Sunday, September 29, 2013

WWE Elite Collection Series 22 - TENSAI

I think the WWE Mattel figures are some of the coolest action figures ever made. In my opinion, they look superior to the Jakks Pacific WWE figures. It also seems that not too many toy reviewers review these figures. I will be reviewing a lot of WWE Mattel figures and Tensai becomes the first WWE Mattel action figure that I review. In real life, he began his WWE career as Prince Albert . I know this from formerly watching pro wrestling, but I lost interest in it after watching a documentary questioning its realism .  For those of you whom may not know, the Elite series contains the figures with the most articulation.

Even though the bio on the back of the packaging makes no mention of Tensai's days as Prince Albert, if you don't take my word for it then do a Google or Wikipedia check on him, it's true. As for the figure itself, it is very well sculpted, very detailed and comes with two accessories. One accessory I like and the other not so much. The accessory that I like is the helmet. The fun part about this is that you can put it on other figures that have a similar head size. Customizers may also enjoy using it for custom made figures or characters.
 The robe on the other hand looks good although I am not a fan of the plastic clothing. The plastic restricts arm movement, therefor I prefer the clothing to be made of cloth or a softer plastic.

As you can see you have several options on how you want Tensai displayed. With or without his helmet, with or without his robe, etc . The figure as I mentioned earlier is very detailed. The tattoos and ear rings under his bottom lip are nicely done.
One of the main characteristics I love about the WWE Mattel figures is that unlike most other action figure lines these figures use different body parts for almost every character. Mattel pays great attention to how the wrestlers look in real life, and they implement these characteristics into the toys. You will not find too many of these figures sharing the same body parts, with the exception of most of the WWE Divas. Even though the WWE Mattel figures are in 6 " scale, as you can see above Tensai is around 7 inches tall. This is because he is one of the bigger than normal wrestlers. I love how Mattel stays true to the real heights and body styles of all the wrestlers, both male and female.
My favorite accessory that Tensai comes with is his helmet. And the pics below illustrate the reason why.

As you can see you can easily place his helmet on other figures of similar stature.
                                                FINAL   THOUGHTS
(1) ARTICULATION - The articulation is excellent with the exception of the head movement being somewhat restricted when trying to maneuver up and down.
(2) STANDABILITY - There are no balance issues. Surprisingly the extra body girth does not make him top heavy, he stands up very well.
(3) WHAT I LIKE BEST ABOUT THE TENSAI ACTION FIGURE? The tattoos are nicely done. The figure itself is cool but what really allured me to purchase Tensai is the helmet.
(4) WHAT I LIKE LEAST ABOUT THE TENSAI ACTION FIGURE ? There's nothing I dislike about the figure although it could have been better with looser head movement .
(5) WHAT COULD HAVE MADE THE FIGURE BETTER ? Looser restriction on head movement. Some hand articulation would be nice also. This does not just apply to Tensai but ALL WWE Mattel figures. With articulated fingers it would be easier to pose a lot of these guys ( and gals ) performing their finishing maneuvers.
(6) GRADING SCALE - On a scale of 1-10 I give this action figure a 9.0 . The minuses being for somewhat limited up and down head movement and non-articulated fingers. However as I already mentioned the non-articulated fingers apply to all the WWE Mattel figures, not just Tensai.
(7) FINAL  ANALYSIS - Overall I am pleased with the Tensai action figure. For those old school collectors that want an action figure of Prince Albert, all you have to do is purchase Tensai. He looks the same back then as he does now, with the exception of a few new tattoos. He may not have the same name anymore but visually anyone can see that it is definitely the same guy.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Masters of the Universe Classics - Clawful

I remember the first time I saw Clawful . Not as an action figure, but as a cartoon character. I first saw him on the old Filmation MOTU series. When the toy came out it looked very much different from that Filmation version. Just about everything was different. The armor, the size of the claws,etc. I remember not being disappointed with the vintage figure despite the fact it looked nothing like the cartoon. I was pleased with the figure along with his claw snapping action feature. That was then as a kid. Today as an adult I have the same admiration for MOTUC Clawful.

From now on I may start making two profile pics of every figure. One pic showing them without weapons and the other pic with their weapons, like I did with Clawful here. This'll give everyone an insight on to rather figures look better being posed with or without their weapons or accessories.
Back to the figure, I was kind of wishing that his stature would be similar to the early 2000's version of the character. I feel that his arms need to be bigger and wider to match his claws, especially his right claw. Remember the 1980's version of Fisto and Jitsu had larger arms than most of the other MOTU figures because it just would not look right if they had normal sized arms to match those big hands. The feeling is mutual with Clawful.
Speaking of Clawful's right claw, it still has snapping action, just like the vintage figure. However, unlike the vintage figure you can maneuver the right claw piece in a circular motion, allowing you to pose him in various attack poses, as shown in the pics below with Snout Spout and Man-E-Faces .

The above pic looks as if Clawful could crush the bones in Man-E-faces' wrist, possibly breaking it. One of the most fun things to do with MOTU Classics is posing them in fight / battle poses.
Even though most of Clawful's look is based on his vintage figure, some tidbits from the early 2000's version were implemented as well. As you can see the red skin blends in with his tan skin tone, along with the crab like shell on his back as shown in the pic below. I love the inclusion of the shell, it makes him look more crablike compared to not having it.
As for Clawful's bio, I love it as well. My favorite bits of information from it is the mentioning of him saving Beast Man's life from some kind of sea monster and that Evil Lyn had a magic spell placed on him to increase his intelligence. I like this information because it kinds of connects the Filmation MOTU series with the Mike Young Productions MOTU series.
You see, for those of you whom may not know, Clawful was portrayed as a simpleton in the Mike Young toon, whereas in Filmation he was cunning and clever.
                                                         FINAL  THOUGHTS
(1) ARTICULATION - Clawful has the basic MOTUC articulation. Not to mention that his right claw now swivels, which in my opinion is a plus from the original vintage figure.
(2) STANDABILITY - The figure stands well with no balance issues. The right claw does not make him top heavy.
(3) WHAT I LIKE BEST ABOUT CLAWFUL ? - The right claw now swivels, allowing various posing options.
(4) WHAT I LIKE LEAST ABOUT CLAWFUL ? - My only complaint about this figure is the same one I had about the 1980's vintage one. Which is " I wish that his left claw was articulated too ". Sigh. Oh well, as they say, can't win them all.
(5) WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO MAKE CLAWFUL BETTER ? Very simple.A left articulated claw.
(6) GRADING SCALE - On a scale of 1-10 I give Clawful a 9.0. My only gripes being that I wish his upper body was a little more buff like to match his early 2000's look, and the left claw still not being articulated. Other than that he is a great action figure.
(7) FINAL  ANALYSIS - Overall the negatives do not take away from the positives of the coolness of this figure. I think it looks cool and is one of the very few MOTU Classic figures to have their old action feature work the same way today as it did back then . The snapping claw action adds to the cool factor of the figure. If you don't have Clawful, I recommend you head on over to Red Lobster ( UHH ) I mean E-Bay or Amazon ,etc .  for a fresh catch . Fisherman puns intended .

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mortal Kombat Deception Baraka figure by Jazwares

I can't remember where I purchased this Baraka figure from but I've had it for a while now. He is in the 6" scale, made of very hard plastic, and is very well articulated, except that his head might pop off if you pull it too far back but you can easily put it back on. As you can see in the pics, the sword tip is chipped off a little bit, but don't worry. This is just "my Baraka action figure" and not all of them. I don't know or recall how this happened but it ticked me off when I saw that chipped up sword attachment. Instead of buying another Baraka I just stuck with the one I already have. Also you have the options of inserting the blades into his arm sockets or not if you want.Other than the disappointment of the right blade chipping I am pleased with the figure itself.

The swords/blades are kind of soft and almost rubbery. I too was hoping that they were made out of very hard plastic but Jazwares did the right thing making the swords softer for children collectors, even if it disappoints us adult collectors. You got to give credit to Jazwares, safety first. Although the swords/blades are not super soft, they do have some hardness to them, just maybe not hard enough.As you can see on the back of the packaging Scorpian,Sub-Zero, and Raiden were also available in this wave. 
One of the things I like best about Baraka is that you can display him in a huge variety of fight poses. As the following pics illustrate.

To see more of Baraka facing this female character named Kabuki, you can visit Action Figure Imagery . The pics are in the Fight Gallery fight# 17. As you can see he can be displayed in stabbing poses, lunging forward poses, swinging/slashing poses, etc. 
(1) ARTICULATION - The figure is very well articulated and you can easily tell just by seeing all the ball joints in the pics. No up and down movement for the head.
(2) STANDABILITY - You may have to bend his knees just a little to get him to stand properly without falling. I had to bend my figure's knees just a little.
(3) WHAT I LIKE BEST ABOUT BARAKA? The variety of fight poses he can be displayed in thanks to the excellent articulation. 
(4) WHAT I LIKE LEAST ABOUT BARAKA? The swords not being made out of hard enough plastic and the head movement is almost restricted with the exception of left/right movement.
(5) WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO MAKE BARAKA BETTER ? Harder swords. Even though I've decided to cope with it I still don't like my figure's right blade being chipped. 
(6) GRADING SCALE - On a scale of 1-10 I give Baraka an 8.9. The minuses are for the swords being somewhat brittle and the limited head movement. Other than these flaws he is an excellent figure.
(7) FINAL ANALYSIS - Overall Baraka is a nice addition to add to your video game villain collection. If you love to pose figures in fight poses or battle stances, then Baraka fits this description perfectly. A very neat figure for a very popular video game franchise.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


This Terrax BA( Build A Figure )  is from the first wave of The Return of Marvel Legends 2012. Hasbro took a break from the line for a while to improve on the quality of the figures. Terrax does not disappoint. Before you put him together you have the option of leaving both his armor and his loin piece off or on. Once you put him together however, the pieces are difficult to remove. I personally on the other hand never try to take my BAFs apart once I put them together. But for those of you that do you may not be able to accomplish this with Terrax.
As for Terrax's backstory he is a former herald of Galactus, and is a vicious arch rival for the Silver Surfer. Terrax is a tad bit out of scale height wise. Marvel lists him at 6"6, whereas the Silver Surfer is supposed to be 6"4. However as you can see in the comparison pic that the rivals have a huge gap in height, not just a mere 2 inches. Also in the other pic you can see that Terrax looks to be slightly over 7 inches. When he should have been just a little bit shorter, only if the collector wants the toy companies to stay true to the comics. However in my opinion this is just a minor flaw and is nothing major to complain about.

His weapon,the axe , has to be put together too as it is divided into two parts, the rod and the axe itself. It is very well detailed with circuitry parts. I think it would have been nice if Terrax had an extra pair of hands or articulated fingers, for those of us that love to pose figures with long weapons holding them with two hands. As you can see the close left fist makes it tough for him to even appear to hold the weapon with two hands.
Since comic books no longer come with Marvel Legend figures like they did back in the Toybiz days, I've put together a list of issues that feature Terrax at his best. Especially that issue with the New Warriors, Terrax totally dominated them and looked quite impressive against them. Using his powers and fighting skills to battle them. The issue with Morg is kind of like an origin story of how he obtained the axe, as it seems it really belonged to another Galactus herald, the villain known as Morg. 
The following are a few issues with a Terrax appearance that I highly recommend you purchase for your reading pleasure. Although Terrax is not on the cover of the Marvel Adventures Hulk issue, he is in the comic.

(1) ARTICULATION - My only gripes about the articulation is no upward head movement, and lack of finger articulation. Other than that he is very well articulated normally everywhere else.
(2) STANDABILITY - The figure stands well with no balance issues.
(3) WHAT I LIKE BEST ABOUT TERRAX ? I love the mean angry look on his face with his gritted teeth, this expression really makes him look evil. He is very well detailed and looks as if if jumped directly out of the comic book pages. 
(4) WHAT I LIKE LEAST ABOUT TERRAX ? The weapon kinds of makes his wrist top heavy for holding it in the air, making his arm a little loose in the process. However this problem can be solved by resting the base of his axe on his upper thigh, or have him hold it below his waist if you wish to pose your Terrax figure with his weapon. 
(5) WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO MAKE TERRAX A BETTER FIGURE ? Articulated fingers so that he can hold his axe with two hands instead of just one. Upward head movement. 
(6) GRADING SCALE - On a scale of 1-10 I give Terrax an 8.9 . The minuses being for the non articulated fingers and for the axe making his wrist and right arm just a tad bit top heavy. The lack of upper head movement is not a big issue with me however it'd be nice to have it included.
(7) FINAL ANALYSIS - Overall I am glad to add Terrax to my collection. There was a shortage of space villains and Silver Surfer rivals. The bulkiness of the figure makes it a joy to hold in your hands and is fun to pose. Once you put him together, Terrax turns out to be a great figure despite a few minor flaws. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Marvel X-Men Movie Storm by Toybiz

This Storm figure comes from the Women of X box-set that came out several years ago by Toybiz. This is the Halle Berry version of Storm from the movie franchise. She can also be purchased individually . She is not as articulate as the comic book version of Storm . As for Halle Berry, she's an excellent actress however I feel that lookwise she was not the right choice for Storm. She does not look like the character at all in my opinion. I think Halle makes a better Vixen from DC Comics than she does Storm. Someone like Naomi Campbell, who is tall like the Storm character plus has more physical features similar to the character such as long hair probably would have been a better choice visually. As for the figure itself , because of the limited articulation it is better of as a display piece rather than configuring it into different poses. Check out these comparison shots and you'll see how different Halle is from the actual Storm character.

As you can see the in the height difference that Halle is much shorter than the character, which Marvel lists at 5"11. Her skin tone is not as dark as the character nor is Storm an American, she's supposed to be African. Despite the fact that the movie company did not stay 100% true to comic origins, Halle still did an excellent job bringing the character to life. Back to the figure, as you can see it is a spitting duplicate image of Halle. And Toybiz unlike some other toy companies, always did a good job of having people or characters correctly proportionately scaled at their correct height, as the above pics prove.
     Other than the figure itself, movie Storm comes with a very neat light up accessory. Just place her on the base, there's an on/off switch that allows you to create the special effect of Storm's lightning powers. A switch on the back of the accessory allows you to move Storm's right arm up and down,as if she's activating her powers.

In my opinion, this is one of the best accessories in action figure history!!! That's saying a lot. The figure itself is not bad either. It is nicely sculpted looking very much like the actress as I already mentioned, and I like the idea that everyone can pretend that the figure is either Halle Berry or Storm. If you've always wanted an action figure of Halle Berry, this is the perfect figure to customize. All you'd have to do is paint her hair black. Maybe give her a different outfit and sculpt her hair in case you like Halle's short hair styles.

                                                          FINAL  THOUGHTS
 (1) ARTICULATION - The articulation is somewhat basic and robotic. It is not of normal Marvel Legend articulated style.
(2) STANDABILITY - Sometimes you may have to lean her against a wall to make her stand, unless you pose her a certain way like I did in the above pic. She was really made to stand on the base of her accessory however and not on her own.
(3) WHAT I LIKE BEST ABOUT THIS VERSION OF STORM ? Perfect likeness of Halle Berry!!!The cape is nice too, along with the super cool light up accessory.
(4) WHAT I LIKE LEAST ABOUT THIS VERSION OF STORM ? I wish the legs and arms had just a bit more articulation.
(5) WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO MAKE THIS STORM FIGURE BETTER? A few more added points of articulation.
(6) GRADING SCALE - Figure only - I give it a 9.0. It is an excellent figure despite the limited articulation. If it did not look like Halle Berry I would've gave it a lower score. But the perfect likeness to Mrs. Berry skyrocketed the score. Now with the figure combined with the accessory I give them both a perfect 10. The accessory combined with the figure makes a perfect score.
(7) FINAL ANALYSIS - Despite the limited articulation, you will not be disappointed for those of you who may not own this figure. If you don't have this version of Storm already, I recommend you purchase her with the accessory rather than just the figure by itself. It makes a fantastic display piece on any shelf and the figure is perfect for customizers that want to transform Storm into Halle Berry or some of Halle's other characters from her other movies.           

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Robots Space Bot by Funtastic Toys

I purchased this fun figure at a local Citi-Trends store. The company that this figure comes from has a website at . Despite very limited articulation , this is a fun figure that fits in well with any 6" fantasy super hero toy line. You can pose these guys next to your Marvel Legends, DCU Classics, etc as they too are in 6 inch scale.
     These guys come in two colors, black and white. They kind of resemble Darth Vader a bit in my opinion. Just press the button in the middle of the Space-Bot's chest to make his sword glow with a very cool blue light just like a light saber. The eyes glow red as some nice battle sounds are made.

If you use up all of the power just in case he stops glowing, there's a compartment on his back where you can use a screw driver to open it and replace the old battery with a new one. Here's a close up shot of Space-Bot with other figures.
(1) ARTICULATION - The arms move up and down,back and forth. No side outward movement. The legs move up and down also with no side outward movement. The rest of the figure is not articulated.
(2) STANDABILITY - The figure stands well with no balance issues.
(3) WHAT I LIKE BEST ABOUT THE SPACE-BOT FIGURES ? The glowing lights in both his sword and eyes are the real selling points of these figures, along with the sound effects. 
(4) WHAT I LIKE LEAST ABOUT THE SPACE-BOT FIGURES ? Despite the very limited articulation, there's nothing that I dislike about these figures. The positives outweigh the negatives in my opinion with this figure.
(5) WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO MAKE THIS FIGURE BETTER ? Although the lack of extra articulation does not bother me with this figure, extra articulation would've made it better.
(6) GRADING SCALE - On a scale of 1-10 I give the Space-Bots figure a 9.0 . Excellent figure the minus being for the very limited articulation even though it does not bother me. 
(7) FINAL  ANALYSIS - Overall this is an excellent figure if you want to add extra characters to some of your 6" scaled collections. I assume the idea for these were motivated by the Star Wars franchise. I mean if you look closely they look like a cross between Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper. Plus the glowing sword is reminiscent of a light saber. It'd be nice if Hasbro could make these glowing swords/light sabers with the real Star Wars figures, ( hint , hint ) . These guys may be hard to find in person these days, as my figure was purchased over a few years ago before writing this post. Try your luck at some local thrift stores or flea markets , you might run into a few of these bad boys. If not try your luck with the internet via E-bay or Amazon. Good luck in finding these figures if you want one!!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tarantula from Spider-Man line by Hasbro

Although this figure is not officially a Marvel Legend by name, it was supposed to be at least in the same scale as Marvel Legends. And scale-wise is where the huge disappointment is with this figure. Although it is not a bad figure, but his height was a major letdown for me. In the comics he is listed at 6"1 whereas Spider-Man is listed at 5"10. But you can't tell the difference by looking at the following pics. Here I'm comparing the height and size of a Toybiz Spider-Man figure with the Hasbro Tarantula figure.

As you can see Spider-Man is stands right exactly at 6 inches , whereas Tarantula is barely slightly over 5 inches tall. He is supposed to be 3 inches taller than Spider-Man. For those of you that purchased this figure and are also disappointed in the height like I am, we could always pay a customizer to make him taller. 
Although the figure's height is a letdown the figure itself is ok. Although some of you may find some weird things about this figure, such as the hunched over neck and his left wrist being articulated whereas his right wrist is not. 
You can also pull off some excellent fight poses with him. His wrists are made for karate chop poses and as you can see in the following pic he can use his poisonous boot tips to puncture the opposition. Here Captain America defends himself with his shield from Tarantula's attack 

Tarantula came with two cool accessories of the same product. Two crates with removable lids. You can really put something small inside these crates. This is very Marvel-like because a lot of villains had abandoned warehouse hideouts that contained crates and boxes. Just browse through some of the old Amazing Spider-Man issues with Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin and you'll see what I mean.
The packaging itself has some nice artwork on both the front and back. Also on the back you get to see what other figures are available in this series.

                                                             FINAL  THOUGHTS
(1) ARTICULATION - I'm okay with his right wrist not being articulated it does not bother me, however others may feel differently. I am a little bothered about his limited head movement though, as it is almost impossible to get him to look up and down.
(2) STANDABILITY - You may have to bend his knees just a little to keep him standing without falling. Balance issues may occur if you stand him up with his knees in a 100% straight line.
(3) WHAT DO I LIKE BEST ABOUT TARANTULA ? I love the fact that his fight poses are easy to demonstrate. The figures face sculpt is done very well with the pencil thin mustache and the gritted teeth.
(4) WHAT DO I LIKE LEAST ABOUT TARANTULA ? Lack of his proper height. He is definitely out of scale . He is supposed to be in the 6" scale but is more closer to 5 inches.
(5) WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO MAKE TARANTULA BETTER ? Longer legs I think would've solved the height problem. I think his legs are too short and this error contributed to his height being out of scale.
(6) GRADING SCALE - On a scale of 1 to 10 I give Tarantula either a 7.9 or 8.0 . The minuses being for being out of scale height wise and and the limited articulation with his head.
(7) FINAL  ANALYSIS - Overall this is NOT a bad action figure by a long shot, but it could have been so much better. Although the height is out of scale, if posed a certain way he can look as if he's in scale with 6 inch figures, as proof shows in the above pic I have of him attacking Captain America. Even though Cap is taller than the Spider-Man figure shown, the height difference between Cap and Tarantula is barely noticeable, this being because Tarantula is slightly closer to the camera than Captain America. If customized correctly, Tarantula makes a great addition to your collection of Spider-Man villains.