Saturday, December 8, 2018

1:12 Scale Custom Sci-Fi Lab Diorama


Earlier this year, I was inspired to build my first action figure diorama, and enjoyed it so much that I dove into a second within a week of finishing. The result is this Sci-Fi Laboratory measuring approximately 19 x 16 x 16". While lighting could certainly be installed, I designed it so it could be simply lit from behind the translucent blue mylar attached to the "power radiators". Check out the video for a closer look:


The scale of this diorama is roughly 1:12, making it perfect 
6" figures like my new Marvel Legends Fantastic Four!

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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Marvel Legends Namor (Walgreens 2016)


I'd admired this 2016 Walgreen's exclusive Namor for awhile prior to getting him at a deep discount back in January, spurred by my enthusiasm for the 2018 Black Panther Wave Sub-Mariner. That figure somewhat overshadowed by the rest of his wave, I opted to give him a more thorough presentation in the video below: 


I can't say which of these I love more, though Sub-Mariner came with an extra "classic" head in addition to a second set of hands, and the sculpted scales on his trunks are fantastic. That said, the printed scales on Namor's outfit are neatly applied, and his collar adds a lot of attitude to his entire presentation. Both of these are just great- Imperious Rex!

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Monday, November 26, 2018

DC Multiverse Batwing & Duke Thomas Robin


I remember these catching my eye when they hit the pegs some time ago, but they didn't fit into my focus at the time and I'd stopped keeping up with DC after the New 52 craze tapered off. But at a quarter the original retail price, I could no longer contain my curiosity.


Having never read the We Are Robin arc, Duke Thomas is a stranger to me. My love for a variation on a theme, and longtime fandom for the Boy Wonder overcomes any unfamiliarity with this current incarnation, however. The Ultraman helmet threw me a little initially, but I liked the red jacket, pouched belt, and big sneakers. A really nice unmasked head is included, as are the nun chucks accessory. His ankles are completely immobile due the hightops, but he has the typical Multiverse articulation points most others enjoy. I just love his muted color scheme, which varies from previous Robins, yet still somehow espouses the pluck those who assist the Batman possess.



According to DC Wikia, Duke Thomas was one of hundreds off civilian teenagers who formed the We Are Robin movement to fight crime in Gotham City. Eventually he would leave the movement to join the Bat Family officially as The Signal.






Batwing's first appearance  was in 2011's Batman Incorporated, the "Batman of Africa", David Zavimbe, a Congolese police officer fighting corruption in his own government, crime lords, and against global terrorism as part of Bruce Wayne's Batman Inc. Luke Fox, son of Lucius, took over for David in a newly designed suit, after which this figure appears to be inspired by.



The matte black glider wings on this action figure simply peg onto the back, which seems insulting when Hasbro gives us an action figure like Archangel for the same retail price, but for five dollars I'm fine with that. I probably now own ten or eleven Mattel Batman figures, which has been a slowly burning fire of mine for years- I was really glad to pay five bucks for this one. While there's little paint, the eyes and insignia on his chest really glow when the light catches them. The entire body has a subtle metallic glint that looks rad, and the blue around his bat symbol and eyes sparingly and neatly applied. An understated, but good looking action figure.



Pictured below: Batwing with DC Multiverse Rebirth Batman and Zero Year Batman,
and Duke Thomas with DC Multiverse Cassie Sandsmark.



These are some nice looking action figures, though not evolved beyond Mattel's previous DC Universe Classics in articulation. Hasbro's Marvel Legends regularly surpass in this category, and have been improving aesthetically on a consistent basis, putting them head and shoulders above Mattel for 6" action figures in my eyes. That said, I have a deep admiration for DCUC that goes back a few years, before Hasbro's reintroduction of Marvel Legends in 2012. Duke and Batwing could easily fit into your DC Universe Classics lineup, particularly Batwing, who reminds me of that rare all-black Knight Shadow Batman variant from the early DC Superheroes line, predecessor to the famed DCUC. 


See my post on the diorama I built this Fall, the featured background on many of these photos!
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Disney Marvel Toybox Hulkbuster & Hulk Battle Set


This Disney Marvel Toybox set was intended for younger children, but collectors have been picking it up for the somewhat impressive Hulkbuster included. Rivaling the larger Marvel Legends Hulkbuster in visual appeal and articulation, the addition of lights and sounds just icing on the cake with this Toybox version. I'd never pay full retail for it, but at 25% off, I'm in. Check out the video:


Another thing this Toybox Hulkbuster has that the Marvel Legends does not have is a Tony Stark head under the helmet. There's even toe joints, and joints in the three fingers! My only gripe with this Hulkbuster is the loose joints, especially the left elbow- I've heard similar reports from the community regarding this and other larger Toybox figures like Baymax and Maui. I'm particularly enamored by the Hulk in the set- collectors who already had single carded Hulk w/purple pants may be less enthusiastic, but the roaring expression on this one is an improvement in my opinion. A single carded grey Toybox Hulk is now available as well. A fun set, but buy it on sale!


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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Marvel Legends Magik


Illyana Rasputin is the younger sibling of mutant X-Man Colossus, Piotr Rasputin- my familiarity with the character doesn't go far beyond that, but there's no denying the cool factor of this action figure. Magik has the ability to teleport and block telepaths with psionic shields, but is better known for her sorcery. A Walgreen's exclusive, she's been difficult to track down, having seen her myself in only a couple locations among several within my immediate ten mile radius and no indication of her availability through their website. I bought one and left the others for the other kids like a good nerd- if you can find her, she's a visual delight, packed with accessories!



Illyana comes with two magnificent swords and multiple magic effects accessories to bring them to life- not sure which of these is meant to represent her famed Soulsword, but I'd guess it's the smaller katana. The larger, oversized battle sword matches her aesthetic more closely, but they are both pretty cool, molded from translucent plastic.


The accessories hardly stop at the swords and magic effects, a small dragon and flaming skull round out the package, making Illyana one of the most packed Legends offering I can remember in recent history. Sure, the dragon is a repaint from Kitty Pride's Lockheed accessory, and the skull from Ghost Rider, but it's still lots of fun!


In anticipation of finding Magik, I'd procured a loose Nico Minoru from the 2016 Marvel Legends Dr. Strange Wave off eBay at a substantial discount, recognizing she'd pair well with the former. I often buy figures that may not be directly related per se, but complement one another in spirit and/or aesthetic. In addition to their translucent accessories and dark clothing, they share the same boots and a goth quality that unite them visually.


Nico Minoru first appeared in 2003 in Runaways, daughter of dark wizards she escapes from to become a superhero, later joining Marvel's first all-female supergroup, A-Force. A sorceress like Magik, Nico's Staff of One grotesquely emerges from her body when she bleeds, but her extra arm accessory interests me more, made of translucent magenta plastic. I can find no mention of this on the internet, and while not molded to specifically fit the magic accessory that wraps around her staff, I was able to carefully balance it around her magic arm.



I don't care much for Nico's staff, so she has inherited Illyana's extra sword so
 they can battle side by side against the forces of evil magic and sorcery!



Above: Marvel Legends Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel with Nico Minoru.
Below: Marvel Legends Valkyrie and Angela with Magik.


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Monday, November 12, 2018

Funko POP! 6" Spider-Hulk


I usually start a post on a Funko POP! stating my best intentions in limiting the number of them in my collection, but in the case regarding this oversized 6" Spider-Hulk, and in the immortal words of the recently departed Stan Lee, " 'Nuff said!" Check out the video:


Spider-Hulk's first appearance was in Web of Spider-Man #70 (1990), but he appeared again a decade later in Hulked Out Heroes, a 2-comic mini series, part of the World War Hulks crossover in 2010. You can still find the 2006 pre-Marvel Legends Spider-Hulk from ToyBiz on eBay, commanding a respectable price on the secondary market twelve years after it's release. Below, Spider-Hulk towers over the Funko POP! Homecoming Spider-Man... 

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R.I.P. Stan Lee (1922-2018)

Sunday, November 4, 2018

POP! Venomized Iron Man


I'm constantly fighting the urge to buy another Funko POP! vinyl, and while I prefer the regular ball joint head design featured on the DC characters over the bobble-heads on the Marvel figures, I could not resist this Venomized Iron Man. The other Venomized characters of this series are cool, but Iron Venom was a standout! See more in the video below:


Below, Venomized Iron Man with Funko POP! Homecoming Spider-Man 

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

DC Collectibles Vibe


Another recent eBay find, DC Collectibles Vibe, another New 52 action figure from what I feel was a great moment in the line. For two or three years there around 2011 - 2013, DC Collectibles was making some beautifully sculpted action figures with nice paint apps. I bought several of the New 52 Justice League figures, and what they lacked in articulation was doubly repaid in aesthetics. I picked up the first issue of Vibe's New 52 solo title in February of 2013, and while I didn't stick with it, I did read more issues of different titles relaunched by DC around the sane time. I will say DC Collectibles did a commendable job capturing the character's look, producing a detailed figure with lots of great incised sculpting throughout Vibe's outfit.





Vibe's shoulders are mounted only to a swivel, no hinge to facilitate lateral articulation, and he has nothing in the waist. He utilizes DC Direct's classic Y-hinge at the hips, allowing only forward and back movement, but these figures have always been about aesthetic with less joints to break up the sculpt. While I enjoy a figure with expanded articulation, I do appreciate the beauty of these.


Vibe appeared first in Justice League of America in 1984, the first member of that team to be killed in action. He appeared in Blackest Night as a Black Lantern, but was retconned with the DC New 52 reboot, Cisco Ramon gaining his vibratory powers while being pulled from the event horizon of a boom tube by his brother, who was subsequently killed. Hence the impetus for Cisco becoming the hero Vibe.



Below, Vibe with the DC Collectibles Katana, another figure that came only in a 2-pack (Vibe w/Flash, Katana w/Wonder Woman). Like Vibe, Katana was reintroduced in the New 52 relaunch, and also enjoyed ten issues of her own solo title, starting in February of 2013.

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