Saturday, April 18, 2009

DCUC Batman, Robin, & Nightwing

NANANANANANANA BATMAN! And so on. Anyways, DCUC has already released the main male members of the Batfamily. And, seeing as Batman and his assorted companions are really the only DC characters I care about (Fuck Superman. Spidey could kick his ass. Seriously. I've got how he would do it all figured out in my head.) I've picked them up. This review is 50% ranting about Mattel.

I'm Batman
First up is, of course, Bats himself. Batman was originally available in Series one of DCUC with a piece of the Metamorpho "Collect and Connect" figure (Mattel fails at names). I got that one when it first came out. It then disappeared. But, Mattel has started re-releasing the best DCUC figures as DCUC World's Greatest Superheroes subline (The full name is DC Universe Classics World's Greatest SuperHeroes. Quite a mouthful. Again, Mattel fails at names), which I got to replace the original Bats. The main point behind DCUC WGSH (Even when you abbreviate Mattel's names into acronyms, they still suck) is to re-release the most popular figures, and figures representing big name characters, so that people who didn't find them before have another chance. Because Mattel's distribution for DCUC has been HILARIOUSLY bad. And, of course, you still have to be damned lucky to find the DCUC WGSH figures. I somehow managed to find, and buy two Batmen (One is for repaint purposes).

Anyways, about the figure itself. Like the rest of the line, he's sculpted by the Four Horsemen, so the sculpt is obviously good. Batman shares most of his body with the DCUC figures of Red Tornado, Orion, Electric Superman and a bunch of others. Only his head, shins, forearms, belt, and cape are new. This body swapping has caused a lot of problems, which I'll discuss later. The figure's paint is good, without any of the numerous problems reported with DCUC (I know of at least one person, Poe Ghostal, who got a figure with an obvious fingerprint smeared into the chest emblem). He does however have the weird shadow thing on his face that's put on every recent silver age based Batman. Why the hell is that there? The only Batman I've ever seen with it is Adam West. I might remove it (CAREFULLY) with some paint cleaner. There is a dark wash on Bat's body that brings out some of the details, but it's more apparent on his limbs than his torso. He's got the standard DCUC articulation (Balljointed head, swivel-pin shoulders, post-hinge hips, hinged torso, elbows, knees, and ankles, rocker joints on the ankles as well, and swivel biceps, wrists, waist, and thighs), so he's poseable, but not as much as a Marvel Legends figure.

Batman gets a Batarang (Every Batman figure should have at least one), a grappling gun thing with rather large hook and a rather short string (I've replaced the string with a longer piece of thread), and a clear base. The base more or less replaces the CaC figure piece. You can also order these bases in bulk from Matty, but that site seriously sucks.

Secondly is Batman's first apprentice, and the original Robin, Dick Grayson. He's now known as Nightwing. Basically, in the 70's they re-imagined Batman as a darker, more serious hero. Part of that was Dick Grayson quitting as Robin, becoming Nightwing, and finally becoming cool. How cool? So cool he boned Starfire. Lucky bastard.

Just be glad he's not in his original disco suit costume.
Nightwing uses the medium male body, so he's slightly smaller than Batman, which is correct. Nightwing was a circus performer, so his fighting focuses more on agility, while Batman is more brute strength and gadgets. Nightwing gets a unique head (With the same hairstyle as me, which is slightly creepy.) and forearms and shins with the glove- and boot-top things his costume features. The paint is mostly good. The black with bright blue has always looked nice, so I'm glad they went with that instead of Nightwing's other (Disastrous) costume's. However, the paint on my Nightwing's mask sucks, and his left shoulder is particularly bad. His hair features a nice blue drybrushing.

None of the others can do this.
Nightwing gets his two escrima fighting sticks. They're pretty simple, with a grip pattern in the middle. Unlike the others, he has clips on his back so they have a place to go when not in use. He also gets the torso to the Solomon Grundy "CaC" figure.

Robin. Yep. Robin. Yippee. They at least made Tim Drake, who is the closest Robin's come to being useful and cool. And, he's in his best costume. But, really, it's nearly impossible to get excited over Robin. Not that this is a bad figure. Quite the opposite, in fact. But it's still just Robin.

Whoop dee doo.
Robin is mostly based around the teenaged male body. He does get unique torso pieces (Along with the usual head, lower legs, and forearms, and his cape (Which is molded to go around his legs. Sweet!) and belt) because of his little R-logo and the clasps on his suit. I'm surprised Mattel didn't just paint those details on, so kudos to them. The proportions actually make him look like a teen, and not a short man, which is surprisingly tough. His paint is also good, with the only problem being a bit of his cape that should be black is yellow. He has the same articulation as everyone else, though the high collar on his cape greatly restricts his head movement. Also, the right elbow on mine was stuck. Luckily though, I haven't gotten any of the completely stuck joints, or limbs that fall off that others have with this line.

Robin's accessories are the same stand as Batman (This Robin also came from the DCUC WGSH sub line. Speaking of those bases, why do they only have one post? The other side just has a random hole. WTF?), his bo staff, and two Birdarangs. The second Birdarang is mostly useless though. Because his hands are meant to be used by other figures, he doesn't hold his accessories very well, though it is possible to get him to grip them well enough.

DCUC has been plagued with problems. Quality control has been shoddy. And the practice of using the same set of bodies for everyone has caused problems. Starfire is the best example of this. She's two short, has some weird monobreast thing, and is nowhere near busty enough. It's just plain stupid. If Mattel wants to re-use body parts, they should follow Hasbro's example with the GI Joe line: Have various body parts generic enough to switch, but create new parts when needed, and mix and match.

Anyways, these are some of the better figures in the line, and they represent iconic characters. If you can somehow find them, grab them.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

More photographic shenanigans!

Batman, doing SOMETHING.
My DCUC Batman (Who I may review, in a special triple review with DCUC Nightwing (Yes, I know I reviewed him months ago back in the old Rooster Teeth group, but I'm no longer happy with that review) and DCUC Robin) has been in this pose for a few hours. Obviously, I put him like that, but why? Was he checking his watch, when something else caught his attention? Was there a mark on his glove that he cleaned off? Is he showing off his spiffy spiky glove bits?


Kiss Players

If Deadpool was in Transformers you know he would be Optimus's Kiss Players partner.

(Blame Matt Booker)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

GI Joe: Resolute boxset review

One of the new things Hasbro has been working on for GI Joe, now that the movie it gaining it more attention, is a new cartoon called "GI Joe: Resolute". It's basically a sort of modernized re-imagining of the 80's GI Joe universe, but less Sci-Fi and Anime-ish than Sigma 6 (Despite having great toys, the Sigma 6 cartoon was astoundignly "meh."). And, it's written by the great comic book scribe, Warren Ellis! To go with the 'toon Hasbro's made some figures, comic packs, and this boxset with Resolute characters.

First is the new Cobra B.A.T. (Battle Android Trooper. GI Joe has fun acronyms/backronyms!). The B.A.T. is the same exact figure as the previously released single G3 B.A.T., with the same accessories. So, while you're not exactly getting a new figure, it's a good one, and an army builder. The only difference is, of course, the paint. It's in a new black and red scheme, instead of black and yellow. So it looks rather more menacing now. It's also bloody hard to photograph without the details being hidden. I did it though! The paintwork is very nice on the exposed robot bits. They were molded in black, then heavily drybrushed with silver, giving the stuff a nice, unpolished metal look. The pads on his boots have clear brushstroke marks in them, which kind of makes them look scuffed. It also kind of looks like they might have half-assed that bit. So I'm not sure if it was intentional or not. There is a bit of slop on his right leg from the box thing on its thigh. The sculpting shows that someone was paying attention. The clothes actually look like they're on top of something NOT human, with bits sticking out at strange angles, particularly the butt-plate (Heh). The B.A.T. gets five interchangeable limbs (Two hands, a claw (The claw opens!), a flamethrower, and either a laser or machine gun), a backpack that can hold two limbs, a removable belt, and a silver pistol. I prefer the gun arm and claw.

Next up are the Cobra Trooper and Cobra Officer. They're literally the same figure. The only difference is the mark on the Officer's helmet. I added a bag (From a comic pack Snake Eyes) and knife (From this set's Duke) to the officer the help set them apart. They're direct repaints of the previous Resolute Trooper. Again, in a red and black scheme instead of blue and black. This is a pretty new look for Cobra Troopers and Officers. Though Cobra Comander has often had a black and red look, the Troopers and Officers were always the blueshirts. The paint is nice enough. though some areas need better coverage. The clothes and heads are sculpted well. This is the first G3 Trooper/Officer with sculpted hair! They each get a nice removable vest, a backpack, removable helmets, a high tech looking SMG, and some large shotgun/grenade launcher gun. The trooper gets an SMG, and the officer gets the big gun, and there's one of each left over for my extra weapons pile. They also get this spring loaded missile launcher that I don't really care about. At least it's realistic looking enough for displays.

Thirdly, is my favorite from the set. Cobra Commander! I loves me some Cobra Commander. He's evil comedy gold! Evil, yet over the top. That definitely describes this figure, with his cloaks, fancy helmet, and sword. This guy uses a mish-mash of Cobra Commander parts from all over the G3 line. Again, nice sculpting, particularly on his cloaks. The paint has basically no real errors other than the bad coverage on the exposed collar on his upper cloak bit (In order for his collar to show over the cloak, they put an extra one on the top of the cloak). He's got a removable upper cloak (The bottom one is a separate piece, but not removable), a removable helmet, sword (There's a scabbard on the bottom cloak), and two pistols the look like Lugers to me. The black and red outfit is a classic, if less well known, look for the Comamnder, and I like it here.

Last is Duke, the only guy with new parts! He gets a new torso and upper arms. All this is because he's Jetpack Duke! So he needs a harness and stuff. The rest comes from the previous Resolute Duke. Including the stupid holster with a sculpted, permanently attached gun. He's in off-white, gray, and black this time around. The camo pattern on his shirt is a nice touch. His face also has a sublte scar going down one side. Unfortunatley, one of the eyes on mine is angled inward a bit. It's not really noticeable, unless he's got his helmet on, which make it look like he has one eye. Along with the helmet Duke gets the jetpack (The wings and tailfins are jointed), a machine gun (Originally from the other Resolute Duke), a pistol (A slightly modified pistol from the normal G3 Duke, with the trigger guard removed), the aforementioned knife (Reused from G3 Snake Eyes. This knife has been given to tons of guys), and a new belt with pouches on the back. I've decided to leave the helmet off because of his eye problem. Makes him look more badass anyways.

All the figures have the standard G3 Joe articulation (Plus the B.A.T.'s articulated claw). Unfortunately, Cobra Commander's cloaks restrict his movement somewhat. Everyone also gets a filecard and figure stand, like always.

So there you go. The final verdict is that I like this boxset, but it's not for everyone. It's mostly repaints, with one retool. If you haven't found the original verisons of these figures (Which is why I got it), I'd definitely say go for it. Otherwise, I'd get it if you like the black and red Cobra look, really want Jetpack Duke!, and/or want some nice new army builder figures.

Make sure to watch Adult Swim at midnight on April 25th, when Resolute premieres! Originally, it was going to be a series of webisodes, but Hasbro seems to be pushing things out of the way to gear up for the movie, which is sad. Hopefully, Resolute will be well received, and the movie will get GI Joe enough attention that they decide to continue with Resolute. I could see it becoming like the MArvel Animated movies.

~Raw/Monty CO-BRAAAA!!!

That was disturbing.
(Hassenfeld Bros. was the original name of Hasbro)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Geust review! Hulk Vs., by Darth Shadow

Hey! We've already got our first guest review! This is by my friend, Darth Shadow.

Everything after this is by him, not me:


HULK VS. is truely a movie of epic proportions. Well, actually, make that two movies of epic proportions. HULK VS. comes with HULK VS. WOLVERINE, and HULK VS. THOR. In HULK VS. WOLVERINE, Wolverine is sent out to put an end to the Hulk's rampage in Canada. However, both Hulk and Wolverine are captured by Weapons X, so that they could control the Hulk and turn him into the ultimate weapon. HULK VS. WOLVERINE starts off in the middle of the action, but to me, it seemed as if it was more about Logan than Banner. But it's still a good movie, and I'm not saying that just because one of my favorite Marvel characters is in it. I got a few laughs when Hulk sent Sabertooth flying. In HULK VS. THOR, Odin goes into the Odin Sleep (a state when Odin falls asleep for a week), and Asgard is attacked by the forces of evil (stop the fucking presses). However, on the last day of the Odin Sleep, Loki gets the idea to summon the Hulk to Asgard to combat Thor. The first part of the movie has the big green guy controlled by Loki, which in my opinion, wasn't as great as just seeing the Hulk beat the shit out of someone (he did, but he was being controlled by the ancient Norse god of trickery). The next part, though, is when Loki and Enchantress lose control of Hulk. And in order for Loki to control the Hulk, he had to separate the Hulk side from the Bruce Banner side. Which means an unrestrained Hulk is now kicking the ass of anyone in his way, which means that everyone in Asgard, good and evil, must fight against the Hulk and try to reunite the Hulk with the soul of Bruce Banner. Ultimately, these movies are something I would highly recommend to anyone that loves to see an epic Marvel animated movie. Or to anyone that likes seeing two powerful superheroes beat the living shit out of each other.


Freelancer Agent Darth_Shadow, out.



Annndd... I'm back! Pretty good review, of a great movie. Personally, I thought that Deadpool stole the show in Hulk Vs. Wolverine. Also, Hulk Vs. Thor was my favorite bit. I'm just a big Thor fan, and, luckily, Thor: Son of Asgard will be the next Marvel Animated movie!


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Transformers Universe Ironhide and Ratchet review

Yep, two guys at once!

Ummm... That came out wrong.

Anyways, I'm reviewing Universe Ironhide and Ratchet together. They're both the same mold, Ratchet being a repaint/retool of Ironhide. Of course, it was like that in G1.

First off, I have modded both of these guys. I used a guide I found on to keep them from looking at their feet. So, if you get these guys, actually, when you get them, because you are if you love Transformers, grab a boxcutter or razor blade (BE CAREFUL DAMNIT) and go here. You can also use the guide by Matt Booker if you're willing to sacrifice a few other TFs to give them balljointed heads. I didn't have anyone to sacrifice, so I used the first guide.

In vehicle mode, Ironhide is an SUV. Ratchet is an ambulance. Sort of. Kind of. Not really. He's more of an SUV pretending to be an ambulance. I suppose the back of Ratchet's alt mode could be modified to work as an ambulance. Though, I think of it more as the SUV the head paramedic takes to large-scale emergencies. Like how I always see local fire marshals using SUVs on the news when there's a big fire. Ratchet's also more visually interesting with the added red details. The SUVS look nice, and are your standard type, so they'd blend in. Of course, they're no longer vans, like they were in G1. Why? Because no one really likes vans that much anymore, I guess. SUVs is much more common now anyways. Incidentally, in G1 Ratchet was just a van pretending to be an ambulance. In a cool touch Ratchet's license plate says "H3L PU2" (Help us) while Ironhide's says "Oregon", which is where the Ark crash landed in G1.

Changing them is... rather involved. They don't become plastic explosions like the sides of their SUV forms would suggest, but it's complicated. This picture explains what's going on a bit.

In robot they look great. Ratchet, again, is the better looking one, but that doesn't mean Ironhide looks bad. Just plainer. The panels behind their window chests are cool. They also have giant craotches. For some reason. Now we know why Chromia liked Ironhide. Ratchet... Ratchet didn't get a femmebot.

They have universal jointed shoulders (Their shoulders can also swing forward thanks to they way they convert), hinged elbows and knees, balljointed hips and ankles, swivel necks, lower arms, and thighs, and balljointed and hinged wrists. Very poseable! And, despite their backpack kibble, they're not liable to topple backwards because of their huge feet.

The colors are nice. Ratchet's white is actually pearlescent, which is pretty awesome. His head is a bit of an oddity. You see, in G1, Ratchet's toy didn't have a head. Just a sticker on a chair. Same with Ironide. But they added heads in the cartoon and comics. In the comics, Ratchet's helmet was red and his chevron (Crest) was white. In the cartoon, his helmet was white but his chevron was black. So where did the red crest come from? Best guess, Aimated Ratchet. The details on the side of his vehicle mode are also likely from there. Ironhide's face is the same baby blue as his windows, but this was a factory error on the early shipments, and it was changed to silver later. I like his blue face though. Finally, watch out for the paint on the transparent roof, hood, and fron side windows bit. It can be pretty iffy. Both of them have different heads, so Ironhide's got his mowhawk thing, and Ratchet gets his chevron.

For weapons, they both get some sort of dual gatling gun/energon sword thing (One weapon on each side). It's pretty cool actually. The instructions say you have to fold their hand against their forearms to slot the weapons on, but their hands will fit inside, and this actually helps make the selected weapon pop out farther. The weapons slot into a space underneath their SUV modes. I've decided to have Ratchet use the sword, while Ironhide gets the gun. They fit their respective personalities more. Ironhide is also left handed. Why? Because I said so.

These are great toys, and must haves for any G1 fan. Finally, we get Ratchet and Ironhide with REAL HEADS!

Over the years, Ironhide has gotten quite a bit more love than Ratchet. Meanwhile, in the comics, Ratchet was always tortured, fighting Megatron, and even getting melded with Megatron. The universe just loves a badass, and Ironhide could be pretty badassed. But! Ratchet could be badass too! He totally Bruce Lee kicked Thundercracker in the crotch in the G1 episode "Changing Gears"! See? Badass.

Then they both died 9 minutes into the original Transformers movie.

"When are we gonna start bustin' Deceptichops?" ~Raw/Monty

Ironhide: The reason ya get picked on, kid, is 'cause yer not badass enough, like ah am. Sure, everyone loves ya. Yer a great doc! But it ain't enough. All you gotta do is go out and kick some 'Con butt! Then, BAM!, yer surrounded by all the pretty femmebots!

Ratchet: I suppose you're right. I'll give it a try! Now, about your squeaking pulleys...