it from being completely amazing.  Specifically the egg hand and the finicky-ness of how some of the accessories attach.  The riding feature really helps push the figure up an extra notch if you have Mario or Luigi to go with him however.