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Nendoroid – Junkrat

I have, so far, picked up every one of the Overwatch Nendoroid figures released so far. They all have some ups and downs, but on the whole they are pretty good. Today, I want to talk a bit about Nendoroid Junkrat.

Of all of the figures released in this series so far, Junkrat is definitely one of the most unique. Honestly he seems fairly unique compared to all Nendos, not just the Overwatch releases. Maybe there is some vague hope that there might be some Tank characters released in this line after all, with how much Junkrat has going on that’s special. First off, he is a fair amount larger than the previous releases. I honestly never really realized it in game since Junkrat is always hunched over, but if you look at a pure size chart, he’s one of the taller characters in the game. His Nendo, even with its goofy short proportions, is taller than the previous releases.

Part of this comes from his huge head and hair. These are also a bit unique in design, though Sombra who came out at the same time shares the uniqueness. On the previous figures, generally the bangs of the hair are removable, and the face plates swap out underneath the hair. The face plates are pretty interchangeable, that is, you can easily put Tracer’s face on Mercy, if you want. Junkrat’s entire front half of his head makes up his face plates, instead of just the bottom half like other Nendoroids. The hair bits also have to be removed and reattached in chunks, to make the swap. It’s a little clunky to do quickly, but the end result looks better. with his partially bald head, a plate styled like other Nendos would have left a visible seam across his forehead.

Speaking of the face plates, he also has a swapable mouth piece to give him a “tongue hanging out” look. As a side note, the eyes and mouth on the second head LOOK like they could be removable/swapable, but I didn’t really want to test the limits of the plastic and couldn’t get mine to come out. There isn’t really any noticeable difference in the base face anyway, so swapping the eyes around wouldn’t really do anything useful.

Additionally, he has his peg leg. This is also fairly unique to Junkrat. Between the peg leg and his huge head unfortunately, it also means he’s not going to be standing without a stand anytime ever. Though most Nendos have small enough feet that you’re going to have a hard time getting them to stand up independently anyway.

All these unique bits though help give him a lot of neat character to his design. He definitely comes off as “Junkrat,” goofy and crazy looking.

He doesn’t stop at his basic design though. He has a slew of really neat accessories. All of the weapons he wields in the game are represented here, he has his sticky bomb, his grenade launcher, his trap, and his Rip-Tire. The launcher and sticky bomb are fairly boring, the sticky bomb isn’t even painted, but the trap and tire are both great.

The trap can be laid out open or closed, and had a hand designed to hold it up to emulate his in game emote where he uses it like a puppet. The Tire is nicely detailed and can be mounted to his back, or to a extra articulated arm piece as if it’s being launched and rolling away.

You can add in on top of this that MSRP for Junkrat isn’t more than the previous releases, it makes him feel like a pretty good bang for your buck figure. All in all, I think he’s definitely one of the cooler Overwatch Nendoroids so far.


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.

Transformers – Studio Series – Bumblebee (VW)

The latest Transformers Movie, Bumblebee, takes things back more to the original roots of Transformers.  It features G1 versions of a lot of the characters and the main character, Bumblebee, takes the form of a Volkswagen Beetle like he had in the original 80s cartoon.  The movie isn’t getting it’s own toyline but is instead being looped in with the Studio Series line.  The first figure from the new films is Bumblebee himself though in many cases, Dropkick from the followup wave is also showing up with him.

The new Bee reminds me a lot of Studio Series Jazz in that he is really tiny in both modes.  This feels a lot more appropriate given it’s Bumblebee, who was one of the smallest Autobots in the original G1 series.  It does make the $20 price point for deluxe Transformers a little hard to swallow but he has a few little parts that help make it feel more worthwhile.  The robot is pretty nice, though he has a huge backpack that feels like it should collapse on itself a bit more, but doesn’t really seem to without pushing the plastic beyond what feels comfortable.  The legs also are a little funny in that they feel like they should peg together better but don’t seem to. 

The design itself is very reminiscent of the old Camero Bumblebee design from the last few Michael Bay Transformers movies.  The way the layered chest lays and the panels fall on his legs and the door wings sit on his back, these elements are all very Movie Bumblebee.  The Door wings aren’t very accurate to the film though, where the doors seem to do some mass shifting and point downward instead of becoming wings. 

I mentioned he comes with some extras to help offset his cost.  Specifically, he has an alternative face plate for his “Battle Mask” look and a swap-able arm piece for his arm cannon.  There’s also a blade weapon which can attach to the side of any of the three forearm pieces.  These sort of swap out parts aren’t a real common things for Transformers.  Having them, it’s kind of clear why.  The canon arm falls off a lot more easily than the standard hand arm and the Mask face falls off if you look at it funny.  These are definitely parts which will become lost over time by some.

The transformation is pretty straightforward in it’s execution, though fairly complex.  Its a pain to get everything to massage together properly, partially I think because it’s such a small figure.  The legs and back piece are particularly problematic and I can’t see anything obviously out of place like the hidden peg on the underside of Jazz’s roof that just made everything sit right in place once engaged.

The VW Beetle looks alright aside from things not quite sitting together properly.  The vehicle does feel a little funny because the G1 Bumblebee, was very much a stylized chibified VW.  This Bee feels too long, though I’m sure he’s not for a real Beetle.

Cutting to the chase here, I think that Studio Series Bumblebee is alright, but I kind of wonder what the wider audience is for him.  He’s too complex and finicky for kids, and there are plenty of simpler options out there.  He doesn’t really mesh well for collectors.  I don’t have it but I suspect the pricier Masterpiece Movie Bee does everything slightly better and he probably looks better.  I suppose if you’re in the middle like me and don’t really need a super classy Bee but don’t want something overly simplified this version does the job, but if you want a perfect VW Movie Bee, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.


Review – Marvel Legends – First Ten Years – Infinity War (Dr. Strange, Thanos, Iron Man Mark L)

It seems a little weird that the latest film Infinity War is included in the First Ten Years line of Marvel Legends, but I guess it is part of the legacy.  I guess it’s more strange to me because it includes a complete version of a Build a Figure that’s currently on the pegs still and an Iron Man that’s part of that same Build a Figure Wave.  In terms of figure reuse, this set is essentially 100% reuse of past releases, and it’s one of the more expensive sets, which pretty much makes it the worst offender of the line for being a decent value.  Fortunately it’s starting to get marked down.  And not everything here is a bad deal, though it’s not all good.  This set basically consists of one really great figure, and two mediocre figures, and all of that depends on how much you’ve already invested in previous versions of these characters.

So, I’m going to start off with the Iron Man Mark L (50) armor.  This is Iron Man as he appears in the Infinity War movie, sometimes referred to as the Bleeding Edge armor.  It’s a pretty standard Iron Man save for one new feature that wasn’t int he mainline release, and one I didn’t even know the figure had until I opened the shipping box and pulled this set out.  The chest has a light up feature for the Arc Reactor.  Press a button and it glows, very brightly.  It’s a neat effect though it limits his torso pose-ability completely.  Honestly, most Iron Man figures aren’t super poseable int he torso anyway, so it’s not a huge loss.  It also helps the figure stand out a bit from all of the other armors.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any sort of add on bits like Tony Stark uses int he movie, which would have made for a great set of accessories.  This armor basically consists of a bunch of nano machines that reconfigure into shields and laser pylons and extra jets as needed.  This toy is just a human shaped suit of armor.  He does have a nice set of repulsor hands, they don’t have joints but they are sculpted to be fully “up” in blaster configuration.  Also included are a pair of replusor blast effect parts, though it’s the same part we’ve gotten in the past several Iron Man releases.  As far as Armors go, it’s also not the most exciting design.  Personally, I dislike how sleek and rounded it is and of all of the suits I own figures of, this is probably one of my least favorite designs.

Next up, Doctor Strange.  This is such a hit and miss figure on several levels, and sometimes on the same level.  If you own the previous release of this figure from the Doctor Strange movie, it actually really helps this figure out a lot.  This is despite that from the neck down, they are identical figures.

So what’s good here.  For starters, the head is great, really great.  It’s got that current gen Hasbro better paint detail thing going on and really captures Cumberbach’s Strange.  It’s different from the previous Doctor Strange head as well, with a little smirk going on.  So many heads lately on these figures have smirks, I guess it’s the new thing for Marvel Legends or something.  He also gets better paint apps on the Eye of Agamotto amulet he wears, the green Time Stone inside is actually painted this time, though the accessory itself is the same.  There is a new cape as well, which is better…. ish.  It looks nicer and has more texture detail, but the previous cape was also designed to stand up on it’s own, since in the films it has it’s own personality.  The new cape is rounded along the bottom and doesn’t stand.  The body isn’t entirely identical tot he previous release either, since one arm includes sculpted “Time Effect” parts.  When Strange does some Time Magic, he gets these little green rings around his arms, the figure has this effect sculpted on one arm.

Which brings up the downsides, the Time Effects are not removable, so he is always casting a time spell, so to speak.  There isn’t an alternate arm or anything to swap out, which is something they have done previously, in the Doctor Strange wave actually, with Nico Minoru.  Considering they even HAVE a clean arm for this mold already designed, it’s a shame one isn’t included.  I suppose the mold probably isn’t designed for easily removed arms.  There is an alternate hand accessory to hold the energy shield effect but it’s not for the arm that the Time Effect uses, so you can’t even swap the most obvious green energy hand out.  The body itself also isn’t quite as nice as the previous one with the paint details, which is surprising given recent trends of Marvel Legends as a whole and the head of this very figure.

There is a great plus here though if you have the old Doctor Strange, the parts are cross compatible.  So the new, nicer head can be put on the old, more nicely painted, Time Effectless body to make a good Doctor Strange figure.  The Eye of Agamotto just hands around the neck, so that’s easily swapped.  The cap is the only iffy part, since the new cape has a peg that slips into a hole on the back of New Strange, a hole that doesn’t exist on Old Strange.  So to use the new cape, you would either need to cut the peg off, which may cause the cape to attach in an unstable way, or drill a hole in the back of Old Strange, which is doable, but could be tricky to get just right.  Or just use the old cape, since it still looks decent.

So lastly Thanos.  I didn’t like the Movie Thanos design a lot but it’s grown on me over time.  He looks like a Space Farmer.  I guess it helps that he’s such a great character in the film that I can forgive his design some.  Still, I never bothered finishing up the Build a Figure.  The wave consisted of several characters I don’t need more of or didn’t like the design of (IM MK 50, Ugly Cap, Iron spider without tentacle arms) so I mostly opted to skip the Thanos BAF.  This makes Thanos here kind of the jewel of this set, since it’s a great way to get a good character without blowing a bunch of money on other figures I don’t want.  That said this set came out quite a while after the Thanos BAF wave, so anyone who really cares about Thanos probably already has the last release.

I will say, from what I have seen, this release is superior to the BAF release.  The colors are much more vibrant overall for starters.  He also includes two heads, both of which feel like better designs than mainline head, though having all three would be a nice bonus.  The mainline head, which I don’t have is sort of slightly smiling and a little goofy looking, the heads in this release are the more sullen standard head and a grimacing angry head.  Both are excellent representations of how Thanos looks in Infinity War.  The gauntlet itself is also open fisted.  Which feels more appropriate given that there was an entire battle about preventing him from closing his fist.  Unfortunately the gauntlet isn’t easily removed and swapped with the closed fist gauntlet of the mainline release.  I am sure it could be swapped using the Boil and Pop method, but it’s not something that just pops on and off quickly.  I imagine, like Strange’s arm, this is a limitation of the mold not originally being intended for a swapping gimmick.  Nitpicky pipe dreams aside, Thanos is a really great looking figure that really captures the character well.  If you’re looking for a Thanos and don’t want to be bothered with the Build a Figure, this one is probably better anyway.

So on the set as a whole.  It’s a decent set, despite being a set of re-released figures.  Granted my opinion is tilted a bit since I didn’t already have the previous Mark 50 or Thanos figures.  Even having them though, the light up chest on Iron Man is decent, the improved Strange is worthwhile and the the better Thanos is definitely worthwhile.  Maybe not for the original MSRP but at a discount it’s a worthwile set for an upgraded Strange and some alternative Thanos accessories with better paint.

 

Review – Transformers – The Last Knight – Cogman

I’m not going to lie, I barely remember anything about The Last Knight.  I had some vague hope it was going to be better going into it, but it wasn’t.  I don’t really know how but somehow the Michael Bay Transformers movies just got worse and worse with each release.  I vaguely remember something with knights in the beginning and then they go to the ruins of Chicago or something then there was something with Anthony Hopkins and Hot Rod in England.  Beyond that, the whole thing exists as some sort of weird repressed memory or something.

Still, I like Transformers Movieverse Toys.  This guy Cogman was the tail end of the line and got a really random release pretty much straight to discount stores.  I believe Cogman was Anthony Hopkins’ butler robot int he film, I don’t remember him turning into any car or anything, but it may have happened at some point.  This guy gets a semi proper representation through his Headmaster.  This movie came out alongside the Titans Return line, which was all Headmasters, and while the movie line didn’t share that gimmick, this guy does.

Cogman’s headmaster is cross compatible with the Titanmasters and Prime Masters, and like the Titans Return figures, Cogman has a driver’s seat for his head robot.  In fact, he has two seats, so a buddy can even ride along, a neat little added gimmick.  The vehicle itself is an Aston Martin, a vehicle appropriate for the butler/servant of the eccentric Sir Anthony Hopkins.   There was one other pseudo Headmaster in the line if you want to keep things pure, Nitro Zeus has a removable head that’s compatible with the Titan/Headmasters, though his own head doesn’t transform. 

The robot fits pretty well in with the Knight theme of the movie and a lot of the toys in the line.  He’s all gray with a dark wash in some places.  He has a sword which he can wield with one or two hands.  His design has sort of an armored look to it as well.  The transformation is pretty neat overall, his hood has a neat rotational gimmick instead of just folding over.  He holds together fairly well, which is sometimes an issue with characters with cockpits like Cogman has.

Overall, Cogman is a pretty neat figure.  It’s kind of a shame that he got shoved tot he back half of the line, because he’s become a bit of a scares toy to find.  He’s one of the few actually new molds and characters of The Last Knight toyline, and he has a lot of interesting and unique aspects to him with the double driver interior and Movie themed Headmaster.  I believe he’s getting a re-release in the Studio Series line however with a different paint job, so there’s still a chance to find him, though probably not at the discount store price.


Review – Marvel Legends – First Ten Years – Ant-Man (Ant-Man and Yellowjacket)

Unlike Thor, Ant-Man did get a dedicated wave during the time of his movie.  It just, only had one movie figure in it, Ant-Man, and the rest of the wave was Ant-Man themed comic characters, sort of, the 3 villains of the wave weren’s Ant-Man villains.  the Build a Figure was AoE Ultron, though in the comics Hank Pym built Ultron, not Tony Stark.  Anyway, the point is, there wasn’t a Yellowjacket figure, comic or otherwise.  Marvel has seriously shied away from doing figures of the movie villains for whatever reason.  This set remedies that problem.

It also remedies another problem.  The MCU Ant-Man figure we got for the first movie had a horribly inaccurate head.  It was based on some pre-production art or something, because the head had a visible human mouth and the breather unit was attached to the chin.  In the movie, Paul Rudd’s face isn’t visible while he is in the suit.  The head for this set is more accurate to the movie’s design.  There is also an unmasked Paul Rudd head as well.  It’s different than the one from the recent Ant-Man and the Wasp version, with the goofy smirk.  Unfortunately, the heads are not cross compatible, they use entirely different pegs.  I have no idea why Hasbro hasn’t standardized the head pegs.  It seems like it could only be a win for the on the production side, since it would mean easier parts reuse, and it would mean for easier head swaps for people who buy the figures.

Aside from the heads, the An-Man is essentially identical to the original release.  The red parts have a bit of extra texturing to them, but it’s the same sculpt otherwise.  Including the slightly weird hands.  The better Ant-Man is nice, but the real winner of this set is Yellowjacket.  It’s nice to see Hasbro finally pushing a lot of the villains from the MCU out, because they all had some really nice designs and having someone for the hero to fight is always good.

The figure itself is pretty much what you’d expect.  It’s similar to the Ant-Man in that it’s a little stiff and clunky in design, but a lot of the MCU figures fall into this bucket, it fits with the “realistic” look and style though, so it’s not a huge problem.  The fun part is his backpack and the pair of stingers hanging off of it.  There are several extra joints to let them pose in several different ways, though it kind of feels like there could be a few more joints to make it perfect.  It holds to his back well though and does the job.  He generally looks pretty menacing and matches the movie design well.  The upper stinger pylon things don’t have any joints though, which is kind of a bummer.  He also doesn’t have an unmasked Corey Stoll head, which is kind of a bummer, though I don’t recall him ever wearing the suit without the helmet either.

The set also includes a set of micro sized Ant-Man and Yellowjacket figures.  They are the same ones included with the original Ant-Man release with marginally better paint.  It’s a nice extra bit but nothing super amazing.  The mini figures don’t even really stand on their own or anything.

So, unlike the Thor and Sif set, this set has a much broader appeal.  Ant-Man is a much more well received film than the Thor movies and the re-release figure is a definite improvement over it’s original release, so it feels like less of toss aside item than the Thor.  Yellowjacket is also a nice figure with a little more play value than Sif.  It’s a good set overall.

DX-9 K1 Freeman (Overwatch Bastion)

So, even before Goodsmile announced they were doing Overwatch figures of any kind, a company known for 3rd party Transformers, DX-9 put out a transforming 3rd Party Bastion.  Or as it’s officially know, K1 Freeman.  So, a little background, “3rd Party” is a term used often in the Transformers community to refer to a slew of toys and companies that produce unofficial, unlicensed Transformers figures.  There are, I believe, similar operations in other toylines, but Transformers is definitely the biggest market for these toys.  They aren’t straight bootlegs, like you might find at a flee market, where some company produces a replica of of an official toy and sells it for cheap.  These are heavily engineered and often expensive figures, released without the official sanction of the company holding the IP.  They also often get goofy names like “K1 Freeman”.  Bastion, being sort of a Transformer, got the 3rd Party treatment.

I waited on picking this one up for a while, until the official Figma figures were announced.  I seriously doubt Figma ever puts out any of the larger characters, though I’d be happy to be wrong.  I have even less faith that Figma will ever put out a transforming Bastion.  So Freeman is the next best thing.  The main thing that feels off about him is the default skin, which I had honestly forgot what it even looked like, because no one uses it in game.

He does the job pretty dang well.  There is some limitation on the articulation, especially on the gun arm, but it’s mostly pretty good.  Bastion isn’t exactly a ninja or anything, he’s a big heavy military robot that turns into a tank.  Being the product of a 3rd Party Transformers company, he also has all three of Bastion’s modes.  Granted, none of Bastion’s transformations are particularly complex.  For the turret, he pretty much drops to his knees, fold up the arms, and extend the barrel on the back.

The tank involves some parts swapping, though there isn’t really any other way to handle those giant treads.  The Gatling turret swaps for a tank barrel and the legs slide off and get replaced by the tank treads.  The treads are actually functional, which is cool, but rubber on toys tends to not really last, so I imagine over time, they will likely end up falling apart.  The parts forming kind of sucks, but it’s slick and easy so it works.

The best part, Freeman scales very nicely with the official Figma characters.  He might be a tad oversized, but it works, and it’s not a lot if he is.  He also includes a little version of Ganymede, his little parrot friend.  Ganymede has a little peg that lets him peg onto a fee places on the figure.

Overall, Freeman is a pretty nice representation of Bastion.  He’s gotten pretty affordable on eBay as well.  The whole thing is very solidly built and has some nice heft to it as well, nothing flimsy here.  The real X factor is what Hasbro does with it’s recently announced Overwatch line.  They are more likely to release Bastion than Figma, but who knows if it will transform at all.  I suspect it would at best turn into a turret and not a tank.

Review – Transformers – Studio Series Jazz

Studio Series is a line that I wish I were more excited about.  I just really don’t have a need or interest in updated versions of most of the Movie Transformers.  I had heard a lot of good things about Jazz, and the only other version of Jazz was the one from the first movie, which wasn’t a bad toy but not super great.  After finding him on sale, I decided to go ahead and pick him up, though I was a little worried about his size.

The size of this figure is definitely the most noticeable thing.  Jazz is one tiny toy.  Part of this stems from the push for robot mode scale that I mentioned in the Studio Series Blackout review.  He sort of feels like a not so great value next to other figures, especially with the price bump.  He includes a pretty large weapon, but it doesn’t really make up for the lack of plastic.  Granted, there’s more to a transformer than how much material it’s made of.  Jazz makes up for his lack of size a bit with his very nice looking shinny paint job.  He also has a pretty neat transformation.

His robot mode is small, his car mode feels absolutely tiny.  It helps a bit that the Pontiac Solstice he is based on is a fairly small car, but it is barely larger than a basic scaled Transform.  Even as a small car, it looks out of place next to other deluxe sized Transformers, including previous Movie based characters.  It looks really nice at least.  On a related note as well, getting things to all mesh together can be a little tricky, there is a peg on the underside of the roof that needs to be pegged in first before almost any other step.  Going back to robot mode has a few little quirks, the head is a pain to pull up out of it’s little hole.  I do really like how the chest transforms however, the way the whole thing rolls over and clips upside down is really neat and not something that has been done in Transformers that I recall.  The front of the car also pops out to flip over which works to really make the chest look similar but different than the front of the car.  It’s a nice little touch.

There is also this really need trick with his gun.  It’s not as original of an idea as the chest, but the gun can be held by a standard 5mm peg fist, or the fist can be folded in and the gun attached to the end of his arm.  It replicates the way the guns in the movies would sort of transform out of the robot arm.  The clip isn’t super strong though, so it tends to fall off if bumped the wrong direction.  It’s also nice to have a movie Jazz with real arms, and not the weird hollow arms the original had.

Overall, despite the size problem, Studio Series Jazz is a pretty nice figure.  He’s visually interesting in both modes, partly from his nice coat of paint.  The transformation does some neat tricks.  The robot is pretty nicely pose able, he has some really good ankle tilt joints that aren’t even part of the transformation.  He’s definitely a good update for the old Jazz and pretty nice on his own.