Thursday, December 27, 2018

Mega Construx Call of Duty Specialist Battery & Vladimir Makarov

These Mega Construx Call of Duty Series 3 microfigs appear to be the last vestige of the line, the once plentiful stock of the building brick line all but gone from retail shelves. I'd admired these two before, so I thought I'd pick them up before they were gone. The great accessories and articulation are almost never included on figures this size, and I just love them.

Erin "Battery" Baker is the sole female of my fledgling collection of these figures, a character in Call of Duty: Black Ops. I like her futuristic assault weapon and orange armor accents.

I think the Series 3 Spectre would make a good sparring partner for Battery!

According to Call of Duty Wikia, Vladimir Makarov is the main antagonist of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise, leader of an international terrorist cell. While I enjoyed the flashier, futuristic Battery figure, Vladimir's more contemporary, partially civilian dress appealed more to me- a better match to my existing Call of Duty microfigs.

Vladimir goes well with the Call of Duty Mercenary Armory set from my last post...

 make a reliable supplier to Vladimir's arms needs...

Mostly certain we've seen the last of the Mega Construx Call of Duty line, I was glad I scored a few things on the way out but sad to see them go. I've also picked up some Masters of the Universe microfigs in the last year, and will be interested to see what else Mega Construx comes up with.

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Mega Construx Call of Duty Mercenary Outpost Armory

I'm mad for these Mega Construx figures, particularly the Call of Duty line due to my typical childhood love for Tim Mee plastic soldiers, present in the toy box of every American boy from the '70s. If those had the amazing articulation and great accessories that the Mega Construx Call of Duty have, I'd have been over the moon! This Mercenary Outpost Armory has huge play value, pegged to stack with other arsenal construction set containers, reconfigurable, and with extra parts to jazz up the exterior. The darker plastic injected into the mold gives a convincingly worn aesthetic, and the tamped shield logo and container numbers look fantastic! Check out the video:

The arsenal container disassembled, configuration possibilities are numerous, with clips to stow extra weapons from your other Mega Construx Call of Duty microfigs. The Assault Weapons Crate and figure from my last post complements this Mercenary Outpost Armory nicely, and can easily be stored inside.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Mega Construx Call of Duty Assault Weapon Crate

Late to the party as my modus operandi, I'm mad for these Mega Construx Call of Duty microfigs, with their great accessories and impressive articulation for such a diminutive scale. It appears that this line has thinned on the pegs, their hot minute of the last couple years come and gone. Still, I managed to find this deluxe Assault Weapons Crate at a great price, including not only a great microfig, but a unique care  package of gold weaponry. 

The rifles have interchangeable parts such as silencer muzzles, scopes, and ammo clips, which I've had little time to experiment with, and this one included a barrel flash that I had not seen before. Some of the best figure accessories I've ever seen in an action figure line!

Below, the Assault Weapons Crate is opened for Keegan P. Russ 
and my 2013 exclusive Call of Duty: Ghosts soldier...

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Mega Construx Call of Duty, Halo Minifigs

Picked up a few Mega Construx recently, two Call of Duty and a Halo, once again fascinated with these tiny toy soldiers. Their range of articulation at this 2" height is impressive, having come a long way from the Tim Mee plastic soldiers of my 70's youth. I'm a minifig fan in general, but Mega Construx/Mega Bloks are are some of the most fun out there.

I know zero regarding the Call of Duty franchise, but Keegan P. Russ is apparently a sniper in the Call of Duty: Ghosts game- I liked his rifle and night vision goggles. 

My interest in Keegan P. Russ was as a mission partner for the Mega Bloks Call of Duty Ghosts minifig I found a couple years ago, unsurprisingly clueless about their shared team affiliation. They go together better than I imagined, appearing to share the same legs, flak jackets, and more.

I had seen the Call of Duty Specialist Spectre on the pegs before, any action figure with a skull mask sure to catch my eye passing by.  A character in the Call of Duty: Black Ops III video game, Spectre's identity, sex, and even existence is highly classified. His specialist "Ripper" weapon is molded in translucent blue plastic to emulate the dual light blades that practically guarantee a close-quarters kill.

Now the Mega Construx Halo Spartan Emile is from a different franchise than the Call of Duty Spectre, but they sure look like a couple mercenaries cut from the same cloth. Emile-A239 is actually an assault commando the futuristic United Nations Space Command, but also a close-quarters specialist like Spectre. I love the gold highlights on this figure and his bowie knife, that would have benefitted from a sheath molded onto the figure or a peg onto the body like a lot of these figures have. Bonus points for the translucent flight stand attached to the base that pegs into his back.

In spite of their different franchise designation, it's hard to deny the compatibility of these two figures. My ignorance of their lore certainly helps, but two armored, futuristic soldiers with skull helmets make good partners and/or sparing partners where I play.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Marvel Legends Fantastic Four

I assembled this Walgreens Exclusive Marvel Legends Fantastic Four team at the end of September, but postponed photographing them until I completed the Sci-Fi Laboratory diorama featured in my last post. The diorama was in fact inspired by finally collecting them all over the course of their months long, one-by-one release. A number of Walgreens within my immediate vicinity limited this to a mere task of patience as opposed to grossly overpaying on the secondary market, even purchasing Human Torch and Invisible Woman at a significant discount on sale last spring. Check out the video:

While collectors have expressed their nitpicks particular to this wave of figures, but it's hard to deny Hasbro's overall improvement over the figures ToyBiz produced in the 2000s. Like the 3.75" scale Fantastic Four sets I had from a few years ago, Hasbro included H.E.R.B.I.E. in this 6" update of the Fantastic Four, a nod to the '70s cartoon that quicly became Marvel canon. And to get a big figure like Thing with alternate hands and head sculpt at the price of a regular figure was an outstanding value. Great set I'm glad to have finally collected!

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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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