Friday, October 12, 2018

DC Multiverse Zero Year Batman

I scored this DC Multiverse Zero Year Batman off eBay this past summer at a greatly discounted price, curious about some of the Mattel figures that have passed me by the last couple years. I really enjoyed Batman: Zero Year back in 2013, and it's hard to believe how fast the last five years have flown past! A funny aside regarding this action figure: I have the DC Collectibles version of this Batman (pictured to the right), a gift from Kevin Kiniry after receiving an Earth 2 Hawkgirl with two left hands. It has more accessories than the Mattel Batman and a more Capullo-inspired portrait, as expected, but I was a big fan of the DCUC line, for which this figure's styling pays tribute. Mattel can't seem to compete with Hasbro in the 6" scale these days, their Marvel Legends line continuing to surpass in articulation and aesthetic, but I like this Batman well enough.

Mattel never really got back to a generous accessory count with it's 6" figures, but we did get a grapple gun, which though somewhat flimsy does fit neatly into it's holster strapped to Batman's thigh. Their failure to include just a couple batarangs may have stalled my retail purchase a couple years ago and cost them a sale ultimately, a far heftier price than a two slivers of plastic.

No development in range articulation from DC Universe Classics to the Multiverse line, but the hips on this particular figure has changed from the more typical, gappy DCUC joint that irked some action figure collectors a decade ago. Mattel has covered the pins at the elbows and knees, but I may have preferred double hinges there instead, or a hinged neck and ankle rockers. That said, if you are a fan of DC Universe Classics, this will likely do it for you- it does for me in some regard. I would have loved this figure as a kid, and I do really like the clean paint and sculpt details throughout. It's a cool Batman.

Below, Zero Year Batman with Mattel's more recent, and somewhat smaller DC Multiverse Rebirth Batman, both sporting a flash of purple in their outfits.  Zero Year Batman's purple gloves are an homage to the vigilante's first appearance in Detective Comics #27 from 1939, writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo's redefining Batman's origins post-New 52 relaunch. Though I didn't keep up with DC into 2016, consequently missing DC Rebirth, I'm unsure how I feel about DC Comics constant need to upend continuity only a few years after New 52. Regardless, Mattel's DC Universe Classics really got me into 6" action figures shortly after starting this blog eight years ago, and I have a soft spot for that style- especially in a Batman figure.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

My 1st 1:12 Scale Diorama

Seeing all the fantastic dioramas used by some of the ACBA artists on Instagram inspired me to test my mettle in the craft. My original intent was a wall or two with a door, which evolved into what you see above, measuring 21 x 21, 14". I thoroughly enjoyed the process and want to try another, perhaps to sell. Check out the video for a closer look:

The scale of this roomy diorama roughly approximates 1:12, perfect for 
6" action figures like Marvel Legends Deadpool and Colossus...

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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Marvel's Spider-Man Limited Edt. PS4 Pro

I have not been a gamer in my adulthood, my experience in video games stopping short of the mid '80s: Donkey Kong, Defender, and Pole Position in the arcades, and Pac-Man or Pitfall on a friend's Atari 2600. After purchasing a new flat screen TV this year, and recent rounds of  Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time at a few social gatherings, I wondered if purchasing a game console would be a more fun way to expand my home entertainment options than simply finding a DVD player. As the Marvel hype machine wound up for the release of Spider-Man, I was pulled in, obsessed by the redesigned outfit and vast cityscape rendered by Insomniac. A life long fan of the webbed wallcrawler, I couldn't have chosen a better first game console than the new Marvel's Spider-Man Limited Edition PS4 Pro. I have a long way to go in regard to handling the PlayStation game controller, but sincerely enjoyed my first night playing Marvel's Spider-Man, tutored by an experienced, skilled friend who was kind enough to help me get set up. The fighting was challenging for me, but there's so much to do in this world, including laboratory puzzles to solve as Peter Parker and smaller crimes to stop along the way. And swinging from building to building is nearly breathtaking! We even got into photo mode, offering all kind of fun filters and editing options, including a selfie option, my first pictured below. Recommended!

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Mattel DC Multiverse Rebirth Batman & Superman

I hadn't been keeping up much with Mattel's DC Multiverse, the aesthetic of a lot of what I've seen eclipsed by Hasbro's recent, extended run of one excellent Marvel Legends figure after another. Still, my love of the 6" scale was really excited by DC Universe Classics several years ago, these DC Multiverse being the very descendants of. Check out the video:

Below, DC Multiverse Rebirth Batman with my and Batman Unlimited New 52 Batman and Beware the Batman figures, and Rebirth Superman with my DC Universe Classics Superman and Man of Steel Superman:

While hiding the pins at the elbow and knee joints is a visual improvement, these Multiverse figures haven't really evolved past what we were getting with the DCUC Series years ago. That said, DC Universe Classics was a great line of action figures with a unified style and enormous cast of characters that I truly loved. I appreciated the extra hands with Superman, but am left empty handed with Batman, Mattel again refusing to give us even one batarang. Unfamiliar with the recent DC Rebirth story arc, I bought these loose on eBay, merely for my love of the characters and admiration for the outfits. Mattel isn't revolutionizing the future of the modern action figure here, but it was fun to have a couple "new" DCUC-styled heroes.

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Marvel Legends All-New, All-Different Daredevil

I was always a fan of the highly coveted 2015 Hobgoblin Wave Daredevil in red, but was glad to get this updated version from the 2018 SP//dr Wave. Modeled after the All-New, All-Different. the wrapped forearms and laced boots make for a more interesting figure, in my opinion, and despite complaints from the collector community, I actually like the zig-zag pattern of the rope accessory. Like the other recent Daredevil figures, this one was built on the oft used Bucky Cap body, which Hasbro has got some serious mileage out of- it works fine, though some butterfly joints at the shoulders would have added to an acrobatic character like Daredevil. I found this sample for under half the retail priced shipped, without the box or SP//dr BAF part, which didn't interest me that much anyway.

Below, All-New, All-Different Daredevil with my 12" SDCC Daredevil...

Below, Daredevil spars with the recent 1st Appearance Deadpool...

I'd certainly recommend this Daredevil figure, now the only 6" version of the character in my collection after having recently sold off my 2009 Nemesis Series Daredevil. Matt Murdock only wore this black outfit briefly, but it captures the spirit of the character, and the sculpt upgrades sure add visual interest. I'm currently catching up on some of this Daredevil Vol. 5 from 2016, and enjoying it. The character has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity due to the popular Netflix series after 50+ years in publication, first appearing in 1964, a creation of writer Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett. Daredevil is one of Marvel's most unique characters, evoking a deep psychological aspect due to his disability as well as his profession as a lawyer. Because of this layered complexity, so many stories of the blind Devil of Hell's Kitchen have been told.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Marvel Legends Edge of Spider-Verse Spider-Gwen (2015)

On the heels of my last post on the Marvel Legends Edge of Spider-Verse Series Ben Reilly Spider-Man, I though I'd crack this Spider-Gwen I'd been holding onto the last three years. Packed with far less accessories than Ben Reilly, extra hands would have made this better, but I'm okay with the unmasked portrait. And as stated on ItsAllTrue.Net, the character was barely a year old when Hasbro pushed out an action figure due to her sudden upshot in popularity. Pretty impressive.

I won't go on about the action figure community's bemoaning of Marvel Legends female's underperformance in the articulation department, but a better abdominal joint could have made a world of difference for Spider-Gwen. That said, the design looks great, and the paint apps are pretty decent for a mass produced figure like this- the webbing on the inside of the hood and undersides of the arms are admirably executed.

Below, Spider-Gwen with Ben Reilly Spider-Man from the Edge of Spider-Verse Series:

Spider-Gwen spars with Shuri from the recent Black Panther Klaw/Shuri 2-pack...

And finally, Spider-Gwen with Ashley Barton Spider-Woman...

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Friday, August 3, 2018

Marvel Legends Edge of Spider-Verse Ben Reilly Spider-Man (2015)

I'd been sitting on this 2015 Marvel Legends Ben Reilly Spider-Man since February, bought from an eBay seller long after his retail debut. He shares the same buck as the All New Amazing Spider-Man, which I loved The arms for the Absorbing Man BAF are included, but more interesting are the Carnage hands and head accessories included that make this figure too much fun. The vibrant red against the dark blue, big eyes, and modern Hasbro sculpt make this a dynamic figure I've been looking forward to opening.

All the appropriate modern articulation is present here, including butterfly joints at the shoulders. Collectors have bemoaned the limited hip spread, considering the acrobatic character, but they are functional enough for me. Ben Reilly also comes with no less than three sets of regular hands in addition to the Carnage hands, making this an unusually loaded Marvel Legends release. I appreciated this outfit in it's time, and love it on this lanky buck- what a fun action figure!

As I said, the Carnage head and hands accessories are extra cool, a nod to fans referring to the Web of Carnage story, when Ben Reilly traps the Carnage symbiote inside himself ...becoming Spider-Carnage (1996). I never read the Clone Saga from 1994 to 1996, detailing the long and somewhat convoluted story of Peter Parker's passing of the Spider-Man mantle to clone Ben Reilly after realizing he was actually the clone of Ben  … then later discovering he was in fact the original? Ugh. Still, I love the idea of Spider-Carnage, and the accessories make this figure special.

Below, Ben Reilly with Hasbro's 2008 version from the Marvel Legends Ares Series. This older figure gets a lot of criticism, but I always liked the sculpt.  Ben Reilly certainly is an upgrade, but Hasbro was still struggling to find their own style for the line, only haven recently taking the line over from ToyBiz in 2006.

Below, some Marvel Legends Spider-Men in my collection: ToyBiz 1st Appearance Spider-Man, Hasbro Homecoming Spider-Man, Avengers Infinity War Spider-Man, All New Amazing Spider-Man, Ben Reilly Spider-Man, Superior Spider-Man, Spider-UK, and Amazing Spider-Man.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

12" Marvel Legends Black Panther

I'd been building up some points for a few months, and cashed in on this Amazon Warehouse deal, the 12" Marvel Legends Black Panther. At south of twenty-five bucks shipped, it was a solid deal. The package was damaged, but I was going to pluck him anyway. He may have been returned for his warped right arm, commonplace in this figure, which was easily fixed with a hairdryer and cold water bath.  I loved the 6" Marvel Legends Black Panther Wave, and Klaw/Shuri 2-pack, and this big Panther is the pride of them all. Check out the video:

The paint is good on the big Panther, but the sculpt is sublime, the minutiae of etched detail in the suit artfully rendered, The portrait of T'Challa/actor Chadwick Boseman is almost plain by comparison, but is effective enough- at least the skin tone improved from the 6" Panther. His shoulders don't allow for  complete vertical positioning against the torso, but the articulation is otherwise exceptional. There's no waist swivel, but the torso joint makes up for that, and the butterfly shoulder joints are great for a character like Black Panther- bonus points for the great toe joints! The extra hands, head, and spear round out this a fantastic figure! Recommended! 

The 12" and 6" Black Panthers make a fun BIG TOY/little toy scenario!
See more in the video above!

Black Panther with my Marvel Legends 12" Wolverine, Iron Man, Hulk, and Daredevil:

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