Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Imaginext Batwing and Apokolips Armor Batman (Bat-Tech)

I sold off all my Imaginext figures during a two-year purge of my collection, but curiosity got the best of me when I saw this Batwing and Apokolips Armor Batman from the Bat-Tech series. There were a few other characters in the assortment, including a Shazam and Black Adam, that all feature light piping through their chest emblems that can be illuminated by plugging into the Fisher-Price Bat-Tech Batcave playset. While that all certainly looks fun, I'm uncertain I have the room, nor want to budget for another entire line in my collection.

While the Imaginext Bat-Wing may need the port on the Bat-Tech Batcave to light his chest emblem, the Apokolips Armor Batman's entire back is molded in translucent plastic that can be illuminated by almost any light source from behind...

Below, Imaginext Apokolips Armor Batman with my McFarlane Toys Hellbat
and Imaginext Batwing next to my Mattel DC Multiverse Batwing...

The Fisher-Price Imaginext line is a fantastic, successful toy line I'd recommend for any kid, vast in scope with countless minifigures, fun playsets, and vehicles that will set their imagination alight. Recommended!

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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Marvel Legends Age of Apocalypse Magneto

 To my shame, I still haven't read X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, so I had little attachment to the last couple of Marvel Legends Age of Apocalypse waves. I found some of the characters to be just interesting variations on some classic X-Men characters, such as this Magneto- he's so close in design to the character's original look, that I just bought him to use as a regular Magneto. No BAF parts were included, but the figure has an extra set of fists, electrical accessories, and a helmeted head.

I do have another Marvel Legends Magneto that I'm quite fond of, ironically from the Apocalypse BAF Wave. I'm pretty sure they share the same buck from their feet to their shoulders, only with different capes and heads. Hasbro has produced a couple other Magneto figures in the Marvel Legends line between these, on the House of X Magneto, and the other a traditional Magneto in a 3pk with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, but I'm happy enough with these two.

In the Age of Apocalypse reality, Magneto founded the X-Men to avenge the death of his friend Charles Xavier by the hand of his own son Legion, and fight against the tyranny of Apocalypse. Magneto has been both a villain and hero in the comics, even assisting the X-Men at times.

Below, Age of Apocalypse Magneto with some other X-Men in my Marvel Legends collection: 

And finally, Age of Apocalypse Magneto with my Marvel Legends 3.75" Retro Series Magneto, and 9" ToyBiz Marvel Famous Covers Magneto. Both of those figures are based on Magneto's original look, but again, the Age of Apocalypse Magneto is so close that he could certainly round out the spot in your Marvel Legends X-Men lineup if you are in need. Recommended! 

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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Marvel Legends Red Skull & Hydra Soldiers

 I'd been interested in a few of the Marvel Legends Super Villains Wave since they dropped months ago, and after cashing in some Amazon points on Red Skull, I hunted down a couple Hydra Soldiers on eBay to flank him in battle. Though several years apart in release, their garish colors complement each other well, looking like they walked right out of a comic book.

You can order a reissue of this figure from Hasbro Pulse for about the same price I paid for these with a slightly different paint and more conventional looking weapons, but I actually like the oversized, green heavy assault rifles these two came with. It fits the figure's comic book aesthetic. Toys 'R Us released a deluxe Hydra Enforcer/Soldier 2pk in 2017 that currently goes for a hefty price on the secondary market as well, if you are really looking into army building. Hasbro has been giving us similar options with A.I.M. soldiers and scientists, and has more recently sold out their Hellfire Club Guard on Hasbro Pulse. My only complaint is the somewhat clumsy ab crunch ratchet, but these Hydra soldiers have really good articulation and look fantastic!

The Marvel NOW! Captain America I picked up back in 2014 was a wave mate of this Hydra Soldier. I didn't start collecting Marvel Legends more earnestly until three years later, ironically while selling some of the Marvel Legends I had sporadically collected in the years prior. That Captain America Wave did have a Red Skull in it, which was basically a Nick Fury in trench coat with Red Skull's head popped on. This more classic Villains Wave Red Skull was huge upgrade, to say the least, and my preferred look for the character.

While I had the Marvel NOW! Captain America out, and Red Skull was being discussed, I thought I'd stand him next to my Contest of Champions Civil Warrior and 80th Anniversary Captain America

My Marvel 80th Anniversary Captain America pairs nicely with Red Skull, and is tough enough to take on the head of Hydra and his goons. I've had my eye this Red Skull for many months, and it's great to finally stand him next to Cap! Red Skull came with two extra sets of hands, an alternate head sculpt, tesseract, and machine pistol. An example of Hasbro's most updated buck, this new sculpt is pinless, with wide ranging, smooth articulation. 

Below, Red Skull with my Marvel Legends Iron Skull figure, a fantastic character mashup...

The other Red Skull action figure I have is my ToyBiz Marvel Famous Covers Red Skull. As a childhood fan of Mego World's Greatest Superheroes, I was naturally drawn to this late '90s line of figures featuring soft goods outfits...

And finally, Red Skull pictured below next to some of my other Marvel Legends villains: 

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Thursday, November 25, 2021

MOTU Origins Wave 7

I had MOTU Origins Wave 7  on preorder at BBTS for quite some time, but happened upon them in a local Target a couple weekends ago. I was most excited about Jitsu, a figure from the original Masters of the Universe line I owned back in 1984, but I was certainly interested in the rest of the wave. Check out the video:

Sorceress and Stratos were strait-up repaints of two figures Mattel recently produced in the Origins line, the former a more traditional redeco of the Temple of Darkness Sorceress that was included with the recent Origins Castle Grayskull, the latter a mini comic version of  the Wave 4 Stratos.

Below, Sorceress and Stratos greet He-Man, arriving at Castle Grayskull in the Wind Raider...

Buzz-Off was a new character for me, having missed his 1984 debut in the original Masters of the Universe line, but I had my original Jitsu until just a few years ago. I loved that Jitsu figure as a child, and couldn't wait to get the Origins version, which didn't disappoint. Neither did Buzz-Off, with his removeable visor...

Like the other MOTU Origins figures, Wave 7 included a mini comic, Challenge of Jitsu, including all four characters. Artwork from the original Masters figures, drawn by Alfred Alcala set my young imagination alight. I enjoy seeing these in the new Origins line, and hope it does for kids today what it did for us in the '80s. Visit the Battle Ram Blog to see more about the original mini comics and Masters of the Universe toys!

Aside from some small paint QC issues on the Sorceress and Stratos, I enjoyed this wave. I anticipate we will see a lot more from Mattel in the Origins line in 2022, and am looking forward to it- the nostalgia this line aroused is palpable! Hands down, my favorite action figure line of the last year!

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Monday, November 22, 2021

Hasbro Fortnite Victory Royale Lynx & Arcade Machine

I picked up a couple more Hasbro Fortnite Victory Royale Series items after enjoying the deluxe Meowscles featured in my last post. Like that figure, the packaging was minimal in its use of plastic, the accessories tray constructed of cardstock, and individual pieces wrapped in coated squares of coated paper. Somewhere I'd heard that Hasbro planned to phase out plastic from their packaging in the next few years, and this Victory Royale Series box appears to confirm that goal.

Lynx included a machine gun, scythe, and teddy bear backpack. Like Meowscles, her tail can be rotated, and she has really good articulation- exceptional range in the elbows, in particular. I wasn't crazy about the face sculpts on either figures, but they are otherwise really cool. Full disclosure: I know nothing about the Fortnite video game or characters, so if that's what they look like, then it is what it is. Regardless, these are nice figures with great accessories to mix with my 6" Hasbro Marvel Legends.

I was interested in the Victory Royale Arcade Machines as soon as they were solicited months ago, as a prop for my 6" Hasbro Marvel Legends, who could also use the weapons packed inside. I was pleasantly surprised by the sturdy construction, and by the accessory hooks on the verso of the locker panel...

Meowscles and Lynx make quite the pair of feline companions...

Below, Lynx with another Hasbro feline figure, my Marvel Legends Shuri...

These Fortnite figures also mix well with my Hasbro G.I. Joe Classified figures, like the 
Cobra Red Ninjas, who appear to have met their match against Meowscles and Lynx...

While I don't intend on going all in on these, I will be keeping an eye out for other interesting Fortnite figures and accessory packs that might complement my other 6" Hasbro figures. Lynx fits in with Marvel Legends and G.I. Joe Classified, and would certainly mix with Star Wars Black Series. Recommended.

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