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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.


S.H. Figuarts – Professor Severus Snape

I really enjoy Harry Potter. I have read the books a few times, I have watched the movies a few dozen times, each, I know a lot of the little extra tidbits of the lore and world. I am pretty excited for the idea of Figuarts doing a Harry Potter series. I have essentially one figure from these movies. Right at the end of the 1/12th line they did a sub line called Dueling Club, which was as close as we have gotten to having a set of good looking 1/12th Potter figures that had decent articulation. I have Harry Potter fromt his line, I think there was also a Malfoy, Lockheardt and a Snape, but I have never seen them.

I may be totally off on that assessment of 1/12th Potter stuff. Anyway, Figuarts has started with the three main heroes, and Professor Snape all based on their Sorcerer’s Stone likenesses. I’m honestly not super keep on the three kids, they look a little goofy, and I would much rather get the core cast in slightly older versions of themselves. Snape however, was already an adult, and didn’t really change much throughout the series, so I went ahead and picked him up.

I have to say, having him in hand, he is great. There are a few issues but he’s very nicely poseable and the likeness on the neutral face is a pretty dang good Alan Rickman likeness. Even if they never do the older cast, I can say I would be satisfied with just Snape. He reminds me a lot of why I liked The Rock and Bruce Lee, he is recognizable, which makes him fun to goof around with in ways you wouldn’t expect the character/actor to act.

So the downsides though. The alternate face is a little off, and I am not entirely sure what it’s meant to represent. Is he angry? Is he yelling? Is he sneering? It’s not real clear what he is supposed to be doing with his open mouth. It also looks a little less like Alan Rickman than the neutral face.

He is also pretty light on the accessories. I am not sure what he could have come with exactly, maybe some sort of book or a few potion vials since he is the Potions Master. He only has the alternate face, 3 sets of hands and his wand.

Lastly, the articulation overall is pretty good, even with the limiting skirt piece, but his arms seem to be missing a bicept swivel. This mean that it can be a little hard to get his arms looking quite right when he raises his arm up, in some poses. This one is kind of easy to write off since the design of his clothing looks like it would limit body movement quite a bit anyway.

Snape is still a really satisfying figure. He isn’t perfect but he is pretty much everything I had hoped for. I’m hoping he will scale alright with the upcoming McFarlane figures, though I feel like he will end up being a tad on the small side. Also, I’m not sure yet if I am going to bother with the McFarlane figures, as the likenesses are kind of iffy from the promo shots. Here is hoping we get Harry, Ron and Hermione from Goblet of Fire or Deathly Hallows in the Figurarts line. I’d also be game for some of the other teachers, Dumbledor and McGonagle, Lupin, and Mad Eye Moody would all be great with this line.

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.

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.