Review: Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. Series 2- Aspen, Spring Elven Archer

Bossfight Studios’ Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. enter a world of fantasy with Aspen the Spring Elf Archer

With the success of the first series of Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S figures from Bossfight Studios, the creators decided to switch up the setting for series 2.  Since they already had skeletons, snake-women and gorgons in their line, it makes sense to shift into a fantasy setting.  The line has human nights along with orcs, elves, fairies and the undead.  One of the first figures in this series is Aspen, the Elven archer.

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The package is in the usual style of this line. The package is collector friendly and the card art is excellent. As with the first wave, the figure is given a back story told on the card back.  Told from the view of the same time travelers from the series one bios, they are exploring this alternate timeline that resulted from the Gorgon invasion.  Aspen is a member of the Spring Guard, who patrols the Elven homelands against invaders.  She is cautious, but friendly, freely talking to outsiders who do not pose a threat.

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Aspen armed with her bow and arrows.

The figure is of a blonde elf woman, with pale skin and dressed in a leafy green outfit, as are all Spring Elf patrollers (the Autumn elves, those who hunt down threats external to their lands, are in a brown outfit.)  The articulation is the same as the other figures in this line, with a good range of motion possible.  Aspen’s hair is a separate piece and her ears are pointy, as one would expect from an elf figure.  Her pupils are painted blue and there is some colour added to her lips.  She’s got a large forehead, but overall, it is a pretty sculpt.

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Do elves even wear underwear?

Removing her outfit, again we see the body is made in the skin tone plastic, with no paint save her underwear, which is more brief-like than the Amazons’ thongs.  The two piece outfit is in two tones of green, with leafy details around the collar and the belt.  The top is looped around the neck and the chest; you have to take off the head and torso to remove it.  The skit works similar to the Amazons, where you take off the torso and slip it over the abdomen onto the hips.  She has the loop on the back of the skirt to store a weapon.

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The top and skirt look like something a woodland elf would wear.
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The quiver holds her arrows and knives.

As for weapons, being an archer, she comes with a bow and arrows.  The bow is light brown with a dark brown grip.  There is no bow string, but there are notches for those incline to add one.  She comes with 5 arrows; each has a brown shaft, with metal grey tips on one end and feathers on the other.  The feathers can fit in between the index and middle finger on each hand so Aspen can be posed drawing her bow.  She also comes with a quiver that pegs into her back and can hold her arrows.  It also holds two small daggers for close-up fighting.  They hold in her hands well, despite being small.  Her last accessory is another head.  This head is blond with bigger ears than Aspen.  You could use this head to army build your own group of Spring elves, if you so wish.

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Knives fit firmly in her hands
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The extra head adds some customization options.

There is nothing more I could say about this figure that I have not already covered in the last two reviews.  I like the fantasy setting for this line.  There are not too many fantasy lines out there that are not Lord of the Rings related and none that are as posable.  I hope to see a male elf figure in this line; there are male and female orc figures that have been released.  I seen pictures of the male elf ranger (sporting colours of the old Paraley figure from the old LJN Advanced Dungeons and Dragons toys of the early 1980’s) but have not heard about a release date.  Still the line has orcs, cave fairies and demons (with articulated wings), undead knights and dragon hunters.  They are definitely worth checking out more.

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Aspen along side fellow Elves Tauriel and Legolas from The Hobbit (The Bridge Direct Toys)

All the Virtuvian H.A.C.K.S. figures are available through select online retailers, EBay or through Bossfight Studios themselves.  They are priced from $25 USD (about $34 CAD) but prices can vary by site.

Thanks for reading this review.  More reviews are on the way, including a review of the video game Senran Kagura: Burst Renewal for PS4.  Until the next post!

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All three of my H.A.C.K.S. figures together.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only.  I have not received anything from Bossfight Studios, Kokomo Toys, eBay or anyone else for this review.  The item was purchased by me with my own money.  All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.

Review: Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S Series 1: Penthesilea, Amazon Commander

With our second Vitruvian HACKS review, we look at the Amazon Commander and I don’t mean Jeff Bezos.

With the setting of Ancient Greece and the rich mythological and historical material of the that time period, Bossfight Studios had their choice of characters to bring into their Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. line.  Indeed, they made figures of those with some historical basis (King Leonidas of Sparta) to figues from the myths and legends of the time (Achilles).  Since they included Amazons as a faction in this story, it made sense to include a named Amazon that figured into the story of Achilles.  So, we get Penthesilea, commander of the Amazons.

In Bossfights story behind the line, Penthilsea, daughter of Ares, is one Amazon’s Twelve Champions.  She led the Amazon army in the war against the Gorgons, who were championed by a brainwashed Achilles, her lover.  In the actual myths and stories about Penthesilea, she was an Amazon queen and fought for Troy in the Trojan War.  She confronted Achilles in battle only to be slain by him.  Depending on the version you read, Achilles either fall in love with her before he kills her or afterwards.  Either way, that’s messed up.

Front of the package featuring nice card art

The package is what we’ve come to expect with this line.  The figure and accessories are clearly displayed, the card are is unique to that character and the figure can be removed without damaging the package too much.  the back showed Penthesilea’s bio and cross-sell pictures for waves 4 through 7.

Back

A face that has seen so much battle…

The figure itself is build just like the Amazon Warrior from my last review.  The head is different, though, with her back hair in a pony tail and white bags that give her a more mature look.  Her eyes are also blue, which helps to give the figure personality..  The rest of the body is the standard female body with minimum paint save the black underwear painted on.  The armour is where the colour is.  Her bracelets and shin guards are all gold as is the breast plate, save some black clasps.  The skirt is blue with gold highlights in the belt and on the buttons along the fringe of the dress.  There is also a loop for her sword on the back.  As with the last figure, the armour is removable (with some disassembly of the figure) and is easy to get back on.

Armour fits in with the Ancient Greek setting.
Shown with the larger sword and her shield

For accessories. Penthesilea come with three swords.  Two of them are like the two with the Amazon warrior, but with gold handles and silver blades.  The third sword looks like a larger straight sword, again with golden handle and silver blade.  The shield and black and gold, with a design on it recreating art from that time.  She also comes with an extra set of hands and the black Bossfight Studios stand.

Can’t be and Amazon without some swords!

The articulation is the same as all the H.A.C.K.S. female figures.  She is very poseable, with a wide range of motion.  The concerns I have with the Amazon Warrior are the same here, with small pegs at the wrist and ankles you can’t help to worry about breakage.  Again, has not happened but definitely something to consider.

Sword fits in the loop on the back.

These are great figures, though.  We haven’t had a proper Greek mythology lien since Clash of the Titans since the early 1980’s, and, to a lesser extend, the Hercules and Xena lines in the 1990’s.  One day, I would like to get a gorgon figure, because that is where this line excels, at the snake bodies and the unique take on the Gorgon warriors.  Being late to this line does pose an issue, but there is a chance you could find on eBay or even from Bossfight Studios themselves for a decent price.  This figure was about $35 CAD though an eBay reseller (Kokomo Toys.)

Comparison with Marvel Gamerverse  Spider-man (Hasbro) and DC Multiverse Arkham Knight Batman (Mattel.)

Thnaks for reading my review.  Next I will review a figure from Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. series Two.  This series is a fantasy wave with knights, wizards, elves and orcs,  We will be looking at the Elven archer Aspen.  See you then!

“Your armour, my Queen…”

This Review is for entertainment purposes only.  I have not received anything from Bossfight Studios, Kokomo Toys, eBay or anyone else for this review.  The item was purchased by myself witt my own money.  All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.

Review: Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S Series 1: Amazon Warrior (Ares Army)

With the internet and e-commerce, it is much easier for companies to find an audience for their products.  Sometimes smaller companies use sites like Kickstarter to gauge interest in their product an raise the capital to start production.  Sometimes this fails, but other times the goal is reached, even surpassed and the desired product get made and released and a whole line is born.  That is what happened with Bossfight Studios and their toyline Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S.

Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S started out as an idea for a line of easily customizable figures.  H.A.C.K.S stands for Highly Articulated Character Kit System.  The figures feature removable equipment, heads, limbs and torsos that you can swap with other figures in the line (or those using the H.A.C.K.S system.)  They also needed a theme to get people interested in the figures themselves.  So Bossfight Studios went with a Greeks versus Gorgon theme, drawing on the history and the myth of Greek culture.  Spartans, amazons, skeletons and Gorgons all fill this line.  One of them is the Amazon Warrior that I will be reviewing.

Figure inside the package.  The card art is quite nice.

The Amazon Warrior (Ares Army) is one of three standard Amazon warrior figures in the line.  They are all the same figure, with the same accessories, but vary in the colour of their skin and their equipment.  The Ares Army version has pale skin, with blue war pain on the face and blue paint/tattoos on her torso, arms and legs..  The package is nice, with the figure clearly displayed and colourful art on the card back.  The package is collector friendly, allowing to remove the figure and repalce them with no damage to the package.  The back has cross-sell pictures of other figures in the line and places this one as wave 5.5.  There is also a bio on the back (the same for all versions of the Amazon Warrior) written from the perspective of time travellers witnessing these events.

Back of package

The paint on the figure’s head is clean.  The aforementioned blue war paint is done nicely without any slop.  Her eyes are just white with a black pupil/iris, with is fine for a figure on this scale.  Her hair is short and sculpted on an painted brown.  Her body is molded in the flesh coloured plastic, with the only paint being the war paint designs and a thong  painted on the crotch.  The war paint designs are done well and the underwear is there for modesty.

The face is nicely sculpted and painted
Removing the armour, you can see more of the paint detail on the body.  I don’t think the thong is historically accurate, though.

The armour is removable and is made of a soft, rubbery plastic.  You  do have to disassemble the figure to remove it, but it is easy to take off and get on.  The armour is two pieces, the breast plate and the skirt.  The breast plate is all black, but with detailing showing clasps and rivet.  The skirt is black too, but an almost bluish black around the waist and a darker black for the skirt.  There is also some silver detailing  on the sculpted studs..  The bracers and the shin guards are black as well and are removable (but are tough to get off.   Lastly is the helmet, which is black with a dark blue plume.  It is a little harder than the armour, but is pliable enough to fit onto her head and be removed easily without scratching the paint..

Armour is removable
Helmet and shield

For accessories, we’ll start at the shield.  It is silver with a blsvk edge and inside.  There is a picture of an amazon warrior, inspired by actual historical art, on her shield.  The back has a slot to slide her lower arm in and a handle to grasp the shield.  It stay on pretty well.  The Amazon also comes with two swords, a long and a short one.  Both have a  black hilt and silver blade.  The smaller one even fits in the loop on her skirt.  Finally, there is the spear.  It is also  black with the blades being a dull silver.  Other accessories include a Bossfight stand and two extra hands.

Shield design
Swords
Smaller sword can fit in the loop in the back

The articulation is great on the figure.  Her head moves side to side well, can tilt and moves up and down a fair ways.  The shoulders are on ball joints with the movement not hindered by her armour.  The elbow is a singe joint but bends greater than 90 degrees.  The wrist move in and out and rotates all the way around.  The legs can spread apart wide enough, but not to a split and they can kick forward a bit but not back too much.  The knees are double jointed and work well and the ankles can move forwards and back and pivot.  The head hand and feet are removable; in fact the entire body can be take apart.

Ball joint in the torso

The figure is pretty sturdy overall, I can’t help worrying a bit when I pop off the head or arms to swap out armour or limbs.  The torso barbell is large enough, but the pegs for the hands, feet and even the head are smaller and, while it hasn’t happened with these figures, I have had breakage happen to some of my imported figures.  I have seem reviewers on You Tube that had no issues with the human/gorgon figures breaking (and one with the skeleton) but, as with everything, be careful when you pop out a joint or head.

With this being from a small company, the Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. are not in stores.  They can be bought on Ebay and some toy/collectable websites.  They can also be bought directly from Bossfight Studios.  They can also be a bit expensive, retailing for about $25 USD (approx $35 CAD) plus shipping.

Thanks for reading my review.  Next time, we will look at another figure from this line, Penthesilea, the Amazon Commander.  Until then…

Comparison with other 1:18 scale figures, Ryu and Black Widow from Marvel Gamerverse series by Hasbro

This Review is for entertainment purposes only.  Ihave not reviewed anything from Bossfight Studios, eBay, Sparta, or any person/organization for this review  This item was purchased by me with my own funds.  All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me for review purposes.

Review: Bandai Tamashii Nations Star Wars Movie Realization Onmitsu Shadowtrooper

Samurai? In MY Star Wars? It’s more likely than you think.

Star Wars is popular.  That goes without question; even after the prequal trilogy, Jar Jar Binks and even the divisiveness of The Last Jedi, the fandom is stll very strong.  A key point to the popularity of Star Wars has been, from the very beginning, the toys.  Beside a brief lapse from the late 1980’s to about 1994, Star Wars has always had toys on the shelves.  We rarely, however, see the toys produced for other regions of the globe, particularly Japan.  The popularity of Star Wars is so worldwide, Japanese companies also licensed out the brand to produced their own figures.  Usually they are action figures, just more detailed and intricate.  Sometimes they are Bishoujo statues of female characters from the Expanded Universe.  But sometimes, something uniquely Japanese is produced that still works so well.

Anyone with an interest in the history behind Star Wars knows that Lucas was partly influenced by Japanese culture and Cinema.  The Force had elements of Eastern mysticism, the Jedi had a samurai vibe, Darth Vader’s outfit evoked the stylized armour of Samurai lords and the movie itself was influenced by Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress.  So that is why combining the look for some of the character’s armours and reimagining them as samurai works so well.  That is the basis behind Bandai’s Tamashii Nations Movie Realization Star Wars figures.  This review will be looking at the Onmitsu Shadowtrooper.

“Onmitsu” is a Japanese term meaning spy.  The Shadowtrooper, in Star Wars canon, were specialized Stormtroopers assigned to the Imperial Intelligence for security and espionage.  This figure combine the two, giving us an all black samurai stormtrooper that would scout out ahead to identify threats.  The figure stand about 7 inches tall, made from a sturdy plastic.  The figure is black, with some white wash to accent the design in the helmet and armour.  The figure is well articulated,  with a wide range of motion at the head, shoulders and legs due to ball joints.  The elbows bend at more than 90 degrees  and  the knees are double jointed as well.  The ankles are movable up and down and left to right, but there is not much of an ankle pivot. Lastly, he is articulated at the wrist and can rotate and bend in and out at the joint.  The hands are removable (more on that later).  Overall, he has a good deal of posablity , though ankle pivot and a bicep swivel would improve it.

Whitewash brings out the design on the black plastic.

For accessories, he comes with spare hands, a sword with a sheath, throwing knives and a blaster.  Besides the hands that come on him in box (closed fists) he has several hands with each stile comes for the left and right.  He has hands for holding the pistol, with the finger on the trigger; a set of holding hands for the sword; a set of more open hands for holding the blaster at the barrel or even the sheath; and, a set of holding hands for the small throwing knives.  The sword, which I believe is a wakizashi, has a silver blade and guard, with a black hilt with a silver pommel.  The sheath is flat black with no distinguishing marks.  The blaster combines the look of the standard Imperial blaster with the look of a flintlock pistol, with a movable handle.  It is done in a gun metal grey and black paint scheme.  Finally, the throwing knives (kunai, if I am not mistaken) are  done in a slightly shiny black, with a purpleish handle.  Out of the accessories, the blaster is the best part.

The wakizashi can go into the sheath and the sheath can go on the belt.
The blaster is nicely done
Hands are interchangeable so the figure can hold different accessories

The figure is well designed and is sturdy.  Too often, import toys see so fragile, with them feeling that they would break even if you just change the accessories that you want to display them with.  Other times, the exchangeable hands tend to fall off easily and get lost.  With the Onmitsu Shadowtrooper, you don’t get that feeling.  The hands stay on the peg and you can turn them and put in accessories without it falling off.  You can pose this figure without fear of breaking it, unless you try to move a joint in a direction it was not meant to go and force it real hard.

You can fit in the accessories without the hands falling off.
The tighter gripping hand is meant for the kunai knives

Scale wise, if you have any of the Star Wars Black 6 inch scale figures, the Onmitsu Stormtrooper would tower over them.  Sure, Leia says that they are tall, but not that tall!  They are definitely bigger that some, if not all S.H. Figurarts figures, which are also made by Bandai.  IT would go good with other 7 inch figures, such as some of NECA’s s stuff like Aliens or even Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics.  For theme-wise, I’d place them with the Aliens.

The figure is large compared to those in the Black Series
Comparison with the S.H. Figurarts Injustice Harley Quinn, also by Bandai
Next to Mezco One:12 Suicide Squad Harley Quinn

This is a great albeit pricy figure.  This is the cheapest one, running at about $99 Canadian, with some online sites having it on sale for around $94.  Other figures in this line run about $110.00, with aftermarket prices higher for older figures.  They can be found at some comic game and hobby shops around the world.  In Canada, they are available at EB Games/EBX, with assortment and availability varying by store.

Who has the power?

I hope you enjoyed my review.  I hope to do more reviews on toys, games, movies and anime in the near future.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only.  I have not received anything from Bandai, Lucasfilm, Disney, EB Games, or any person, group or the Empire for this review  This item was purchased by me with my own funds.  All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me for review purposes.