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Marvel Select Venom

Posted by ActionFigureHunter997 on May 22, 2013 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Few villains have ever turned good permanently, and while the Venom symbiote may have changed host and become evil once more, Eddie Brock remains a "hero".

"The vigilante known as Venom is actually a sybiotic being, consisting of the human reporter Eddie Brock and a fluid, intelligent organism from outer space who feeds off his adrenaline, granting him all the powers of Spider-Man. When they first found each other, both held grudges against the hero, wreaking havok in his life, but Venom later became a hero on his own, protecting the innocent and helping to stop several other symbiotic beings that had split off from himself. At one point, Venom bonded with a second symbiote, causing him to grow additional arms and heads, as well as driving him mad. Both Brock and the symbiote have since bonded with other partners. This 7" scale Venom figure features interchangeable heads and hands to re-create his various looks from over the years, including a first appearance head, an Eddie Brock head, and a full set of 'Madness' heads and arms." 

A very long read-up, but a necessary one. Because without it, many newer fans would have no idea why the figure includes the accessories it does, and would simply assume that it's a made up thing, specially made for this figure. But The read-up got something wrong: During the madness mini-series, Venom didn't bond with a second symbiote, he fell into some kind of pool of mercury and chemicals (courtesy of Roxxon oil corporation), which drove the symbiote insane, causing multiple other identities to merge. After that, the story got kind of weird, but regardless: A great mini-series, definitely worth the read. Now onto the figure:

The Marvel Select packaging will always be my favorite, because each one is filled with it's own details. And I'm not just talking about read-ups and pictures of the figure, I mean all the comic book art in the background, each card a different color, side-box art. All of this is worth noticing,

because people work hard to make it happen, and if you're one of those people, I salute you.

The sculpt on this figure is top notch stuff, with sculpted muscles and lines all throughout the body. All the heads look great, and the madness back-piece is extremely detailed and textured. But one of the best parts of the sculpt for me is the sculpted-one spider-emblem, rather than the usual paint-on ones. Finally, the various sets of hands are all very detailed, with sculpted tendons, veins, wrinkles and even web shooters!

Now, when it comes to paint, Diamond's got ya covered. Venom has a lot of paint detail, including blue shading (Or high-lighting), grey shading on the spider emblems, and some really nice color variation on the teeth and tongues. My only complaint would be that there are some sloppy areas, such as the left upper side of the front spider emblem, and some white blotches randomly placed on his groin and back-side. But while that's something to watch out for, this is only my figure, so I wouldn't say it's a general issue.

Now here comes the complex part of the review: Articulation. As a basic figure, the articulation doesn't stand out, but adding this to the extra limbs, it really adds up, so here goes: Ball-jointed head X 5, Swivel-Hinged shoulders X 2, Swivel biceps X 4, Hinged elbows X 4, Swivel wrists X 6, Ball-Jointed Mid-Torso, Swivel Waist, Swivel-Hinged hips, Swivel thighs, Hinged knees and Hinged ankles. So, in total, it adds up to 30 points of articulation, although the mid-torso joint doesn't do much at all. Also, all the leg joints are somewhat loose.

Accessories are also abundant with this Venom, he comes with 3 interchangeable heads, the "Madness" back piece, 2 arms that attach at the fore-arm, and 3 sets of interchangeable hands. So as a big Venom fan, I'm having a complete nerd-gasm.

So, how does Venom do in the stats? Let's find out:

Packaging: 10/10

Sculpt: 10/10

Paint: 8/10

Articulation: 9/10

Accessories: 10/10

Fun: 10/10

Value: 10/10.

Though not flawless, this figure is about as good as it gets. And with all those heads and hands, it's like getting four figures for the price of one. And the fact that they also included the "Madness" back-piece (Which Hasbro will never get around to) makes it the Venom figure to have. If you find this, buy it. 

The Avengers 3.75" Gamma Smash Hulk

Posted by ActionFigureHunter997 on December 31, 2012 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

In the last few years, Hulk had been slowly becoming less and less popular, the only things keeping him alive in the nerd world were the Planet Hulk & World War Hulk storylines, and outside NerdVille, Hulk was barely hanging on even with the Edward Norton movie. So when The Avengers got it's first trailer, many people were unimpressed with the inclusion of the Hulk. (Of course, we already knew he'd be in it, because we read the comics.) And so, people didn't expect much from him... HOWEVER! One Loki beat-up later, Hulk is more popular now than he has been in years!

The Avengers packaging has the standard Hasbro design, nothing new or interesting. The only difference is that the bubble for this figure is slightly bigger than that of the other figures. Tear oper and discard...

Now, many people have complaints about this figure, but I love it! The sculpt is probably the best part, with a brilliant likeness to both Mark Ruffalo AND the Hulk, worthy of a Marvel Lengends. Granted, it's not hard to get a Hulk body right, and you could probably use the same body for all hulks, that isn't to say that it's not a good sculpt. There's some nice detail on the trousers, hands and even the feet! Thumbs up, Hasbro!

Paint is one of the two weakest points of this figure, after all, it isn't hard to paint a Hulk. Yet somehow, Hasbro crapped out. As you can see in this picture, the knee joints are unpainted, which is a problem on his left leg. Another problem is that the Khaki colour gets onto parts of his legs. Thumbs down, Hasbro.

ARTICULATION! How I love articulation! And believe it or not, this Hulk has some real good articulation. Now, it's been a problem for quite some time now that Hulks with ball-jointed heads end up just having swivel movement, and that doesn't change here, but it's a problem easily solved with... CHEST HINGE! Why doesn Hulk have an chest hinge? Keep reading and you'll find out, but let's continue with his articulation: Swivel-Hinged shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. No thigh swivel, but that's unnecessary on a figure with swivel-hinged knees.

No accessories for Hulk. Maybe a smashed beam or something would have been nice, but Hulk rarely uses weapons anyway, so I'm fine with that.

Now, here's why Hulk has a chest hinge and also why he's called Gamma Smash Hulk: Action feature. When you lift up one of his arms, they both smash down. Hence the name and the hinge. But if this figure has an action feature, why do I love it so much? Because it's unintrusive! The arms aren't stuck that way, if you hold one in place, you can move the other whatever way you want. Also, the chest hinge allows Hulk to look down & is loose enough to work with the feature, but tight enough to hold in whatever position you have it. BRILLIANT!

So, let's do the stats now, shall we?

Packaging: 7/10

Sculpt: 9/10

Paint: 6/10

Articulation: 8/10 (for the scale)

Accessories: 0/10

Action Feature: 10/10

Fun: 10/10

Value: 8/10

If you find this guy, pick him up! He's just that great.

Next time: The Avengers 3.75" Marvel's Hawkeye (Wave 3)

The Dark Knight Rises 3.75" Batman

Posted by ActionFigureHunter997 on December 24, 2012 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The Dark Knight Rises was a good movie, however, not everyone was pleased with the ending. Among those is yours truly, who thinks that Bruce Wayne has sacrificed too much to just give up and settle down with Selina Kyle. No, Bruce would never do that, so thumbs down for that, Nolan. Also, thumbs down for Talia's death, Bruce leaving all his technology to a guy that doesn't even know how to use it & for Bane getting offed by Catwoman who just randomly appeared after Bane and Batman had been in such epic battle. But the worst part? The action figures.

The packaging for these figures is just the first indication that Mattel has cheaped out on us, by being a simple blister with no details, no character specific images, no read-up, not even a tray! And so, this sad, little blister is to be opened and thrown away as soon as possible. I mean, seriously, the thing looks like a freakin' Hot Wheels pack. So Mattel should really try harder with Man of Steel, or they'll be losing a lot of collectors.

The sculpt isn't half bad, in spite being in a 3.75" scale. A lot of the costume details are there, granted, it's not Movie Masters quality, but for the size, it's good enough. I don't see much likeness in what little I can see of his face, but it's a comic-styled batman, so that might be a good thing. The utility belt is quite a good sculpt, with some nice detail, and while still on the subject of the utility belt, let's talk about the paint.

The colour of the paint on the belt is kinda weird, it's meant to show that it's shiny and yellow, but not gold. But it somehow ends up being yellow with little sparkles on it. FAIL! Also of note, the head, neck and bat symbol on this figure are painted with a simple black, where as the gloves and boots are painted with a glossy black paint. Hm, I don't remember that from the movie, but since it's also on the Movie Masters figure, I'll trust that it's there.

Now, when it comes to articulation, you know Mattel won't have much to offer. Bats here has a swivel neck, swivel shoulders, swivel hips & single-hinged knees. That's it. No more. No elbows. No torso. Nothing. *Sigh*

So, what does batman come with? A batarang? A grapple gun? A silly missile launcher? NOPE! Batman comes with nothing! 'Nuff said.

Okay, so now the question: What do I rate him?

Packaging: 1/10

Sculpt: 6/10

Paint: 8/10

Articulation: 3/10

Accessories: 0/10

Fun: 4/10

This figure looks like something you'd buy at a Euro Giant shop, but that's mostly the poackaging's doing, so if you find this guy on offer, pick him up, no, scratch that, pick up the movie version. But if you find it at full retail price, pass. Pass faster than the flash passes a snail. Now for some fun.


ThunderCats classics Tygra.

Posted by ActionFigureHunter997 on December 17, 2012 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Tygra is one of those characters that really needed to be updated before showing up in another TV series, thankfully, he was. However, that doesn’t mean that a figure of his original self can’t be awesome. Is this figure proof of that? Read on to find out…

Roaring back into action! These highly detailed and articulated figures are based on the classic 1980's "ThunderCats" series.

That just there is all the packaging has to say, no character info, no origin. But ThunderCats is fairly well-known, so I can let that slide.

The packaging itself is nice, with some cool Tygra artwork & a removable background. But the best part of this packaging is that it's a box! Why is that so awesome? Well, for two reasons: 1: Even MOC collectors could take him out, play with the figure, and then put him back in the box. 2: Because it means that if you ever move house (And still have the box, of course) you can just slip him back in the box 'till you reach your new home and unbox.

The sculpt is somewhat bland, but overall acceptable, though I keep getting the feeling that his head is too small for the body. (Anyone else gettin' that vibe?) The hands are two of the best sculpted hands I've ever seen, and the arm muscles are also pretty well sculpted. In my personal opinion, he could have used some sculpted fur on his exposed forearms, but again, acceptable the way it is.

Now, when it comes to paint, this figure gets an F. Not only is the paint wash too subtle absent, but the type of paint they used is so glossy that Tygra looks like he just came out of the rain. This bothers me mostly because of the fact that he's a furry character, so he should be the opposite of glossy! But the worst part, the killing blow, is that frickin' CE thing on his butt. Why not just have it sculpted on the inside of the leg, like most figures? UGH!

The articulation is actually quite good, considering BanDai's usual lack in that area. Tygra here has a swivel head, hinged neck, swivel-hinged shoulders, swivel biceps, single-hinged elbows, swivel-hinged wrists, swivel-hinged waist, swivel-hinged hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins & hinged ankles. Not bad, although ankle rockers would have added a lot of playability to the figure.

Speaking of playability, what fun would a figure be if it had no accessories? (Well-known company who recently released a line with no accessories, you know who you are.) Tygra includes a long whip, something small that the box calls a "short whip", and an extra hand. Don't bother trying to swich the hands, it's near impossible and not worth the grief.

So, I've talked about the basic features, but now it's time to get down to business: What do I rate him?

Sculpt: 6/10

Paint: 2/10

Articulation: 8/10

Accessories: 7/10

Fun: 6/10

If you can find him on offer, like I did, get him. But if he's upward of a €10 pricepoint, pass.

Now, some pics that came to my mind: