Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Blob (of hollow plastic)!

Wolverine: Origins movie Wave 2 Sabertooth and Blob with throwing action may look like you're getting a 2 pack of Marvel Universe goodness but sadly, you're not.

Not that the set is bad or anything, but for the price of S$31 I thought I would have been getting 2 fully articulated figures. So while Sabertooth is a simply awesome repaint of Back Road Brawl Sabby Cat, Blob is, literally, a tool. Yup, he's an accessory you can use to launch Sabertooth or any of the other Evil Mutants who are willing to be launched at the good guys.

Well, Mel got me this toy when she went up to Bangkok for a work trip--the 2nd wave of the movie toys didn't make it to Singapore so I was delighted to get this. Thanks, Dear!

Blob's got swivel/hinge shoulders and a swivel hinge neck and that's it. He's also got a spring loaded dual arm throwing action but the rest of him is immovable. The irony. Maybe Hasbro meant for it to be a cruel, cruel joke. Ha, I see the funny side but somehow can't bring myself to laugh.

The paint and detail on the "figure" is great, though, and if it was a full action figure, it'd be the biggest girth-wise, bigger than even the Hulk.

Sabretooth, on the other hand maybe a repaint, but this version has longer hair and red eye shadow that's more in line with the comic books. His costume also has a duller, matte finish, and his mane and hair are not as well washed as the BRB version. So go for this guy is you prefer comic book Sabertooth. :)



Blob: 9/10 - He's actually very nicely done. His hair and eyes and that really gruesome smile. Something that both figures in the pack share.

Sabretooth: 9/10 - Gotta love the changeup in the hair. I may prefer BRB Sabertooth, but I can appreciate the lighter tone of the costume to go with the lighter tone of the hair/fur and even the red eyeshadow. His colour tine may be lighter, be this Sabby is no less sinister.


Blob: 3/10 -
3 points for Blob's only 3 joints; two shoulders and a head.

Sabretooth: 9.5/10 - How can I give him less than BRB Sabretooth? I can't, I can't! But I did. ;P


Blob: 8/10 - Most of the points lost here come from not being poseable at all. His gimmick of throwing Sabretooth I'm not too taken with either as he needs both hand to do this (they're connected in his torso). If you want one arm up you have to straighten the other shoulder parallel to the ground to prevent the raised arm from moving. (The muscle sculpting jams the thrwoing motion somehow).
Sabretooth: 9/10 - Bears most of the fun points for this pack. Lots of fun posing him with brown and yellow Wolvie. :)

Value: 8/10 - combined for this pack. A regular singles figure retails for S$ 18. So 2 figures for $30 or thereabouts would be awesome. But Blob's not a figure, not really. So $18 for Sabertooth is fine, but $12 for an accessory (cos that's what Blob is) is not.

Overall: Blob - 7/10, Sabertooth - 9/10 - I suppose I may be judging The Blob by actioan figure standards when clearly, he's not one. But I'm sure Hasbro could have taken the trouble to do away with the gimmick and give the guy some better articulation. As is is the comic 2-packs cost the same price. Why deny us a potentially great figure?

This "2-pack" still hasn't been seen in retail here, but the others in the wave have--Deadpool with BFG, Wolverine with blue bike (repaint of Back Road Brawl Wolvie), and Weapon X in Adamantium Fusing Chamber. So if you're a Blob fan, maybe you'll enjoy this. Definitely if you're a Sabertooth fan, but if so then I'd say get the Back Road Brawl (esp if you're in Singapore--only S$12 bucks at TRU!!!). But I think I'd now recommend the Wolvie with Bike as the one to get from this wave. nice Wolvie with hat and metal claws, nice blue bike which your Captain America/Hawkeye/Cyclops/Punisher/Deadpool can also ride.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yo (Great Fiery Balls of Frequent Dragonheart Fire!!!!) Joe!

Can you guess who this next Joe is, just from the title? Well, if ya don't know, here's a clue: There are 3 movies in there in which this next Joe was in, besides the obvious (GI Joe Rise of Cobra).

Stiil can't guess who? Here's a video clue (Ah well, watch it even if you know who it is--can't hurt right? It might even be funny :P ):

All right all right, that was a dead giveaway, no?

Well, the other movies in the title are Frequency (2000), and Dragonheart (1996)--not that he hasn't stared in countless other movies, our Joe has.

So without further ado, I gave you General Hawk!

Well I can't tell you how much awesome fun this figure is! (Just watch that video and you'll have a rough idea. ;]) The likeness to Dennis Quaid is pretty amazing. I mean, Hasbro screw up some, and the REALLY screw up some *cough* *cough* *Baroness*, but this guy they've got spot on.

Now he's got standard Joe articulation, which means he's got ball-jointed head and chest, pin-swivel shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists. legs are ball-jointed, with double-joint knees and pin-swivel ankles.

He doesn't come with a butt load of accessories like say the Pit Commando, but what he comes with is perfect for the figure.

We've got what looks like a standard issue rifle (if there's ever such a thing for a Joe, hah!), hand gun (that all generals have, as if to say they're so high ranking all they need is one puny pistol, just in case), 2 nanomite warheads with a carry case, a shoulder holster with a molded-on handgun, and foldable jetpack.

Oh, and also his personalized figure stand!

What also makes Hawk extra cool is that he's got a workable holster on his right hip, so you can make him hold all his stuff and then pose him.

The thing that really appeals to me about the figure is its understaness. There's just a sort of relaxed manner about the Joe T-shirt and fatigues and the beret that kinda say "I don't need 12 guns and a BFG to take you down." And I guess that's why he's a General--no BFG! Haha.

Check him out with just his handgun pretending to look at his watch:

And just when you think he ain't lookin'...

Oh, YEAH...It's the Dennis Quaid/General Hawk one shot one kill special. Great Balls of Fire!

So let's rate this Joe!

Aesthetics: 9.5/10 - Simple, well done, nicely molded and painted to look very character accurate. They've got the frown down, they've got the beret tilted just right, and they've even got his wrist watch molded on and painted. Sweet!

Poseability: 9.5/10 - His high rating is tied to the simplicity of the character design. Most often the Joes have a problem with head articualtion--they can't look too far up (or at all) or too far to the sides (mainly due to collars, armour, etc.) But Hawk looks up great and nothing gets in the way of a 360 degree head turn.

Fun: 10/10 - What can I say? Put him seated before (or dancing on) a piano, give him a radio set and have him talk to his son in the future (who's actually Jesus), or give him one of Wolverine's samurai swords and have him go "There can be only one..."

Haha, got you there. Told you he's been in too many movies. ;P You can give him a sword and pose him before a dragon and put on your best Sean Connery accent. Heck, you can even pose him in his regular day job giving the Joes hell.

So how do I spell fun?

"G-E-N-E-R-A-L C-L-A-Y-T-O-N 'H-A-W-K' A-B-E-R-N-A-T-H-Y."

Value: 9.5/10 - Quality over quantity, I always feel. As you can see from the pic above, I also busted open the really hard to find and much sought after Pit Commando. And despite all the equipment he came with (14 pieces total), I found him somewhat lacking. He couldn't hold all his equipment well and some of his stuff only he can wear. (Yeah, I know I was ambitious in thinking others could "borrow" his stuff. What was I supposed to think? He can't hold/wear 'em all at once... :P) Bottom line, what Hawk does, he does well, VERY well. (No I'm not talking about acting.)

Overall: 9.63/10 - This is an outstanding figure. And super hard to find hereabouts in Singapore. So grab him if you see him and have a whale (or dragon) of a time!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Yo (Average) Joe!

Since I was a kid, I've always liked characters who are leaders, are straight-laced, and have a good sense of justice and honour. Superman from the DC Universe, Optimus Prime for Transformers, and for GI Joe it's no different--it's Duke!

So after the Rise of the Cobra, I felt kinda cheated because movie Duke was easily the weakest character in the silver screen rendition. Why? Cuz he doesn't really look like the blond haired, chisel-faced Duke of the cartoons and comics. And also because his character was very blah.

Enter Desert Ambush Duke, whom I really didn't want to get, but ended up with anyway.

You see, I wanted to buy Reactive Impact Armour Duke instead cos I'd thought a bunch of Joes in the R.I.A would look cool together on the shelf and be distinct from the more colourful Marvel Universe figures. But I really couldn't stand how thin R.I.A Duke's face and biceps were. And they re-used the body for Ripcord as well.


So I figured, what the hey, I'd just get this guy cos he had the better looking head and a Marine uniform, which could later be used for generic soldiers once I take off his head for greener pastures. Heh.

Now I really love these new Joe figures, especially the articulation and accessories. Desert Ambush Duke is no different. But he does suffer from a couple of problems in each area.

Firstly for his articulation, both guns fit in both hands nicely but his right hand is angled in the socket such that it will hold his M16 Assault rifle, and only the M16, at the proper angle.

This means he can't wield his handgun properly in his right:

Yeah, he's either shootin' too high or shootin's someone in the crotch. And we know that's below ANY version of Duke, whether or not he's been in movies that feature street dance offs.

Oh, swiveling his wrist a quarter turn tremendously improves on his right hand grip--if you want him to be a perfect bank robber.


He'll only holdS his handgun nicely in his left:

As far as the rest of his Accessories go, he comes with the BFG (blah), helmet and night-vision goggles, backpack, and a nanomite warhead.

There's also this nifty metallic dog tag stand.

Cool beans.

The sad thing is, though the helmet and goggles are way cool--the goggs even flip up--you can't see Dukes eyes from the front when they are.

Aesthetics: 9/10 - Nice Marine Corps camo uniform--he looks every part the Desert Storm soldier. His face sculpt is accurate, making him look like Channing Tatum with the classic Duke frown.

The bad? He looks like Channing Tatum with the classic Duke frown. But for a 3.75" figure, the detail is pretty darn good, from his buzz cut to the scar on his right cheekbone.

Poseability: 9/10 -Your standard modern Joe--He has a ball-jointed head and chest, pin-swivel shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists. legs are ball-jointed, with double-joint knees and swivel and ratchet ankles.

The only problem here is only of course his angled hand for accomodate his assault rile. Even then he can't really hold the rifle right up againt his cheekbone nice and tight.

Fun: 8.5 - Well, he may have accessories, but one of them's the needless BFG, and another's a malfunctioning hat. It bugs me that he can't hold a handgun right in his right hand and vice versa for the M16 in his left. It limits his variation and affects the fun factor.

Value: 8.5 - Throw out the BFG and nanomite warhead, ignore this figure's particular "handedness" and flip goggles problem, and we have only his rifle, handgun and dog tag stand left. Or do we? Well, his vest is actually removeable, so that's a plus! Or is it? They actually went to the trouble to sculpt his uniform underneath, but didn't bother to paint it. His body underneath, though, looks like he's been starved for months. So no real joy in this mini-discovery, really. Maybe if Hasbro had painted the fig underneath he'd actually not look like he's wearing a corset. Oh, well. The jacket/vest goes back on.

Overall: 8.75 - Get him only if you're a fan of Movie Duke, or if you really liked Step Up 1 & 2. Or if you really like the Marine Corps outfit. Otherwise, I'd get the Reactive Impact Armour version (as warped as it is), or better yet, wait for the Delta 6 Accelerator suit version that should be out soon. No BFG there for sure. ;)
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