Thursday, December 31, 2015

Q-Transformers: Prowl QT-06

The last day of 2015 is here and I realized that I haven't given the blog as much content lately as I wanted to. You would think with the Holidays and extra time off from work I'd have more time for things like this...but nope. None the less let me dig out a toy that I've been sitting on for quite some time, or should I say a new Transformers series I've been sitting on for awhile.

Transformers Q, a new series of Transformers that Takara Tomy introduced late in 2014. Based on the Choro Q designs, these are penny racers in disguise! I really didn't think this series would go on for as long as it has, but I've already got a few of the new figures on pre-order that are to be released in 2016.

This small figures come packaged in vehicle mode on a blister card. Like many blister card packaging from Japan, you can slit the tape on the back and easy slip out the cardboard blister card.

I try really hard not to swerve too far off my main collecting path, but there was just something about these figures that I couldn't resist. While I haven't gone crazy and picked up every single release, I have been picking up the majority of the G1 characters.

In vehicle mode these look great. Highly detailed there is no mistaken which characters these are supposed to be. In fact the level of detailing is a little surprising to me. While Prowl lacks his Highway Patrol motif on his side doors, you can take one look at this toy and know it's Prowl. Period.

Of all the Q figures I've opened thus far, the transformation is the same. Pull down the legs, pull out the arms and flip up the head. I really wasn't expecting the legs or arms to be articulated, but surprisingly they are. Attached via ball joints, the limbs have a decent range of motion.

I guess it's the "cuteness" factor that keeps me coming back, or maybe it's the cheap price tag (generally $10 or less are most online retailers). Whatever the reason these little guys have found a spot in my G1 one centric collection.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Soldiers of A.I.M.

One of the current trends with Hasbro's Marvel Legends series is having a pair of figures that share a common theme, or even share the included Build-A-Figure part. The Captain America these series of figures appropriately had the Soldiers of A.I.M. featuring Baron Zemo and a A.I.M. Soldier. Instead of breaking these down and doing separate posts, I thought we'd just look at them together.

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I noticed with the now current Spider-Man / Rhino BAF series the themed pair of figures (Misty Knight / White Tiger) share the same BAF part. This isn't the case with these two figures and I'm glad as both figures are fantastic and deserve to be bought regardless of which BAF piece is included.

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Being a huge fan of the 90's Captain America comic series, Baron Zemo was one of the earliest villains that I came to associate as a Cap villain, thanks in large part to the classic Blood Stone Hunt Marvel comics story. Later on I became a big fan of the original Marvel Comics' run of Thunderbolts, yet another relationship I've built w/ Baron Zemo. The designers did a great job w/ the sculpt of this figure, especially the head sculpt. He may be a tad more muscular than what I'm familiar seeing him portrayed, but it doesn't bother me.

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If only an unmasked alternate head could have been included with this figure. Over all this is a very solid very and worthy of getting the Marvel Legends treatment. He does come with a few accessories so let's take a look at those.

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Baron Zemo comes packaged with two weapons. He has a silver pistol that is made to fit firmly in his right hand. His fingers are molded as such to grip the gun and have his finger on the trigger. Unlike how his other weapon, his classic sword can be stored on his webgear, there isn't a place to store the pistol.

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There aren't many Marvel villains that carry around a sword (Taskmaster is the other that comes to mind), Baron Zemo isn't a slouch when it comes to the combat department. Thankfully the sword is cast of a thicker plastic and was packaged in a way where the sword wasn't warped right out of the retail packaging. It's got a good weight and feel to it.

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The classic look of the A.I.M. soldier has been often criticized in the past and yes despite looking like a beekeeper, I like the look. When this wave was original on retail shelves in my area, you could not find this figure (or the Hydra soldier). I'm sure a large part of this was due to collectors buying multiples. While I get the while army building or troop building that 3 3/4" collectors partake in, I can't see needing more than 2 of these particular soldiers.

The figure itself is another home run in my book. For a bland yellow and black outfit, the figure still looks detailed thanks in part to all of the wrinkles molded into the legs, arms and chest/waist areas. His bandolier is removable, but the soft plastic its made of doesn't lend well to often removing as the tab gets bent very easily making it tough to reattach. Sculpted on the front of said bandolier are several silver canisters, I'm assuming some type of gas grenade.

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Another area of detail can be found on the masks' visor. I've always assumed the visor section to be of a mesh type material to allow the soldier protection, but also as a way of allowing them to breathe in these suits. This mask isn't removable, but like with Zemo it would have been cool if there was an alternate unmasked head. However I guess it's easier to troop build these w/ the masks on.

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The A.I.M. Soldier comes packaged with two impressive looking weapons. I prefer this large yellow rifle, but the smaller pistol is equally a nice weapon. Unfortunately I had some problems editing the other photo I had with the figure wielding the pistol.

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The Soldiers of A.I.M. are some great looking villains that any serious Marvel Legends collector needs to round out their rogue gallery. I may be a little biased since I'm a big Captain America fan, however I don't think there is much not to like about either of these figures. Highly recommended.