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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.

S.H. Figuarts – Luigi

Today’s review is on SH Figuarts Luigi.  I’ve previously done a review of SH Figuarts Mario as well that you may be interested in if you’re looking into Luigi.  A lot of what was said about Mario definitely applies here.  The build quality is solid, the paint apps are great, the sculpt is great, the articulation works for what he is, but it’s a little limited.

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Where Luigi differs the most is in his accessory count.  Luigi includes alternate open hands and a stand, both things that Mario lacked in his basic form.    Additionally Luigi includes a basic Block Brick and a Red Koopa shell.  It’s kind of a shame that he doesn’t have a coin, that feels like it would have been the cheapest accessory to throw in and coins are definitely something you can never have too many of when it comes to Mario.   Also included is a swappable back plate to allow the stand to peg into Luigi’s back and a small clear plastic bit that allows the Koopa shell to attach to either of the open palm hands to be held.

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Speaking of the hands, I touched a bit on the build style on Mario being different that your standard Figuarts release.  The hands are another place where this varies.  The pegs are nice and bulky and built into the forearms of both Luigi and Mario.  The hands stay on well but are easily swapped and it doesn’t feel like there is any chance of breaking the pegs.  This is definitely a change from many Figuarts where the removable hands often come off as pretty fragile.  It certainly helps that both Luigi and Mario are chunkier than most Figuarts, but it, once again, kind of feels like that Nintendo Quality push sneaking in a bit.  It’s also notable that it’s very subtle, but the hands are not identical to the ones that are available in the Playset Pack for Mario, they are slightly skinnier as well, to match Luigi’s slimmer build.

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Having the stand and hands definitely help flesh out Luigi’s pose options.  Every since Super Mario Brothers 2, Luigi has been known for his crazy high jumping, so having the stand for jumping poses is definitely a plus.  The hands are also great for both carrying and throwing the included Koopa shell.

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Luigi isn’t a straight recolor of Mario either, he stands a half inch or so taller than Mario and has an overall slimmer build.  I’m sure there is some parts reuse, I think the arms and shoes are the same, but the legs, center mass, and head are all slimmer and seem to be different sculpting than Mario.

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All in all Luigi is a nice package.  He’s definitely a nice addition to go with his brother Mario but the extra accessories make him a nice solid figure in his own right.

Figma – A Link Between Worlds Link (DX version)

The Legend of Zelda has kind of a crazy continuity, or more, a crazy lack of continuity.  Despite there being many many Zelda title in the series, more or less all about Link fetching the Triforce to save Hyrule, there are few that are direct sequels or even that take place in the same world.  Link has had many different designs over the years.  Generically, he’s kind of an elf looking person in a green tunic.  Sometimes he’s an adult, sometimes he’s a child, sometimes he’s somewhere in between.  This version of Link is based on his appearance in the game A Link Between Worlds, a 3DS title that is a sequel to the SNES classic, A Link to the Past.  This is the second Figma Link, the first being one of the older designs from Skyward Sword.

Figma Link - Left Handed

This design really hits all of the right points for my preferred link.  Most of my experience with the Zelda series is in the older games, before Link was a grittier older warrior type like in Skyward Sword or Twilight Princess, and before he became a kooky cartoon caricature like in Wind Waker.  It’s not exactly the same as the classic Zelda 1 style art but he’s a lot closer to that design than other options available at this time.  It also helps that A link to the Past is probably my favorite Zelda title.

Figma Link - Size Comparison

If I had any real complaint it’s that he is a really small figure.  Like 4″ tall short.  Admittedly this is kind of personal preference, I like to mix up my figures across lines, and I was hoping for a Link that didn’t come off as being a 5 year old kid next to my other ~6″ figures.

Figma Link - Accessories

Personal gripe aside, it’s a fantastic figure to be sure.  The accessories on the basic Link feel a bit lacking, though there is a DX version that includes a whole slew of extra bits.  The basic Link includes a stand, two faces (total), the Master Sword and Link’s Shield.  He also includes a flat cut out Link that is part of the gimmick of A link Between World’s gameplay.  There are also alternate hands and a bracelet that can be removed if desired.

Figma Link - Accessories (Disassembled)

The DX version also includes a Tornado Rod with a flat effect piece, a Hookshot with long and short hooks, a Bomb, a Rupee, a Pot and a Baby Maiamai.   All of the accessories are well designed and easily used.  There’s a lot of “quality of life” sort of features to these accessories alone.  For example, the sword isn’t one piece, forcing you to jam it into his hands, the hilt is removable so it can easily be slid into the hand and reattached.  The shield and hook shot handles both disassemble into several pieces to be easily put into Link’s hands as well.  The shield can even be adjusted so it can be held in both Link’s left or right hand (since Link is a southpaw except when facing west).  Little touches like this really help sell the figure.

Figma Link - With Bomb

Pose ability is nice overall as well.  The skirt part of Link’s tunic is a flexible rubber sort of material that allows for free movement in the hips, something that can often be a problem for figures with similar sort of outfits.

Figma Link -

My only actual complaint with this figure is that his hair and face come off a little too easily.  This seems to be somewhat of a Figma problem, since I have similar issues with Figma Motoko.   There isn’t quite enough friction to hold things in place solidly.  It’s really not a huge problem but it can be a problem.   Another “Figma Issue” is that often when swapping the hands, the peg comes out of the wrist instead of the hand coming off the peg, which can make the peg hard to remove from the hand, since it’s so small.  This is another issue I’ve had with other Figma as well.

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Figma A link Between Worlds link is a pretty good figure.  Some of what it comes down to is, which Link Design do you prefer.  Also, given his small size, he’s a bit pricey, even for an import figure.  Higher prices aren’t uncommon for import figures but the tiny 4″ size makes that harder to take, especially with the anemic accessory count on the non DX version.

Figma Link - Right Handed

Figma Link - Left Handed

S.H. Figuarts – Mario

Nintendo has long been weirdly stingy with the license for their properties.  Sure, there has always been merchandise for Super Mario Brothers, but only recently have they really opened it up, at least for more toy style merchandise.  They seemed to have opened the flood gates too, between the Amiibo figurines, and the World of Nintendo toy line.  There is also a line put out by Bandai under their S.H. Figuarts lineup.

World of Nintendo is alright, but if you want the “Cadillac level” of figure, you’re going to want to spring for the Figuarts Mario.

SH Figuarts Mario

Figuarts Mario is a bit of a departure from the standard Human figures put out in this line.  Sure Mario is human, but he’s considerably shorter and ore stocky than your average anime school girl.   The joint system all around also feels a lot more study than the other Figuarts I’ve handled.  I’m not saying the others are garbage, just that Mario here definitely seems to have a different mindset in mind on his design choices.  It kind of feels like that whole “Nintendo Quality” hand was probably involved in the design of this figure a bit to make sure he looks nice and solid in most poses.

SH Figuarts Mario

This also is almost a determent however.  He can make a lot of “classic Mario poses” but he’s also limited in a lot of ways due to his sculpt.  He can’t stick his arms out from his sides, for example, due to how his shoulders work.  He doesn’t have any alternate faces either.  In fact eh doesn’t have any alternate parts at all, though there are some alternate hands included in one of the accessory packs.

SH Figuarts Mario

What he does include is a Power Mushroom, one coin with stand, and a ? Block.  There isn’t even a stand (That is also in an accessory pack).  He’s plenty solid enough to stand without the stand though having one to do jumping poses would have been nice.

SH Figuarts Mario

There is an upside to the lack of extra parts however, and it kind of makes the whole argument moot.  Mario costs considerably less than your average Figuarts toy.  In fact Mario plus the two initial “Playset” packs, probably puts him about your average Figuarts price, with an above average number of accessories.

SH Figuarts Mario

Accessory woes aside, the figure is really nice.  It’s build solid, as mentioned and the sculpt and paint are all spot on perfect for a modern Mario.  Despite his limited articulation, he can pill off a lot of very Mario-like poses.  Mario isn’t exactly a Ninja after all, he’s a fat, squat plumber.  SH Figuarts Mario pulls this off nicely.