Review: G.I. Joe Classified Series: Snake Eyes and Scarlett

There aren’t too many toy lines in the world that have as much of a storied history as G.I. Joe. First produced by Hasbro back in 1964, G.I. Joe was originally 12 inch dolls- er, ACTION FIGURES, with removable outfits and accessories. The original lineup paid homage to the Armed forces by having a soldier, sailor and a pilot. The political climate of the 1960’s and 70’s let G.I. Joe to change from a military focus to an “Adventure Team” with flocked beards and kung-fu grip. Eventually 12 inch “Action Figures” waned in popularity with the rise of 3 3/4 inch figures such as Star Wars. This the G.I. Joe brand went dormant.

Then in 1982, Hasbro revived the franchise. Enlisting comic writer Larry Hama and partnering with Marvel Comics, G.I. Joe became G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (ARAH). The military theme was back and this time there were actual characters with unique skills and backstories. They also have an actual enemy to fight; the terrorist organization Cobra. With a comic book and cartoon to support the line, the toy were on shelves for 12 years, with sporadic returns up until 2012, with the G.I. Joe: Retaliation movie. But by then, the hot format was at the 1:12 Scale (6 inch). Hasbro had success with their Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black in this format and it was hoped G.I. Joe would return in this scale.

Finally in 2020 we get the first wave of G.I. Joe Classified Series. This 1:12 scale line is revamping characters from the ARAH days with a modern twist. These figures have been turning up on online retailers and are expected to hit stores in June 2020. I managed to get two of these figures from Megalopolis Toys, but many are sold out and not expected in stock until June. This review will be for the Snake Eyes (retail version) and Scarlett figures.

Figures in packaging
Each figure has custom art.

Both figures come in a mostly blue box. Each figure has there own themed packaging with box art and decals individualized for each figure. The back shows promotional art showcasing some of the more iconic figures in the Joe franchise, though Storm Shadow in conspicuous in his absence.

Back art is the same as shown at Toy Fair 2020.

The Snake Eyes figure is mostly black in colour, with a mixture of glossy and flat black. His colouring is slightly different from the one in the collector’s edition sold on the Hasbro pulse online store. The figure comes with a bandoleer, belt, holster and knife sheathe which are separate pieces that come on the figure.

Snake Eyes and acccessories
Snake Eyes has room for all of his kit.

For accessories and weapons, he comes with two guns; a futuristic sun-machine gun and pistol. There is a silencer included for the pistol. her also goes with a knife and a sword with a scabbard, Lastly, he has a backpack which attaches to his back. The scabbard can attach to the backpack or plug into the same hole as the backpack. Alternatively, the large gun can attach to the back pack in the same hole as the scabbard.

Scarlett with her signature crossbow and lot of knives, for some reason.

Scarlett’s outfit is more futuristic than her classic look, but the beats are there from the original figure. She has a blue top and grey and red pants on with yellow, gold and red armour parts over top. She comes with a quiver slung over her shoulder for her signature weapon. Her hair is red, much like her code name implies, but it is a lighter red, much like how she was portrayed in G.I. Joe Renegades. Her face is a nice sculpt though she skews a bit young than we usually see her portrayed. I don’t mind it; this seems to be a reboot of the franchise and she doesn’t look too young to seem out of place.

Crossbow fits well in her hand
Her quarrel can some two knives in the back and the smaller one in front.

Articulation-wise, is seems that Hasbro combined the best part of their Marvel Legends line with G.I. Joe sensibilities, but with a few bad habits put in. Snake Eyes is as possible as any Marvel Legends figure. Double jointed elbows and knees, ab crunch and a good range of motion ensures you can do some dynamic poses. Scarlett is good as well, but falls short with only single joint elbows and torso swivel. The torso I am fine with; I remember the ugly torso cuts from Marvel Legendsè Toy Biz days. The elbows, however, well there is no reason it wouldn’t work. Double jointed elbows would improve the figure as much as the bicep swivel did on the classic 3 3/4″ G.I. Joes. Still, what we have works and works well.

Articulation is on par with the Marvel Legends series.

The main sticking point that I have seen online about the figures is that the line strays into Sci-Fi territory. Things like Scarlett’s armour or Snake Eyes guns stray from the realism some want from their Joes. GI Joe has always had a fantastical element to it. It had Ninjas, mysticism and weird vehicles like the Terrordrome and the Trouble Bubble. The cartoon had things like the Weather Dominator, and the MASS Device, and everyone was shooting lasers. Sure, there was military equipment at the core but it was more than that. G.I Joe has change in the past to try to remain relevant. Maybe a small band of special operatives up against a terror organization who employ ninjas will attract a new generation of fans.

Scarlett looks younger than we are used to seeing her, but she is sure cute.

I hope this line does well and we get more waves. I want a Baroness, a Flint and a Storm Shadow at this scale to name a few. Besides, who wouldn’t want some Cobra Ninjas to surround their Wolverine figure with? The figures might have been updated but this is classic ARAH era Joes in a new scale. If you get a chance, check some of them out and after having them in hand, I am sure you will want more of theses figures.

Figures scale well with Star Wars Black figures

G.I. Joe Classified figures are available to order online and should be hitting stores soon. They retail for $21.99 USD at online retailer Megalopolis and may be priced similar elsewhere.

Figures fit well alongside Marvel Legends figures, though may be a bit short.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Hasbro, Megalopolis or anyone else for this review. The items were purchased by myself with my own money. All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.

Review: Hasbro’s Marvel Legends X-Men: Stepford Cuckoos

Today we will be looking at Hasbro’s Marvel Legends X-Men Stepford Cuckoos. This figure is exclusive to Walgreen’s in the United States and EB Games in Canada. It was released around February/March 2020 and ret ails for about $29.99 CAD.

For those unfamiliar with the Stepford Cuckoos, they are a group of girls who are all cloned daughters of the mutant Emma Frost. First introduced in Grant Morrison’s run of X-Men, there were originally five girls; Sophie, Phoebe, Mindee, Celeste and Esme, they are all psionically gifted like Emma, but were psychically linked with Esme controlling the others. Both Sophie and Esme were killed and the remaining three started to express their individuality; Phoebe dyed her hair red and Mindee cut and dyed her hair black as well as changed her name to Irma (as was originally intended by Grant Morrison.) Whether or not this is current, I don’t know. Mutants in Marvel Comics don’t tend to stay dead.

The Stepford Cuckoo figure with the default Celeste head.
The jacket and the skirt are soft, pliable plastic.

Anyways, this figure is a representation of the Stepford Cuckoos in their New Xavier School uniform. The figure comes with the default blond head (Celeste) on the body but includes alternate heads for Phoebe (red hair) and Mindee/Irma (Black hair.) The head is removable and is on a ball joint and pin which gives it a good range of motion. The arm is attached to a ball joint at the shoulder, with a single joint elbow and hinged wrists.. The figure has a mid torso joint that is covered by her jacket. Her skirt is soft plastic and does not hinder the ball joint on the leg. She has double-jointed knees and had good motion in her ankles.

Mindee (or Irma, depending on the writer) with two of the effect pieces. Fun fact: Grant Morrison intended her name to be Irma so the first initial of all the Cuckoos spell SPICE, as a nod to the Spice Girls.

Besides the head, the only other accessories she come with is two translucent effects pieces and a Cerebro helmet. the effect pieces can fit on her arm and can simulate her using telekinesis. The Cerebro helmet fits the best on the Mindee head, due to her hair. The figure uses the teen girl buck that Hasbro developed, so she fits in scale the most of Hasbro’s modern X-Men figures.

Phoebe dyed her hair red as a way to express herself . All three heads have the same white eyes with red tinge.

I like this figure. Admittedly I was not up to speed with Cuckoos since New X-Men, but I was still interested in the character. Of course, to get the full effect, you have to get two more to display all three heads (or five, if you prefer them all looking the same, though the uniform would be off.) Since it is a retailler exclusive, you should not see too many of these warming pegs, but with a version of the character showing on the show The Gifted, the Stepford Cuckoos should not be too obscure.

The Three-In-One together.

Marfvel Legends X-Men Stepford Cuckoos is a Walgreens (US) and EB Games (Canada) exclusive and retails for about $29.99 CAD. Figures may be available in other regions and online.

The Stepford Cuckoos with Emma Frost (back)

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Hasbro, Marvel, EB Games or anyone else for this review. The item was purchased by myself with my own money. All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.

Mini Reviews: Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S Series 2 Cerisier, King Lance Steelblade, and Lacuna

A quick review of three figures from Vitvian H.A.C.K.S. from @BossFightStudio

I got three more figures from Bossfight Studio’s web store (had a buy 2 get a 3rd for half off deal) and I want to just do some quick reviews since they are similar to one I’ve reviewed before, with one having a unique feature. SO, here we go with some Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. mini reviews!

Cerisier, Sakura Elven Assasin

Cerisier is a Bossfight Studio web store exclusive. Sakura Elves are trained assassins for the Elf Queen who dye their skin in ink and have their voices magically removed. Cerisier has a unique head sculpt but the rest of her are reissued parts from the other elves. Her outfit, in pink, white and brownish red, is the same as Aspen and Aiyana as is the two daggers she comes with. Her crossbow, quarrels and quiver are from Narissa of the Withered Branch. The only new piece (though it came it the Elven accessory pack) is a piece to attach to the quiver so it can hook into the loop on her skirt.

Cerisier is armed with a crossbow and daggers.

Still the whole figure works well and looks great. The quarrels get lost way too easily, but are a nice touch. She is a good addition to my collection of elves

Her quiver hooks onto the back of her skirt.

King Lance Steelblade, King of Accord

The leader of the Knights of Accord, Lance was a orphan inducted into their ranks. He proved his skill as a knight and a commander and ended up becoming King when most of the high-borne knights and the King were killed. The figure is the same as the regular Knight of Accord, but with white armour and gold trim. His pants and undershirt are black and his loin cloth is purple. he has a purple caplet that you can swap out with another pauldron. Like the knight, he comes with an axe, sword with scabbard and a shield. with a purple design, instead of blue. He also comes with a Royal standard for the Knight of Accord.

Lance is sporting a royal white and gold ensemble with at purple cape so you know he’s king. THe crown helps, too.

The main head has removable hair so you can put on a helmet on the figure. The hair stays on better than Q’Al Varis’ and the helmet fits well. He has two helmets, one open and one with a visor. Rounding out, he has two spare heads so you can army build more knights. Once again, the figure is great and the accessories add so much to the figure.

With helmet on.
The Royal standard.

Lacuna – Cavern Faerie

Launa matata!

Deviating from the tiny, dragon fly-winged creatures we know from fables, Cavern faeries are human-sized magical creatures with bat wings who live in caverns. According to the Bio, Lacuna was driven out of her home by invading monsters, probably the Knights of Asperity. Distrustful of humans, Lacuna still seeks their help to aid them against the undead horde that invaded her land.

Here, Lacuna is armed with a…stick.

Lacuna features a different body type for the line: winged bodies. She has removable wings that you can swap for more open ones. He skin is light purple and she has white hair. Her two piece outfit is purple, silver and black and she has molded on goggles on her head. Her weapons are a wand with a crystal on it and a club/larger wand again sporting crystals.

Wings are on ball joints and attach to the back.

This figure shows the innovation of this line. The body type is used again with a gargoyle figure and there is a male winged demon in the newest wave. Lacuna is a excellent figure and I can’t wait for winged blanks to come out.

She has a pair of open wings, too. She is holding the wand.

So there are my three latest Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S figures. I pays to follow Bossfight studio on their Twitter as they occasionally have flash sales on their figures. I really like this line and I am looking forward to see what they do next. These figures can be found at the Bossfight Studio webstore and various resellers online and on eBay.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Bossfight Studio, Kokomo Toys, eBay or anyone else for this review. The item was purchased by myself 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 2 – Q’Al Varis, Elven Ranger

Meet Q’Al Varis, the Elven Ranger from @BossFightStudio Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S.

Series 2 of Bossfight Studio’s Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. line has been pretty balanced with both male and female figures. We got several male humans, four female elves of various colours, and two sets of Orc males and females. A lot of the collectors, however, have been asking the same thing: Where are the female human knights and male elves? Well, the former should be answered later this year, the latter has request has been fulfilled with the newest wave that came out this past March. So I present to you: Q’Al Varis, the Elven Ranger.

Frot of package

According to the included bio, Q’Al Varis is the son of the Elven Queen. He, like so many Elven Rangers, travels the word to hone his skills ans learn new ones. He has joined forces with Lance Steelblade, King of Accord and is fast becoming the best swordsman (elf?) of the land. Or he can be anyone you want him to be.

Back.

The packaging is collector friendly, like most in this line, an allow you to remove the figure without damaging the card back. Why would you not want to damage the card? The art, that’s why. Again, the card is made specifically for this character and looks great. The bio is a nice touch, building the lore for this line. Of course, being resealable, you can alternate from having him displayed in package or out of it.

Q’Al Varis

Out of the package, the figure is well done. The armour is molded on , and is a combination of a leather tunic with blue arms. He has brown armguards that are removable. The bottom of his tunic is a separate piece and covers grey pants with brown boots. The whole thing is tied off with a green cape with gold accents on the collar. It is definitely a nice figure and reminds me of another figure I have in my collection (more on that later.)

Hood’s up!

The figure’s hair is removable, so you can use an optional hood piece. It is green like the cape and is put on the head before you reattach it to the figure. The is a second masked head as well. It looks like it was carved from wood and gives a nice option for army building.. The masked head can work both with or without the hood.

Masked head with the sword, Andkaba.

For weapons, he has a neat sword, called Andkaba in the bio. The blade is green and the hilt is gold. It fits nicely in his hands. He also comes with a bow, because what is a ranger without a ranged weapon? It is the standard bow we’ve seen before and comes with arrows with a gold arrow tip and green fletching. That’s the feathers at the other end. See, this blog can be educational!

The back pack with the quiver attached.

Additional accessories include a back pack and a quiver. The backpack consists of a molded bedroll and a rope and hook. The quiver has a spot to store the bow or sword as well as room for the arrows. It can attack eiter to the side of the bed roll or to the side of the figures belt. Apparently, because I have not been able to do it.

Bow at the ready.

So, there are several… issues with the figure that I find annoying. First, the hair does not stay on that well. Maybe they made the peg hole small to allow for posing without the hair and not have a big hole. It goes on fine, but pops off too easily. Second is the gummy plastic they made the backpack peg out of. I have a hell of a time trying to get it through the hole of the cape and into the back. I find it better to take off the cape, put the peg through the hole in the came, into the one in the back, but the cape around the neck and try not to knock it out while putting the head and hair back on. The ironic thing is that, if it had been hard plastic, I’d probably would have broke it by now.

Q’Al Varis next to LJN’s Advanced Dungeons and Dragons’ Peralay the Elf. Damn he was short!

Despite these nitpicks, I love this figure. It is nice to have another elf figure in my collection that is not Legolas. He has a look that, to me and many others online, seems to homage the Peralay figure from LJN’s Advanced Dungeon and Dragons line. Whether intentional or not, he is definitely his own character and fits right in with the HACKS world or any fantasy world..

“I’m sorry, Peralay, but I think we are going to go with him…”

Bossfight Studio’s Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. Series 2: Q’Al Varis is available now from the Bossfight web store and from various sellers online on on eBay. Prices and availability may vary by site.

Ladies love a bald-headed elf!

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Bossfight Studio, Kokomo Toys, eBay or anyone else for this review. The item was purchased by myself 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 2: Aiyana, Elven Archer, Autumn Guard

Meet the sharp end of the Elven Army: Aiyana, of the Autumn Branch.

Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. series two has covered many of the fantasy tropes we have come to expect. Knights, wizards, cave faires, orcs and the undead are all represented in this line. Elves are too and through these figures, Bossfight Studios sets the world they created from the ash of the Greek/Gorgon war. This figure is one of the Elf Kingdom’s warriors; hunting down enemies outside of their lands. This is Aiyana, of the Autumn Branch.

Shots blurry. Sorry

According to the bio, the Autumn Branch are the offensive fighters of the Elven Army. They patrol outside their lands in small groups, identifying threats and eliminating them. Aiyana is a leader of one of those groups and has a fierce reputation amongst the orc warlords.

Bio
Aiyana out of package

The figure is almost the same as Aspen, the Spring Branch Archer I reviewed in January. Aiyana has a more darker skin tone than Aspen , with brown painted on underwear underneath her outfit. Her outfit is in autumn colours, literally; her top, bottom leg and arm guards are all in brown with reddish-brown and orange highlights. Other than the colour, her outfit is the same as Aspen’s. The head sculpt is what’s new. Her face shape and reddish-brown hair gives Aiyana a unique look compared to the blonde, pale Aspen.

The head sculpt is the only thing not borrowed from the Aspen figure.
Bow at the ready.

Her accessories are similar as well. Aiyana comes with a bow, quiver and two knives, much like Aspen. They are all a lighter brown, matching the Autumn theme of the figure. Unlike Aspen, Aiyana does not come with an extra head, but does have six arrows compared to Aspen’s four. They have brown tips with brown feathers at the other end on a light brown shaft. Not all can fit in her quiver at once, but you can have her hold one at the ready like with Aspen

About four arrows can fit in the quiver. Knives fit on the sides.

I like what Bossfight is doing with their elves, and the bio help to piece together the world they inhabit. Currently there are four elves figures, the other two being Withered Branch (think dark elf) and Sakura branch (I think some sort of royal guard or special ops). All or them are female, which is fine, but that will change later in March when they release the male Elven Ranger, Q’Al Varis

She’s a fall right down to her underwear.

These figures are beautifully done, posable, fairly sturdy and are great in hand. It is good to know that Bossfight is continuing the figures with four more this year, at least along with more Bucky O’Hare, plus zombies, Sam and Max and more. With the Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. alone, Bossfight has a line that many collectors will find something that they like.

The girls of…before and after Summer.

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 my review.

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: Serpentess Order Gorgon Horde

It’s Greeks versus Gorgons with Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S Series 1 Serpentess Order.

The Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S series is pretty unique. The creators set out to make figures and, while having human and humanoid characters, also chose to include some more imaginative creatures. The Gorgon horde is comprised of snake people, some with the lower half of a snake like Medusa. Bossfight Studio chose to design these creatures to look menacing but still be able to be posed and displayed. Some are themed after real-world snakes and some are just designed to look visually stunning. For this review, we will look at the all -white Serpentess Order figure.

In packaging

In the Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S fiction, the Serpentess order are servants of the Gorgon Sisters. They are fierce warriors and can also talk to the dead and temporarily raise them. They can be used as spies and interrogators as they can speak any language they encounter. There crystal weapons and armour are said to be unbreakable.

Back of package

Not they Gorgon horde are not actually Gorgon’s themselves; there are only three Gorgons; the sisters Stheno, Euryale and Medusa, who was cursed to have the lower half of a snake. their horde looks like lamia, who in some tellings are half woman, half snake. There are more humanoid soldiers in the Gorgon army, but one s like the Serpentess Order would definitely rattle even the toughest troops.

The figure can balance pretty good.

The figure is well done. While the top half is the same as the human figures, the lower half consist of 8 segments, from the abdomen to the tail. Each is connected with a ball joint. You can stand the figure up pretty easily, using the bottom half of the tail to balance the figure. If only the 1987 G.I. Joe Globulus figure had articulation like this.

The tail is articulated in several places
Armour and helmet

Her armour consists of a helmet and breast plate both molded in a translucent purple plastic. The helmet resembles a snake skull with skeletal tail running down the back. The armour is the same style seem with the Amazon warrior and Penthesila, with the only additional colour bein a blue symbol set between her breasts.. The armour looks great, with the white skin beneath adding to the look. The armour is removable, but it is not as flexible as the other ones I reviewed. I would advise caution when removing it, to avoid cracks or breakage.

A snake woman wielding two swords is pretty intimidating.

Her weapons are two long swords, with purple, see-though blades with greyish-blue handles. The swords seem to be make of tow pieces with the blade inserted and glued in, so I don’t think any scratched off paint from the handle would reveal translucent purple plastic. The swords look great are really add to the figure. rounding out the accessories are the set of extra hands, matching the ones already on and, curiously, the same Bossfight figure stand, which this figure can’t use. But an extra stand can’t hurt, right?

Overall this is a great figure. The design of the Gorgon army is what got me interested in this line. It is a well executed design and definitely shows how Bossfight Studios can innovate to bring us these uniques figure.

You can find these figures through online stores, eBay or directly from Bossfight Studios.

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 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 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.