Marvel Select Dr Doom

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Marvel Select’s Dr Doom is the best Doom figure on the market. While Toybiz were around I could never understand how Marvel Select should even exist: inferior in scale, articulation, and even in sculpt, when quality sculpting was supposed to be their specialty. But along with a select few others, he justifies the line in my eyes.

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He also comes with this sick base.

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And a sick sculpt. The cape is a soft rubber with etching and paint shading all over the back, showing that at least Diamond Select does care, despite falling short so often. It sits pretty decently on Doom and shades his awesome faceplate in an appropriately malefic manner. The etching and sculpt of the torso is the other most eye-catching area for me, achieving that Toybiz aesthetic of a character walking right out of a comic book, into the gritty real world.

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The arms have good articulation at the top of the bicep and the wrists, with the single joints at the elbow giving a right angle. The shoulder balls are pretty stiff but move enough for when his cape is on. The holster is pretty chunky and there’s no catch, but it’s painted nicely. He holds it okay. I bought mine secondhand thinking it $40 (NZD) was worth a try and the hand somehow broke off right out of the packing. Much glue later, the joint is fixed in a neutral, gun ready position. Right about that time I saw one for the same price in store. Doh!

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The legs are where Select return to form: T-joint hips, single joint knees and ankle hinges, not rockers. Pretty frustrating, but I since got used to it. Nice moulded-in lines and great sculpted metal feet. His proportions are a bit doll-ish, being too narrow and long, with his head a bit on the small side, esp. without the cape. THEY’RE NOT DOLLS

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Love dat base. And he does look great just standing there. The Toybiz and Hasbro Dooms have much better articulation and the Toybiz one (way back in the second series) has a comparable paint job, but overall, this Doom just takes it. The Toybiz one has the early 60’s style mask that looks kind of like a goblin and the Hasbro one has those dumb feet and of course, NO paint.

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There is a slight major issue of scale.

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And so my sub-collection of 7-inch scale grew.

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My ever-loving Legends Thing and my impulse-buy Hasbro Thor are both bigger than they should be (according to the comics), but this is a great fit.

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He also comes with a goblet holding hand, which I think is cool.

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Oh yeah, and good range of motion in that little, gorgeously sculpted head.

Best Doom in the world!

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DC Collectibles Icons: Lex Luthor

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The bad guy section of my collection is getting better all the time…on a Marvel note, my last TradeMe haul was a grand total of 3 definitive villains: Green Goblin, Sabretooth and THANOS. Those are for another time…

Lex is a cool figure and as Series 2 came out the same time as Series 1, I picked him up in one fell swoop along with Flash, Green Arrow and Green Lantern. That’s quite a lot of green already (also meaning money GET IT?).

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It was kind of just a typical Lex battlesuit for me, and reading the Forever Evil comics doesn’t really add much to enjoying the figure. There’s one scene where they kind of lampshade the fact that his head is completely exposed, but that doesn’t actually make it less stupid.

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His joints feel really great to move around, particularly in his legs. The moving pieces above his foot do restrict some movement up, but they can be removed. The texture on the boots is great and I think the chunkiness is a really nice aesthetic, reminding me of the feel All Star Superman had for some reason.

Because his joints are so supple it’s pretty frustrating that there’s no thigh cut. And I meant to include a photo of it, but looking in at the upper thigh ball joint reveals a lot of powdered plastic from the grind you get trying to max out the slight twist it gives you. I’m hoping that joint isn’t going to get a whole lot looser as a result. He’s not actually the easiest to stand up as it is.

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<Mega grandpa butt> I love the the simplicity of the design, with just coloured plastic and moulded lines making the bulk of his suit. His torso joint is nice, but hindered by the chest piece. Even with the waist bend he can’t go forward much. Going backwards isn’t a problem, and as he’s a real shorty in this incarnation, that’s a useful thing, for looking upwards.

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I like that Lex could be a short guy with a maniacal level of short-man syndrome. But against this DCUC Superman I think he’s in perfect scale. In certain lighting, the energy saw looks a bit like putty, but it is a cool accessory. The spike (I think mine came with one, unlike the official photos) stays on pretty good once you figure it out, and the wand thing is actually a lightening rod he uses to fight an Alexander Luthor or Captain Marvel or something. I didn’t like that comic.

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Against another guy-in-a-suit-of-armour, I feel the size could work. This is actually one of the largest Marvel Legends Iron Man figures (or at least one of the few to look like there could actually be a normal sized dude inside the suit) and he looks pretty good next to him.

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Next to this Hasbro Red Skull though, Lex’s evil bald head is pretty clearly off scale to the other evil baldie here. Part of that is that Hasbro Marvel Legends are mostly too big now according to their own original scale and another is that the Icons slot in best when their small heads aren’t uncovered.

That bald head is my only particular gripe about this figure. One of his shoulder pads needed regluing, but that’s easy. His head is painted in what feels like a very unfinished paint job, where every time I move it I feel like permanent stains are going to develop on his dome from oil and pressure. If he takes a nose dive, or gets brained in anyway, I think there’s going to be some damage done.

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NECA Robocop with Flamethrower

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This figure is a work of art.

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He’s 7-inch scale and part of the 16-bit Robocop vs Terminator series – so once again I got lured away from my 1:12 preference by a poppin’ figure (see Deathstroke). I had passed on him at Retrospace in Auckland and then passed on him again at Wellington Comic Con, but I guess Wellington’s version of the event was so refreshing (Auckland’s annual ‘Armaggedon’ has thoroughly turned me off by its ginormous commercial oozings) that I wended my way down afterwards to Pulsar Max to make the purchase!

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The paint job is amazing. I’m really glad I didn’t see the movie version first and buy that one. I never played NES but the colors and styling are beautiful, and he still just evokes Peter Weller’s awesome physicality in the first two films.

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The figure even feels nice: solid and cool around the upper torso, like it’s ceramic. They didn’t go so far as to pixelate Robo, but the blockishness of the highlights both convey the game heritage and offer a captivating stylization.

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And this feature is just incredibly badass. It works well too, although it’s a little fiddly getting the gun out of there. It clips very snugly and the lever action works very well. One of the panels could come off and have to be snapped back on, but it hasn’t done that to me yet. The gun feels a little thin but he holds it well. His hands are beautiful too…sniff…it’s all just so beautiful

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There’s a very slight difference in size between his arms and a little less range in his articulation on the right side, his gun firing arm. The shoulder motion is what it looks like, and there’s no bicep swivel. The glove cut is nice and again the plastic feels nice. Mmm, feels. 

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Good thing I’d discovered the ‘flower’/close focus button on my camera by this photoshoot. Amazing sculpting. His foot pistons really go in and out with ankle movement. Knees are nicely ratcheted. Good waist twist. Lots of range in the diaphragm joint.

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He’s got the bad ol’ Robocop hips, so you won’t be getting him sitting in any chairs. Hard to get around the character design, I suppose. He at least has a ball-joint inside there, rather than it being just a cut, so there is greater range of motion then there could have been. Reminds me of how frustrating the Robocop with jetpack of my childhood was, with those hips!

Heaps of movement in the neck joint.

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The other accessories are a bit lame, but hey, at least the giant flamethrower is painted. You know, like they actually care..ahem, Hasbro? Are you there, Hasbro?

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Scrutinizing him while a re-watching of Robocop 2 (I really don’t like the first one), his proportions aren’t quite what they should be. But it evokes Weller in the suit, and that’s a cool accomplishment. Be careful when you choose yours that the nose is painted on straight!

 

 

Playmates …Ninja Turtles Classics Rocksteady

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Apologies in advance for photo quality here; I hadn’t quite figured out all the buttons on my digital camera at the time – that ‘flower’ button makes all the difference, let me tell ya!

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He’s a cool figure, though it took me quite a few passes before deciding to get him when he was cheap (NZD 20), mostly because of his just being too small compared to the Leonardo I have from the same line. But he does come with two mean accessories: a big ol’ machine gun and a machete. Nice moulding, but no paint. Also, nowhere to store the machete. Nice grip though, in his hands.

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And here we get a look at the head-sculpt, which is probably a love or hate for Turtles fans. I’ve never seen Rocksteady look like this, but then my Turtles experience is only Eastman and Laird comics and the old cartoon, so I’m only familiar with one incarnation (he was created for the TV show). I think it looks cool, more like a mean rhino mutant than a doofus goon. His helmet is removable so I blu-tak’d it down. Limited up and down on the head, but plenty of go-around.

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People complain about the paints, which are also not like the cartoon. They are a bit similar to his skin tone, but I don’t mind them. Very nice arm articulation. The bandana around his bicep is a separate piece, with a depression moulded into the arm, which I think is a quality detail. Wrist band is a separate piece, too.

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Now this is interesting. I thought there was something wrong between his knees and his boots, with his shins sloping outwards and making it difficult to stand him up. And there was! There seems to be a factory error with all the figures, that they were put on backwards and on the wrong sides! Sheesh. Anthony’s Customs did a video about it, and it was a worthwhile and doable fix. Not an easy one, but he’s a much more enjoyable figure now.

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Nice articulation on the legs, even without the ankles and the thigh-cut. There’s just nice easy rotation up there and he doesn’t need uber-poseability anyway.

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But hmmm. That doesn’t work. The problem is really that the turtles were made too big: at least 6 inches tall, when the Turtles are shorties. The NECA ones would be better for scale.

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Nice to have at least one bad guy though.

One more accessory is the base, without the wash Leo’s has.

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Hope you enjoy the geeky photos!

 

 

 

 

 

DC Superheroes Darkseid

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A short version of the review would be: he’s a badass!

I really need to get a display cabinet to keep the dust off my figures…it really shows up on his dark blues, even though he’s always in motion, being taken room to room because I like him so much.

His purchase was one of the usual situations where I had to trawl around Ebay for an acceptable price and condition (and the dark blue variant that I wanted), all the while thinking negative thoughts about younger me who didn’t get him when he was on the pegs at Farmers (New Zealand’s equivalent of a Target)! Stupid teenagers.

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I think I actually got him MOC for a decent price.

Anyway, as I said, this is the variant, with dark blue costuming. I thought it was the cooler figure at the time, but looking online, the regular one seems to have an amazing wash on the rocky skin sections that this one doesn’t have. His skin has moulded craquelure, but no paint. Unfortunate, but the lack of paint also means he’ll maybe last longer. Consoling myself.

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He comes with the motherbox, pictured at top, and a whole lot of badass. Or no ass, but lots of back! Nice moulded musculature on a solid, solid frame – he’s nicely imposing, without looking like too much of a brute. I love the moulding on the arms.

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The legs are great too, unlike most of my DCUC figures who have this weird form of rickets. I love the cut of the hinges, and the joints move great. Moulding on the boots is very nice, and each boot is unique in the bends and folds. The black trimmings are perfect.

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Party Darkseid has ball-joints under there. That was somehow a crucial factor for me when checking out reviews online and deciding how much I wanted the figure. It gives him as much movement as you could get with the soft skirt on, and that was just good design by Mattel. You can see some of the nice sparkle on the belt section, which again has perfectly clean black lines going through it.

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I think the scale is good. The image was taken before I had my DC Collectible Icons to join in the JLA fun, but they would only balance out the scale for the better, IMO, putting regular sized guys like Hal and Flash more at the mercy of Darkseid.

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I hated the DCAU Justice League: War, just by the way. Hated it. A lot of that would be directed at the New 52 changes though, and Darkseid was one of them. I guess his size has been variable, and in the Batman/Superman Supergirl comic, he was huge. But it’s just not necessary. I read one good take on him by Dan Jurgens, in an interview, where his might is more from his despotic, warlording, ruler of Apokolips bit, than from brutish power. I mean he’s not Despero and he’s not some dumb tool like Doomsday.

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But he can still handle Superman.

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If there’s one complaint about the figure (apart from the lack of paint wash) it would possibly be that he looks a bit pea-headed sometimes. Like the ML Arnim Zola figure. He doesn’t have much up and down movement up there either.

He does have a waist swivel (another deciding factor), as well as bicep and wrist swivels. Getting his waist going needs some force every time. The ball shoulders are nice, but don’t get much lateral movement up, due to the moulding on both his muscles and his sleeveless Kirby toga. I forgot to photograph it, but he also has some great Kirby designy stuff on the soles of his boots, different on each foot.

Just good toymaking. Makes me happy.

DARKSEIDDDDDD

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DC Collectibles Icons – size comparisons!

So it’s a bit of a fraught topic amongst collectors: do they fit? Can the new DC Collectible Icons, with all their pre-release hype and fan interaction, fit with the definitive comic-figure line of our generation, Marvel Legends? And to a lesser extent, with DC Universe Collectibles? And to an even lesser extent, Star Wars the Black Series?

The answer is: kind of!

It was at least very exciting and refreshing to be able to turn up to the local comics store (Heroes For Sale on “K” Road, Auckland city) and pick up all the figures I wanted in one go; from online revelation, to ETA, to getting these four guys

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For the skinny (a good pun, as you will see) on each of these fellas, check the tags below. The long and short (I’m on a roll) is that they’re all great figures.

Apart from one white exception, I now have my ideal of a Justice League Animated line-up:

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and I think it works.

I have plenty to say about DCUC…but to stay on topic, their scale has never been in keeping well with 1:12/6 inch scale, with the chronic reusing of bucks throwing all sorts of spanners in the works.

But there is reasoning that makes the DC Icons I have fudge in

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See? Easy. Superman should NOT be like the normal-size, male-model derp-wad he is in the New 52. Lex is suitably smaller, and Hal and Flash don’t need the extra bulk.

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Why shouldn’t WW be a Wonder Woman size? In the DCAU “Crisis On Two Earths” she’s easily this big next to non-super men. DCUC is just too big if 6 inches=6 feet, and so I’m not going to fault the Flash, with his super-metabolism, especially when next to a Batman that is a Supes body-clone.

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And J’onn is a shapeshifter. He looks like a real dough-boy to me now, next to what are superior figures in basically every way. I was never happy with the toyishness of his head-sculpt, but the DCUC lack of texture and finer detail is really shown up next to the Icons. Opinion: the Icons are to DCUC as what Toybiz Marvel Legends are to Hasbro Marvel Legends. Discuss.

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The main event.

Flash is almost always drawn buff without good reason, so here, next to the 2002-ish movie Spider-Man (Toybiz) he looks really good. Next to the Heroic Age Iron Man (Hasbro) he’s at perfect scale. The smaller proportions of the Icon upper-body suits a runner like Flash.

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Head size has proven the biggest giveaway of the smaller scale against my Legends, Hal in particular. But here, he fits in way better with my armored Avengers than my Legends do, seeing as War Machine is too skinny for a guy in a suit of armor next to them.

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Eh…Not the worst. Comic height for Natasha is at 5’7″ (and my Black Widow movie figure matches the comics) and Olli is listed at 5’11” (thank-you, internet). I don’t think much of DC’s continuity or consistency, so it’s not so bad for me. The slight, fleet footed-archer.

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Hasbro has long since failed the scale test in my book, so even with an original mould, movie Ant-Man is made too big for ‘6 inches equalling 6 feet’.

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Next to the X-Men Classics Tiger Stripe Wolverine (best Wolverine in the world, bub) and the Hasbro Cyke, it’s a bit of a fudge, particularly with the Icons’ heads. Hal, like Flash, shouldn’t really be buff, so there’s perhaps something to be said for his size next to Cyclops, who trains pretty hard.

And so, I’m happy. My collection has become a mixed bag anyway, since I ‘accidentally’ bought the Arrow TV series Deathstroke. Since then, I have a sub-collection of 7 inch and 6 inch/7 inch-fudgeable figures, and am a bit less of a tight-ass about scale (only a bit). Seeing as the Icons releases I picked up are non-powered characters (in Flash’s case, non-buff), the axe hasn’t dropped. How Black Adam turned out would be a better deal-breaker for some of you guys, but for me it will depend on the Supes release coming up in Wave 3.

I’m suitably impressed with the photos that I’m 98% sure I’ll be getting him anyway, and just hope that as a bonus, he can fully replace my turd-face DCUC Superman.

Hope this has helped and happy collecting!