Lameazoid.com Rotating Header Image

Reviews

Star Wars Black Series – Anakin Skywalker

Star Wars has been on a bit of a low point lately for toys. Not really a low point of quality or anything, if feels more like a low point of interest. The last few movies did alright, but not really amazing, and a lot fo the character designs were kind of bland. Lately they have been tapping into some of the older movies, and part of that, thankfully, involves re-releasing some of the previously release Black Series figures in the Archives line.

This isn’t a new line or anything, it’s been going on for a while, but it’s been getting better. They aren’t straight re-releasing figures for starters, they tend to have better paint apps and modern face print technology. Basically, they tend to be better. Anakin Skywalker was originally figure number 16 in the Black Series, released way back in 2014 or so.

This particular iterations is based on his appearance in The Revenge of the Sith. The pinnacle moment for Anakin, when he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. Though he doesn’t have a red light saber, Anakin didn’t have a red saber anyway, he does have an alternate “Evil head”. The second head is similar to the main head, though the pain apps make him look a bit more pale and he is scowling a bit more. Both looks good though, using the more modern print tech.

The only other accessory is his light saber. Like a lot of Star Wars figures, the blade is removable and the hilt can be hung on his belt. One thing of note, the blade and hilt feel a lot more rubbery than previous light sabers. The older ones are a little bendy, likely mostly to keep them from breaking easily, but this saber in particular seems really rubbery more than soft plasticey. It holds it’s shape and works already, but I kind of worry about sagging over time, which happens a lot with swords that aren’t real stiff.

The base figure is very similar to other Jedi releases, probably the same mold even, but comparing him to Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan, he somehow is slightly better articulated. I couldn’t really get Obi-Wan to hold his sword with two hands properly, but Anakin could pull off a few two handed poses. He still can’t do anything real dynamic with any two handed poses, which is a bit of a bummer. The upper arms get caught up on the chest tunic too much.

I had been a little worried that Black Series was going to completely abandon the older movies for a while but they have really been pushing back into them. I’m glad they have re-released Anakin here, he’s one I’ve been wishing I had in my collection.

S.H. Figuarts – Sakura Kasugano

When playing Street Fighter, I have always been a fan of the “Ryu Family” of heroes. Ryu, Ken, Sakura, Akuma, that sort. They tend to have a nice balance with speed and power. That said, I also kind of prefer Sakura, for being a bit faster.

All of the other Street Fighter figures I have are from SOTA Toys’ old line. For the most part they are pretty good figures, even their Sakura, but the Figuarts Sakura just generally looked a lot nicer, so I’ve been wanting to pick her up for a while. She is definitely an upgrade. I may have to look into a Figuarts Ryu to go with her, because my SOTA Ryu has a broken part and well, I like Ryu.

I’m not really here to talk about Ryu though. In the usual Figuarts style, Sakura is pretty crazy poseable. nothing really gets in the way, though the skirt does limit her leg movement a bit at the waist. She has two pairs of hands, one set of fists and one open pair. The open hands are nice as they work for a relaxed open hand look and for throwing Hadoken fireballs. Speaking of which, she includes a Hadoken fireball accessory and a stand for it. She also has a few extra face options, which ass fit nice and tightly. Lastly she has a pair of cardboard pieces that make make up the scene of her fighting stage.

What’s more glaring about the accessories is the lack of some things. I don’t usually mention stands in reviews, but it’s worth noting that Sakura does not include a Tamashii Stage stand aside from the one for her Hadoken. A few more hands would have been nice as well, though I’m not real sure what else she needs. Maybe a pointing hand of some kind? The SOTA figure had a backpack and book accessory, something that I believe shows up during the fight intro moments. She kind of just feels really light on accessories compared to other Figuarts. It’s not a huge problem, but it’s notable.

Overall, I really like her. I’m glad I finally picked her up, she one of my favorite Street Fighter characters and she’s a really nice figure.

Marvel Legends – Smart Hulk Wave – Union Jack

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I am not always too familiar with whom these Comics characters are. Especially when they go off into people like union Jack here. That said, I often don’t mind picking them up for the sake of a BAF that I do care about. Or sometimes just because they seem neat. Union Jack pretty much falls into the latter, though there is a bit fo the former there.

What I can gather from reading some summaries of his story online, he’s sort of like a cross between Captain America and James Bond. There have been a few different people who used the mantle of Union Jack, so some of them were more Bond than Captain America, and visa versa. One thing that seems to be regular, aside from the very United Kingdom Flag themed suit, is his knife and handgun.

The base figure is pretty standard fare, nothing super detailed on his sculpt or anything. I do rather like the paint job of the Union Jack flag on his outfit. What helps him stand out is his belt, which has both a sheath for his knife and a holster for his gun. Both function well. He only has one set of hands, but they function well for his weapons. Which is kind of the point.

All in all, he’s a pretty decent figure. Nothing super noteworthy, but there could be worse figures in the line and at least he’s more notable than Rock Python.

Marvel Legends – Smart Hulk Wave – Rescue

A neat little surprise of sorts in Avengers: Endgame, though not totally unexpected, was the appearance of Rescue. Rescue is the name of Pepper Potts, when she dons her own Iron Man style armor. She sort of does this briefly in Iron Man 3, though not voluntarily, since Tony was protecting her from the collapsing Stark mansion. At the end of that film, thanks to the Extremis formula, she also gets a bit of a taste for being the hero. Plus, Rescue is a “thing from the comics”.

Basically, it’s not a huge surprise or stretch that Pepper Potts would eventually wear her own suit, especially after the extreme events of Infinity War. We got a comic version of Rescue a few years ago as an exclusive for Marvel’s comic subscription service, but this MCU iteration doesn’t share any of the same components. The design follow the design shown in Endgame pretty well, the whole suit is very sleak, which also fits in with the evolution in design philosophies we saw Tony go through over the course of the films. Unlike Tony’s armor colors of red and gold, Rescue is blue and gold.

For accessories, she is a little light on parts. She has no alternative repulsor hands, which is a bummer. Even more of a bummer is that she lacks and unmasked head. They even have a Gwyneth Paltrow head available from the recently release Iron Man 3 boxed set. Maybe they are saving it for a future line or boxed set, maybe it just didn’t seem important enough, but it kind of sucks that it’s not there. I don’t have the boxed set myself to test if the head fits on this body. What she does have is a swap out backpack part, to give her her little jet pack wings. This was also a look that Tony gained during the recent movies. I suppose from an armor evolution standpoint, it’s useful to be able to control your flight without relying on the hands and feet.

Also notable, the label on the back lists Rescue as 0049, so does that make it Iron Man armor 49? Or Rescue version 49?

So, on a basic level, there isn’t a lot wrong with this figure aside from the anemic extra parts. It’s somewhat to be expected since they probably won’t get a ton of reuse out of the mold, though if they ever bring iron Heart into the MCU, there could definitely be potential. I have to say despite that I really like Iron Man and his various armor, I actually find this figure really really kind of dull. She is plenty pose able, she even has double elbows and knees. I think it’s mostly just all the weird blue color or something. Plus the fists only kind of limits some of her posing since fists aren’t always appropriate for some action posts.

Marvel Legends – Smart Hulk Wave – War Machine MK006

I’m assuming it’s War Machine Mark 6 here since he has a bit 006 emblazoned on his chest and the previous releases have different numbers. Anyway, moving on from some of the stuff that’s less interesting in this wave, the first of several MCU characters from this wave is War Machine.

I have to admit, for some reason I kept thinking Rhodes didn’t survive the Infinity War snap. I guess it felt redundant to have Iron Man and War Machine survive. But he did, and he ended up with some new armor for Endgame. Over the course of the films, War Machine has basically just been getting more and more bulky. It kind of fits with his more military motivations, versus Iron Man just trying to be a hero. It’s also not clear exactly how much input Tony Stark has on his newer designs either, I know for a while HAMMER was working on his suit as well. I imagine the USAF has some in put also.

It’s definitely a nice design though. It’s also nice that his suits aren’t just repaints of Iron Man figures, since they could have easily just gone that route. This iteration is quite a bit taller and definitely bulkier than previous Iron Man armors. It kind of makes me think of a small style Hulkbuster armor actually, though it’s still quite a bit smaller than the Hulkbuster Armor.

War Machine includes 3 accessories, one shoulder canon and two under arm gun… things. The shoulder gun is fine, but I am honestly not sure what the under arm weapons are supposed to be. They don’t really look like gun, they have these funky handle looking things, but not triggers and they can’t really be held like a shotgun or anything. I am sure they are accurate to something from the movies, but it’s also just kind of a crappy design. They don’t attach particularly well either and they don’t flow with the design of the armor at all and just look out of place.

There isn’t an alternate head, which kind of sucks but the open helmet from the previous release sort of fits on the armor, though it’s noticeably undersized.

The articulation on this guy is pretty good given his bulk. I mentioned this briefly when I talked about Beta Ray Bill. The shoulder pads have plenty of give on them flipping up that allows for the arms to bend upwards some. The legs don’t get in the way of themselves at all really either. A neck joint with more range of motion would have been nice so he could look up would have been nice, given that the suit is capable of flying. He also could really use a peg hole for a display stand as well, once again, because he is often seen flying.

Of this whole wave, I have to say War Machine is probably the stand out winner. He has very few real problems and the design is great. He’s bulky and looks bad ass, he is articulated a lot better than expected. He’s just a great all around figure.

Mafex – Evangelion Unit 01

It’s a very Evangelion time right now apparently. The original show is on Netflix, which I highly recommend checking out. I also got my pre order for Unit01 in. I have never been a huge Anime person but I am a fan of quite a few older shows, Evangelion being one of them. I watched and rewatched the original series a lot, on VHS, because that was the thing at the time. I’ve still got several model kits and various figures from back then as well.

Given my history of Eva and how much I am starting to like Mafex as a company, I jumped on Eva01. This design is technically from the remake version Evangelion 2.0, which, honestly, I didn’t like nearly as much as the original, but it’s close enough that it’s not really a problem. Honestly, the only thing that feels off is the shoulder pads seem a little small compared to the original version, though they often had an inconsistent size anyway.

While I like this figure a lot, and Mafex has really upped it’s game in their more recent releases, but it has a few issues. I kind of wonder if the drastic change in body styles from super heroes to gangly robot set things back a bit. On mine specifically, the ankle is really lose and the foot falls off. I have heard reports of other lose joints including the hips. Mine isn’t bad, but I could see how some people may dislike it.

I also had a part come off of the swap-able shoulder part, though it didn’t break, it is a separate piece that came off and is easily repairable with a spot of glue. Lastly, I had some issue with swapping the hands initially, though it got easier after doing ti a few times. It doesn’t help that the shape and thinness doesn’t always allow for a good way to grip them to stick them on the peg, which is really tight. I was worried that I might snap some fingers off on accident.

I still really like this figure. It’s extremely poseable with plenty of range on every joint. It can make pretty much any pose that the Evas take in the show. It helps that the design is so skinny, allowing for more range without running into itself. The size is nice as well. It’s taller than the previous 6″ Mafex figures. It wouldn’t be 1/12th scale anyway, since Evangelions are building sized. It’s smaller than my old Bandai HG Model Kits. It’s also a bit smaller than this Kaiyodo Eva that I have, though that’s a little hard to tell because the Kaiyodo Eva has a funky squat pose that it can’t quite stand up from. It is more or less the same scale as the SEGA figures, but the SEGA figures are so cheap they kind of look pretty lame next to the Mafex.

There are a lot of great accessories here. There is an alternative Berserker head with an open mouth, a handful of hands, an alternate shoulder for deploying the Prog Knife as well as a loose Prog knife. There is a full Plug capsule and a partial one that both interact with a swapable part that goes in the back for an open plug insertion effect. There are two guns as well, one is the regular Evangelion machine gun, the other is a huge Gatling cannon. I don’t recall the Gatling cannon in the original series at all so it must be something from the Evangelion 2.0 series.

Lastly there is a large AT field effect, that works with one of the sets of hands. The Eva can hold the effect up with no problem. There is a standard claw grip stand included, but no stand for the AT field. It doesn’t work with other stands made for holding flat pieces from Figuarts and Figma.

I held off on Pre Ordering Eva Unit 02 until this figure was released due to the history of spotty Mafex releases, but damn if this figure doesn’t make me excited for more. I admit I used to be kind of a huge Eva nerd, so I’m kind of extra hype for some good Eva figures with nice pose-ability and not a lot of weird stylization going on (Revoltech).

Marvel Legends – Smart Hulk Wave – Loki (Comic)

I’m not super keen on Loki’s comic book look. He’s a little too, court jester in style for my liking. Still, he’s kind of a big part of the whole Thor and Asgardian world, being Thor’s brother and all, so not having a Loki to go with my other Asgardians was kind of a hole in need of filling. Plus, frankly, I kind of wanted everyone else in the wave.

I’m sure someone who keeps better track than I do would know which “buck” this is, but it’s pretty much just “Bulky dude in spandex”. The figure is honestly pretty basic overall, though it does match his look. The best part of this figure is the most unique part, specifically the head with the cheese eating grin. The face is goofy and fun. I do kind of hate how his pony tail is permanently swooshy in style.

Loki is the God of Mischief after all.

The only accessory he includes in a sword. I am kind of surprised he doesn’t have a cape or anything, I guess this costume design just doesn’t have one. Some extra hands could have helped flesh out the package as well.

I don’t have much else to say about this figure, he’s a notable character, but it’s just such a boring design.


Marvel Legends – Smart Hulk Wave – Beta Ray Bill

As a fairly popular secondary character of the Marvel universe, it’s kind of surprising that Beta Ray Bill doesn’t have more figures. He has a neat design that lends itself pretty well to being a “cool toy” and his outfit could easily be made from reusing most Thor figures. If you are unfamiliar with the character, you may notice that he looks a lot like Thor. His origin and history is very much related to Thor and the hammer Mjolnir.

He was one of, if not the first character, besides Thor, to be worthy enough to wield the hammer in the comics. His creepy evil looking design was done intentionally to throw readers off. Basically, just because someone is a creepy skull horse man, doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of wielding the hammer. After some battle with Thor he was given his axe Stormbreaker by Odin. Stormbreaker also being the Axe forged by Thor during the Infinity War movie to kill Thanos. The point I guess is that Beta Ray Bill being included in an Endgame themed wave of figures isn’t as random as it seems, certainly not as random as say, Union Jack.

This costume isn’t quite his standard fare, which usually has the larger, more centered circles like Thor has. This has a lot of fans kind of upset at this figure. I don’t personally care enough about the character to be that concerned about it, but it’s something that I’ve seen complained about enough that it’s worth noting. If i am going to complain about something here it’ll be the shoulders, which are pretty limited by the way the shoulder pauldrons hand. It’s extra annoying because the ones on War machine in the same wave are similar, except the ones on War Machine aren’t nearly as inhibiting.

I do like the way the cape operates with the pauldrons however. The cape has little rings that pop over some larger mushroom pegs sculpted onto the front of the pauldrons. It’s a design that I don’t recall seeing used before in Marvel Legends. It certainly holds much much better than other solutions I’ve seen, like pegs in the front of the shoulders. Plus, no ugly peg holes if you remove the cape.

The head is also pretty nice. Beta Ray Bill’s jaw is articulated, which is great for being able to give him a bit of change to his expression when posing him.

All in all, he’s a pretty neat figure, and his design makes him pretty unique among Marvel figures who are mostly just dudes in spandex suits.