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Review – Marvel Legends – Juggernaut Wave – Deadpool

I’m a little torn on Deadpool here.  He’s a pretty great figure.  Not the perfect Deadpool necessarily due to a few minor design issue but he’s solid.  He also comes with a ton of accessories and no Build-a-Figure piece for Juggernaut.  Which is why I’m torn.  What Deadpool represents is essentially what I wish we got from Marvel Legends as a line.  Dump the dumb BAF aspects, load up more accessories, alternate heads, weapons, effect parts, alternate hands.

Yeah, it’s a dumb reason to dislike a figure, it’s more that I dislike the concept he is presenting, because it’s what I want from every figure.  How much cooler would Havok be with a screaming head and an energy blast that strapped to his chest somehow.  How much better would that boring Phoenix be with a flaming base and fire ball parts to strap on to for dynamic attack poses?  How about a nice Ice base for Iceman to thrown down on?  Is Deadpool representative of what we could have without BAF bits?

Enough talk about non Deadpool things though, that’s sort of tangential to the main topic here, and not totally some weirdly meta thing for a Deadpool related review.  Also, referencing that it’s a review within a review isn’t meta and 4th-wall-ish either.

Deadpool has one really great thing going for him, his accessories.  He has so many accessories that a few of them seem really pointless and dumb and out of place next to the others.  The swords, the pistols, the knife, all have nice built in storage on Deadpool, which is great.  The rocket Launcher could even peg onto his back.  The alternative head makes sense, Deadpool with and without mask.  The Taco’s fun.  Then there are the two screw silver guns, they look ugly, they don’t really fit too well with the theme of everything else, personally, and they just don’t even need to be there.

Which just exacerbates my previous frustration, not only does he get a mess of accessories, he has extra mostly useless crappy accessories!

Honestly Deadpool only really has two real flaws.  One, he has this goofy pinky finger sticking out hand.  This problem could have easily have been fixed with a spare, normal hand, maybe in place of one of his useless extra guns.  But it didn’t happen, it’s kind of really weird.

Then there is the part where he’s crazy hard to find, because, well, Deadpool.  He had a super popular movie, he doesn’t have the saddle of a BAF piece and he’s a really good figure all around.

Review – Transformers – Generations – Brainstorm

If you’ve been keeping track, you might have noticed that I’ve gone through all of the original 7 Headmaster’s remakes from Titan’s Returns.  You might have been expecting the last review here to cover Titan’s Return Brainstorm.  Well, you’d be almost correct.  The thing is, I have Generations Brainstorm already, and I don’t really need Titan’s Return Brainstorm, so instead, you’re getting Generations Brainstorm.

If you follow some of the recent lines just before Combiner Wars, it kind of felt like Hasbro was exploring and experimenting with ideas for future lines.  We got Scoop with his Trigger masters, and the Minicon combiner team, and Brainstorm here, the first Headmaster in years, I believe since Transformers Energon with it’s Omega Supreme and Minicon head.  Before that was Armada Sideways with his swappable headmasters.

As our first modern Headmaster, Brainstorm is pretty good.  There were some early reports about issues with the neck joint on the Headmaster and body, but rumor has it that problem was fixed.  He even fakes the classic power level gimmick with a flip down panel inside his chest that activates when the Headmaster is attached.

The Headmaster itself is a little iffy though, the arms are large chunks with the arm bits painted on in the appropriate areas.    He looks nice for the most part for such a small figure though.  He works well with his little cockpit in space ship mode.

The new headmasters though aren’t compatible at all.  There is a size difference for starters, which breaks the port set up.  In the broader sense though, I like the size difference here just because it makes for some nice variety from “All Deluxe scale”.  I also am not huge on swapping the heads between bodies, so I don’t really mind that there is a lack of compatibility.

So I’m not saying the Titans Return Brainstorm is bad, he’s based on one of the better molds in the line, but I just really like this version of Brainstorm from a few years earlier in Generations.

Review – Mafex – The Dark Knight Joker

I’m not a huge fan of the “Nolan Batman” films as a whole, but The Dark Knight is one of my favorite movies in the broad sense.  Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, both are kind of mediocre, The Dark Knight is so good though.  A lot of this is because of the Joker as the villain.  Loving Heath Ledger’s Joker isn’t an uncommon opinion at all for sure.  Unfortunately, in the US, Mattel has the license for DC figures, and produces most of them.  Mattel, honestly, isn’t the greatest toy company, mostly because they tend to have wonky articulation and really spotty assortments.  The Dark Knight Rises 4″ line had cases of like 23 Batmans and 1 Bane or something ridiculous.  There was a version of The Joker released in the US, but I really wanted something nicer.

Enter Medicom and Mafex, and their Dark Knight Joker.  This isn’t Mafex’s first figure, though they don’t put out a ton of product.  Actually, especially previous to this Joker, Mafex has had a really awful reputation for releasing really crappy figures.  Not so much from a design standpoint but from a quality standpoint.

I’d heard that they had gotten better with this release, and I opted to go ahead and pick up the Joker here as my first figure from their releases.  I have to say I was not disappointed.  Though I also need to say, there are still some quality issues, particularly in the joints on these figures.  As of writing this review, I’ve picked up three figures from the Mafex line, and all of them have had joint issues of some kind, most often in the neck.  My Joker sometimes has problems with his arm falling off.

Aside from this issue, I’m really satisfied by this figure.  The sculpt is great, the weapon assortment is great.  The smiling head is a little too happy, which is kind of weird, but the normal glowering head is spot on great, and it’s really the onle that would be used most of the time anyway.

There’s a bit of hindrance to articulation by his coat, though the Joker, especially this iteration of the Joker, is pretty slow and shuffling in his movements anyway.  He’s not exactly an athlete or a ninja on any level.

So the question is, is it recommended?  It’s probably the best Heath Ledger Joker available in this scale.  That said, the join issues could be a turn off.  I’d recommend him, but not for a tremendous mark up, unless you’re a huge fan of this Joker.  I add the last part because now that we’ve moved on to the DC Cinematic Universe and the Suicide Squad Joker, this Joker probably isn’t going to get any sort of future release in a better line (Figuarts).

Review – Marvel Legends – Walgreen’s Punisher

Walgreen’s has quickly become a pretty hot spot for toy collecting.  They have continually been getting some really good exclusives for Star Wars and Marvel Legends and more recently Transformers.  These often, though not always, aren’t just mild repaints or useless variants of other characters from a mass release, especially on the Marvel Legends side.   They also have started having a good track record of getting waves earlier than other retail outlets such as Wal-Mart and Target.  The Punisher here is one of those exclusive figures.

This Punisher is such a mixed bag of hit and miss.  He’s mostly good, the skill and belt bits work well, Punisher often has the same problem of Venom, where his large chest logo overlaps a waist cut and gets ugly when the waist is turned.  He has a decent assortment of accessories, with his two guns and rocket launcher.  He even gets two heads.

The heads though could be a little better.  He’s The Punisher, he really could use one good grimacing head.  Both of these heads seem a bit too… heroic, and almost friendly.

The worse offender though, which pretty much makes this figure a pass unless you are a huge Punisher fan, is the hands.  Let me reiterate, in case I have not done so enough yet, this is The Punisher.  His “super power” is pretty much 100% “Bad Ass Mother Fucker with Guns”.  His hands DO NOT HAVE TRIGGER FINGERS.  Of all of the figures who get trigger fingers who don’t use guns or need them (Daredevil), the Punisher absolutely needs trigger finger hands.

You can sort of fake it but cutting the index finger free with a razor blade, but the tension and sculpt just isn’t quite there and it just doesn’t work.  It’s such a travesty that a mostly decent figure is pretty much rendered complete garbage by a simple oversight.

So yeah, he’s nice, if you’re clever you can cut the finger or maybe even swap hands with another figure (Maybe Nick Fury who shares a mold I believe), but out of the box, he’s ruined by his inability to properly use is included accessories.

Review – Transformers – Titans Return – Wolfwire (Weirdwolf)

The last entry in the line for Titans Returns Decepticon updates for the G1 Headmasters is Wolfwire.  In G1, Wolfwire was known as Weirdwolf.  There are all sorts of crazy reasons for name changes like this from rights ownership to names being slurs in other languages or even just because Hasbro decided that they don’t like the name Weirdwolf anymore.

Titans Return Weirdwolf Wolfwire

Weirdwolf, Wolfwire, whatever you want to call him, he’s definitely the best of the Decepticon ranks here.  He’s has nice pose ability in both modes, his weapons are both nice, his transformations is simple yet nicely elegant.

Titans Return Weirdwolf Wolfwire

The beast mode has a real Voltron vibe going for it, though he is a wolf and not a lion.  There is a small cockpit window for the Titan Master on the back and the canon that attaches to his back certainly feels Voltron-ish.  Maybe Zoids is a slightly better comparison.  I suppose in the end robotic animals will look like Robotic animals.

Titans Return Weirdwolf Wolfwire

The cockpit is also large enough that he can seat two Titan Masters inside instead of just one, though the front Titan Master doesn’t have a way to attach.    Also, like Mindwipe and Skullcruncher, Weirdwolf’s beast mouth is articulated as well.

Titans Return Weirdwolf Wolfwire

I mentioned his weapons a bit.  He includes a sword and a canon.  Like all of the Titans Return deluxe toys, the larger weapons are hollow and designed to work as seats/vehicle things for the Titan Masters.  Unlike most of the other weapons like this, his doesn’t look weird when used as a gun for the robot.  This is mostly likely because it doesn’t really form a part of the beast/vehicle so it’s free to simply look like a big gun.

Titans Return Weirdwolf Wolfwire

I don’t have any major complaints about Wolfwire as a toy.  He’s a probably the best of the line through Waves 1 and 2.  He even has a nice cockpit making him appropriate for use as a wolf mech for the smaller Titan Master figures.

Review – S.H. Figuarts Sailor Mercury

Sailor Mercury is the second of the team behind Sailor Moon and the second to get a Figuarts.  She serves the brains of the outfit as well as the techie of the group.  She also has one of the lamest abilities in the history of people with abilities in any medium which involves throwing bubbles at her enemies.  Not even cool bubbles like say, Mega Man’s Bubble Man, but lame bubbles.

She does gain some more powers as the series progresses though, themed around water and ice.  Plus her usefulness to the team is more than her ability to be less useful in a fight.  Sailor Moon tends to just one shot all of the bad guys anyway with her crown.

Sailor Mercury isn’t a straight repaint of Sailor Moon, though not surprisingly, they do share many parts.  The basic design and uniform of the Sailor Senshi is pretty much the same across the board.  Ami has a different head of course, but she also has different boots and an entirely different set of hands than Usagi.

She also includes her little hand held computer device, in both open and closed models.  While it would have been neat to have had one computer with a hinged lid, having the open and closed versions are probably better at this scale for the sake of not losing parts and because the hinge probably would have just ended up being a floppy mess anyway.  She also includes an alternative hair bit that includes the visor she sometimes uses.  It’s a nice way to help differentiate the design more when standing the Sailor Senshi all in a group.

Otherwise she’s definitely very similar to Sailor Moon.  I haven’t had the same problems with loose hands that I had with the Sailor Moon Figuarts however.  Also, while the boots are similar in design, I feel like there must have been some minor tweak on Mercury because she also seems like she is easier to stand up without the stand accessory.

Figuarts Sailor Mercury is the logical next step after Sailor Moon and seems to do a good job of improving the little flaws with the design of the first Sailor Senshi.

Review – Marvel Legends – Juggernaut Wave – Phoenix (Jean Grey)

This may be a bit of a short one on the text.  I honestly have very little to really say about Marvel Legends Phoenix.  In fact, the main thing I have to say is something I really don’t say too often about anything.  I think I legitimately hate almost everything about this figure.

I’m not even sure it’s an upgrade from my old Toybiz Phoenix figure.  Sure that old Phoenix has some issues, and is far from perfect but this update just has so much that I don’t particularly like that makes for the perfect storm of dislike.

For starters, her sculpt is kind of nasty.  The head is weirdly skinny and angular and the hair looks unnatural.  This isn’t helped by how completely bland her design is.  At least the old Phoenix has a few extra flourishes here and there to keep her from being so blandly green.

She also can’t stand for crap, which only really helps to push my dislike of this figure down farther.  In fact the only reason I bothered at all was that she was the only figure left that I needed to complete the Juggernaut Build a Figure.   There isn’t much else to say, he’s just extremely bland and kind of ugly on the paint and sculpt, which is a shame because several other figures in this wave are excellently done.

Review – Transformers – Titans Return – Highbrow

Like most of the original Headmasters, Highbrow hasn’t gotten a proper update in a while.  There was a pretty neat Highbrow back in the Hunt for the Decepticons sub-line of Revenge of the Fallen, though his alt mode for that line was a Lockheed P38-Bomber style plane, and he was mostly green instead of his original blue and white.  It’s a neat toy mostly for using a cool alt mode, but it’s not very Highbrow and it wasn’t a headmaster.

Like most of Titans Return, Highbrow is a much more faithful remake of his G1 iteration.  He has the same colors and turns into a dual prop Cybertronian helicopter.  It’s not a toy without some pretty bad flaws though, mostly due to the helicopter blades.  This is one of those areas where the lessened budget of newer toys actually become a bit of a hindrance.  The helicopter blades don’t have any way to lock into place in robot mode and don’t fold out of the way in any meaningful way.  They just sort of flip around, which wouldn’t be a problem except they tend to get locked up in his massive helicopter cockpit backpack.

He also suffers from a severe case of “wobbly head” syndrome, which seems to plague a few of these Titans Returns figures.  Part of the problem seems to be that the hook for his head sticks out from his neck a few millimeters.  On the plus side, it means he can sort of look up and down a bit, but it doesn’t make things lose and floppy.  Something that was most common in the Wave 1 figure Scourge, which brings up another interesting bit…

Back in my review of Chromedome, I made a comment about how Chromedome looks like he is a remold of the Combiner Wars Breakdown mold, but isn’t, he just shares a transformation.  Highbrow here has a similar sort of situation going, because technically, Highbrow IS a remold of Titans Return Scourge.  That said, they share almost zero actual parts and their transformations are “reversed.”  Where Scourge’s front form by joining his legs together, Highbrow forms the rear of the helicopter.  The tell tale bit that these are remolds lies in the pull out section on the hips/legs used during transformation.  That, and that they are part of the same lines, it’s actually pretty uncommon to have a remold cross over between lines the way Chromedome and Dead End would have done.

The toys are definitely different enough to warrant owning both of them if you are interested in both.  The transformation results in a pretty near little helicopter.  The cockpit is functional to allow for the Titan Master to fit inside.  The two guns can attach to the underside of the wings to give the chopper some artillery, though they attach via the non round pegs, which is slightly against what you commonly see but it allows for the use of the molded landing wheels.  There’s a third flip out landing gear that isn’t super obvious on the under side of the cockpit.

The helicopter mode looks good and holds together very solidly.   It’s definitely a good addition to the vehicles for Titan Masters.  If your interest in this line lies more with the Titan Masters and their vehicles and bases, Highbrow is definitely a good addition, even if his Robot mode is a little clunky.