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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.

Nendoroid D.Va (Hana Song)

One thing I really like about the Nendoroid line is that they are hitting essentially all of my “Mains” in Overwatch. Tracer, Sombra, Mei, Lucio is coming, and D.Va. These are my top five, in some sort of order. I suppose that probably just says I prefer the mainstream heroes over some of the less popular heroes.

Not surprisingly, Nendoroid D.Va is just Hana Song, aka “Baby D.Va”. In game she rides inside her giant MEKA robot, collectively they are known as “D.Va”. After taking some damage, Baby D.Va pops out and the robot is destroyed. It’s a fun mechanic in game. It doesn’t work too well for toys. A working Nendoroid sized MEKA would really bump up the cost and while cool, wouldn’t really add much to the figure.

She does come with a mini sized MEKA figure though, which is fun to use with the larger regular D.Va. The small MEKA even has swivel arm articulation. If you really want a larger MEKA that mostly works for the scale for display, the Funko POP! D.Va comes with an un-articulated larger MEKA. The style isn’t perfect and the Nendo doesn’t fit inside it at all, bit it looks alright next to her on a shelf.

Aside from her mini MEKA, D.Va comes with the usual assortment of alternate hands and faces, as well as her pistol, a cell phone, a bag of chips and a soda. It probably would have been too much considering it’s “non canon” but I would have loved some sort of cheese covered “Gremlin D.Va” face to go with the food accessories.

The hands are really great. She can make a lot of her fun emote poses from the game, like her D.Va bomb selfie or the heart hands. The chips and soda fit well in her hands as well using little pegs. The stand has an extra accessory bit to attach Mini MEKA to.

D.Va also shares the pose-able articulation that all of the Overwatch Nendos have. For anyone unaware, a lot of Nendoroids don’t really have knees or elbows, but they often will instead have alternate arms for different poses. Occasionally there will be some, like the Overwatch line up, that have regular articulation, despite the small size.

All in all, D.Va works really well in this style. I will say though, next to other Nendos like Mei or Junkrat, she feels a little light on the parts and accessories. I’m not sure what more they could have given her though really.

Game of Thrones – Arya Stark (McFarlane)

After enjoying Jon Snow and The Night King, I decided to keep up on the Game of Thrones line with Arya Stark. For what it’s worth, I probably won’t pick up Daenerys, the likeness is just too off in the face and she is overall too large. Maybe if I found her for cheap but at the moment, I don’t plan on it. I am looking forward to potential future waves of these figures, despite the disappointing series finale.

There isn’t really anything to add about the line in regards to Arya that hasn’t been said already about the previous two figures I’ve talked about. She shares most of the same high and low points. The detailing is really nice on her sculp and accessories, though, her likeness is a bit off on the head sculpt. Jon, Arya, and Dany all have this weird slightly squished look going on and the noses all seem a little too large. John fares the best, Arya is ok, but it really shows on Dany, which is why I am skipping her.

Arya does have a few issues not as present with Jon though. Her skirt isn’t as forgiving as Jon’s long coat, so her hip articulation is pretty useless. This also means all of her leg articulation is pretty useless. I may run some slits up the sides or something on mine just to let her legs have some freedom. Jon Snow’s outfit has opening and some layering going on so it allowed motion. The Night King also had slits up the sides of his skirt piece by design.

Arya also has nowhere to store her weapons. None of the figures do, actually. Some scabbards would have been nice on Arya and Jon. Jon sort of got away with this because his dagger could be slipped under his belt. the Night King barely uses his weapons in the show and seems to just pass them off to lackeys when he isn’t using them so he didn’t really need anything. Arya doesn’t get the luxury of a belt or any sort of scabbard or a zombie follower to carry her sword, so she has no way to just stand in a neutral pose while still armed.

If you are a fan of this show but not really super into the figures, Arya isn’t awful but she would be an easy pass in favor of Jon or the excellent Night King. Like I said, I am still looking forward to more from this line, but I worry the much hated finale will kill any chance of more being made.

Overwatch Ultimates – Lucio

Today’s figure is Lucio from the Overwatch Ultimates line by Hasbro. I feel like Lucio could make a pretty cool Figma, but there are a lot of other factors that make me feel like Figma will never get around to doing Lucio. Of all the figures shown off prior to the line’s release, Lucio was the one I was the most worried about. Ana had her obvious flaws in the promo photos, so she is expected to be a little disappointing. Lucio basically had one photo going around, where he was standing stiff upright with his little effect parts attached.

Basically, I was really worried Lucio would be a complete brick. Fortunately, he is quite the opposite. His upper body is loaded with joints, including some neat butterfly joints in his shoulders, similar to ones often seen on Spider-Man figures in Marvel Legends, except hidden inside his vest. Even his ponytail is articulated, which is a nice bonus. His Sonic Amplifier has a little cord that attaches to his arm which also holds on pretty well without really hindering articulation.

The lower half is… mostly alright. The hips have a pretty wide range of motion, the ankles have a LOT more than expected. The real problem, and only real problem with this figure, is the knees. The knees have barely any range of motion, somewhat because of the bulk of his legs hindering things, though it also just seems to be limited. I posted a photo demonstrating the entire range of motion, but basically it’s like 20 degrees of bend.

This does kind of really suck for posing him in any dynamic jumping poses. He also can’t make a proper Sound Barrier pose since he can’t completely bend any knees.

The knees issue doesn’t completely ruin the figure, it’s just really disappointing. You can sort of fake some more dynamic range with his ankles and hips, but it’s not quite the same.

Aside from the Sonic Amplifier, Lucio has 2 extra hands (4 total). Oddly, 3 of the four hands are for his left hand while he only has one hand for his right hand. There is a hand to let him hold the Sonic Amplifier on the left but there isn’t anywhere to plug the little cord in on the right. He also has a couple of green swooshy effect parts to look like his speed boost skating. The effects are pretty good aside from the rubbery plastic on mine was bent and distorted out of the package. I could probably boil and reshape them if I wanted to.

All in all, Lucio is pretty satisfying. he could use better knee articulation but otherwise he’s a nice figure. He has a lot of dynamic style going for him too which makes him generally fun to mess with.

Figma – Genji

The second release in the Figma line for Overwatch was Genji. Tracer being the poster child for Overwatch made sense for release number one, Genji kind of makes sense for release two. He is a pretty bad ass ninja, his robotic design lends itself to being highly articulated, and he looks like a sentai warrior. I don’t really know how popular Overwatch is in Japan, but Figma IS a Japanese toy line, so that audience is sort of the primary audience.

Genji actually is quite a departure from Tracer. I mentioned how his cyborg design works for the articulation, and it definitely shows, he is quite a bit more articulated than Tracer. Almost too articulated if that’s possible (side note, it is, look at any AY Revo). He neck and shoulders in particular have a sort of double ball set up going that let them extend quite a bit. It actually makes his shoulders look odd at times and his neck definitely feels too long if you are looking at it from the wrong angle.

Genji also has a lot more interesting accessories than Tracer. Tracer got a couple of guns and her pulse bomb. Genji has his Dragon Blade, his smaller dagger weapon and a neat effect part of his stars being thrown. There are also scabbards for both blades on his back, though neither actually holds a blade. Instead they each have removable handle bits, for when the blade weapons are being held.

He looks great holding his swords. His articulation allows you to do all sorts of sword wielding poses as well, both single and dual wielding. The ninja star effect part is neat, but the weight and looseness of some of the joints make it tricky to pose at times. Plus it kind of vanishes into the flatness of itself when looked at straight on.

He is quite a bit larger than Tracer as well. The added weight and larger feet allow him to stand pretty well even without his stand, something that’s kind of a problem for Tracer.

Despite his wonky joints, Genji is probably one of the better releases for the Overwatch Figmas so far (as of this post). Aesthetically Widowmaker is a bit nicer but in terms of pose-ability and fun factor, Genji is better than Widowmaker.

Overwatch Ultimates – Reinhardt

While I really prefer the Figma Overwatch figures to the Hasbro Ultimates versions, I have very little hope that Figma will every put out any of the larger Tank heroes. This is the one place where Hasbro definitely has the advantage. A standard sized Figma is anywhere from $50-$70+, a Figma the size of any of the tanks would easily run $150-$200, versus Hasbro’s $50. The first of the larger figures put out by Hasbro is Reinhardt, in his standard look. I believe Reinhardt has a slightly more limited release versus the single packed figures. I imagine part of this is his price and his size.

I was a little worried about the idea of this figure. There are a lot of elements here that could easily go wrong. He has slightly swirly” plastic, he is bulky which could hinder articulation, he could feel too large or too small, that sort of thing. The articulation was the biggest worry. Larger figures tend to have issues with articulation, especially from Hasbro, and armored figures in general tend to be super limited by armor bits. Reinhardt, fortunately, manages to avoid this problem for the most part. He isn’t “Spider-Man” articulated, but he is pretty pose-able. The bulk gets in the way of everything way less than expected.

He also scales very well next to both the other Hasbro figures and the Figmas. He has a lot of nice heft to him and feels solid all around. There are also a lot fo nice details on every part of him, I particularly like his hammer. The hammer works well, he can carry it in one or two hands and pose to look like he is swinging it.

He also has a shield accessory part. The lion crest on his arm pops off and the shield can be placed between the arm and crest. It has a couple of pieces that let it stand on the ground independently but Rein can also carry it around. The shield is pretty neat, but I have a few complaints with it. It feels a little too opaque. Part of this is the plastic needed to make it durable I’m sure, since transparent plastic tends to be much more brittle. A second complaint. The lion crest tends to fall off his arm. The armor sculpt gets int he way of fitting it on snugly, so it just, doesn’t fit very securely without the shield.

My other nitpick with this figure, especially for the price, he really should have come with a swap-able helmet free Reinhardt head. You could argue they might do this in a future release, for a different skin. You could argue that in game Rein always has his helmet on with this skin. I would argue that Hasbro will be very lucky if the line lasts long enough to release all 6 tanks (Rein, Orisa, Roadhouse, D.Va, Winston and Hammond), much less alternate skins of the tanks. Even if they did release another Rein with an unmasked head, I doubt a lot of people would want or need a second huge Rein figure and they certainly aren’t going to drop $50 just for the head. Basically, I doubt there is ever a chance to put out an unhelmeted Rein head, and not getting one now kind of sucks as a result.

Other than the head thing, he really is a good figure. I do feel like the $50 price tag feels a bit too high. He doesn’t really feel like 2x a single packed, smaller figure. He comes in a huge box, but a lot of the huge box exists to accommodate his huge shield. I would say he is still worth picking up for Reinhardt fans and anyone wanting a tank to go with all the smaller figures.

Game of Thrones – The Night King (McFarlane)

After being satisfied with Jon Snow, I decided I’d add another figure to my little Game of Thrones collection with the Night King. Mostly because Dany and Arya weren’t available, but having a villain, however lame his ending ended up being, is always fun.

The Night King continues the bar set by Jon Snow, he has a lot of nice detailing going on across his armor and in this case his face. Being a White Walker, which is essentially zombie, his skin is a bit decayed and creepy looking. This is also where his blue coloring comes from. He is a lot more clean looking than your average zombie however, but I guess that’s part of what makes him the leader of the undead army.

The articulation is pretty nice as well, the long coat is designed in a way that it doesn’t really hinder his leg movement much, which is a nice plus. Rubber skirts on figures tends to completely kill any hip articulation, which makes everything else below that useless as well.

He also includes two weapons. One is a sort of Ice Sword, though it has a long handle and is curved making it more of a sharpened Ice club really. He also has his “iconic” Ice Spear, that he used to down Viserion. He can mostly make the throwing pose but he only has “grippy hands” so he can’t pose with a fingers out “javelin pose” like he does in the show. Not a huge loss, but kind of annoying. The weapons look nice, though they also feel a little fragile.

The Night King is pretty nice on display. He can pose pretty well, though the character in the show never really did a lot of cool poses aside from stand around looking menacing before dying.

Transformers – Studio Series – Scrapmetal

So, for the most part, the Michael Bay Transformers movies are pretty trash. Mostly for the shitty plots, but Revenge of the Fallen is particularly bad. One thing it did have that was pretty cool though was Devastator. In general, I do like the Bayverse/Movieveerse designs, and the take on Devastator was pretty interesting. Though the Revenge of the Fallen toy line was full of some of the most complex Transformers ever produced, the only full on Devastator is produced was Legends scaled. There were individual figures of most of the components that had robots and vehicles, and there was a large combined figure that only had parts that turned into vehicles, no robots.

Hasbro has decided to remedy that with Studio Series, by putting out a new Devastator, across eight figures, that all have robot modes and vehicle modes. There were 6 components to the previous version with vehicles only and Seven in the Legends sized one, which added a vehicle to create the pelvis and back. This new iteration is taking things a bit farther, following the pattern from the Legends sized version, but splitting one of the arms into two separate toys.

Scrapmetal is one of those two arm characters. He’s technically the only “new” character of the set, since Hightower (the crane) has almost made up the arm on the previous toys. This figure more or less forms the hand.

Scapmetal turns into a small excavator. The primary driver in Studio Series is robot mode scale so the excavator is pretty small, but there are some small er versions of this particular vehicle out there. The vehicle is a little small compared to old style Deluxes but looks alright next to other Studio Series. The transformation doesn’t allow the top to rotate independently of the treads unfortunately.

Transformation is pretty straight forward but has a few neat little tricks. There’s some fun asymmetry to the way the arms fold in together to form the top part of the vehicle mode. The legs pretty much just collapse and fold up underneath. He has a little removable shield thing that mostly exists to cover a few gaps in the vehicle mode, which is a little cheaty.

The robot is pretty normal as well, at least for Movie Constructicon standards. The other initial release is Rampage who stands on a single Pogo Leg, but other highlights of the Constructicons include Hightower, who turns into a sort of Velociraptor, and Demolishor who is a pair of arms on giant wheels.

One neat little bit if you want to fancy him up a bit, his legs have the option of working as “normal knees” or can knock back and become Digigrade legs. Probably the main disappointment is that there isn’t really anything fun his crane arm can do in robot mode. You can swing it up between his legs like a huge phallus but that’s not super useful really. He also has a lot of neat little extra detail. The biggest stand out is the treading detail inside his back, that doesn’t serve any purpose in either mode. I imagine in the combined form it will be more visible for some added detailing.

Scrapmetal really has me excited for the test of this team. He looks like he’ll probably be comparably sized to the old Revenge of the Fallen Devastator, but with a lot more detail and more functional articulation. I also kind of like that these are being released over time, since it gives me a chance to spread out what is essentially a $200 purchase over a couple of years.