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All posts for the day April 24th, 2014

I was really looking forward to the new Wolverine figure from Hot Toys after seeing the latest movie. I was hoping Hot Toys would really hit it out of the park with their 1/6 scale figure and to an extent they did, but the figure has one problem, a horrible painted mustache were there  should be only stubble. This isn’t the first time they have done this, Aliens Mark Drake comes to mind about now, another figure that needed fixing. I had really hoped by now Hot Toys would have gotten their act together in terms of actors approval, especially for the Wolverine at least!  Not one to sit on their hands and just accept the card dealt to me, I took it upon myself to fix the error.

Although I’m still waiting on my actual order from Animarket, I went and bought the head loose (just in case my painting skills had by the off chance deteriorated, thankfully not!) so looks like I’ll be also repainting the second head I get too and seeing I couldn’t just leave the newly fixed head bodiless, I also purchased the body and hands for the Wolverine too. It’s a make shift kit-bash with HT Origins Wolverine singlet, James Dean Red Jacket Ver boots and jeans to complete the look for now.

Please note, I have painted stubble on wolverines upper lip, not a flesh tone, as this suits the characters look in the movie perfectly. The Sculpting of the head is perfect and now I’ve fixed the head, it’s 100% Hugh Jackman to me.
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Aliens is one of my favorite movies, it’s definitely in my top five. When I heard about the new Aliens game coming out, Aliens Colonial Marines I was excited, but wary. This game had been in development hell for years. I’m not going to flog a dead horse about how bad the game is/was. However, after playing it through a couple of times to get achievements, It’s not as bad as people claim it is, sure it’s not perfect, But it’s not the worst game I’ve played either.

After getting all the achievements in the game, I felt inspired to kit-bash some marines how I felt they should have really looked (This is more the appearance of of the co-op characters as they looked horrible and nothing like what I would think of, when I think of a colonial marine. Why you just couldn’t use your multiplayer character like Tom Clancy’s Las Vegas 2, I don’t know.)

The end result is the following group of marines, these kit-bashes go to show just how good Hot Toys original figures were. Now if only they would re-release the original set, I think everyone would be happy.

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The Terminator is one of my all time favorite movies, along with Terminator 2 they are movies I could watch again and again and never get bored. To me, they just have that cool factor about them. This is a kit-bash I made a long time ago right around the time Hot Toys T1 figure was released.

I based my kit-bash off the scene in The Terminator where a Terminator infiltration unit, played by Franco Columbo, assaults a resistance base. I used the Arnold Schwarzenegger T1 head, as it’s one of my favorite Hot Toys head sculpts. I wanted to envision what that character might look like if it was infiltrating resistance bases in the future. I like what I came up with, I think it captures the feel of the movie quite well and looks pretty cool. The T-800 even has a Phased-plasma rifle in the 40 watt range too!
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Ratbat is a micro cassette tape, which was one of Soundwave’s minions. He first made his appearance the original Transformers movie and also made a small number of appearances in the third season of the Transformers cartoon. Although he did not have a big role in the cartoon, he was used a lot in the Marvel comics’ series released around the same time. The toy was released with Frenzy originally in a two pack of Decepticon cassettes. Ratbat apparently has no friends, only business partners and main function is a fuel scout.

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Name: Ratbat
Line: The Transformers (G1)
Manufacturer: Hasbro/Takara
Released: 1986
Price: First released $12approx, now $70 USD or less
Scale: 3 Inches in height
Accessories: Two back mounted thrusters
Variations: Either silver or gold chromed weapons and either painted or sticker cassette details 

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Transformers will always be one of my favourite toy lines. Growing up I had a number of Transformers, some Autobot cars, some Decepticon jets, some combiner teams, pretenders etc. One such toy I had a loved dearly was Soundwave (I still have my original one in my collection). One thing I never received as a child, were any cassette tapes to go with Soundwave, so he was stuck with just having Buzzsaw as his only minion. But like many collectors who have come into adulthood, I decided I not only wanted to re-claim my childhood toys, I wanted to buy the ones I never had.

One good thing about wanting to reclaim my childhood and being a twin is that my brother wanted to do the exact same thing. Another good thing is, we both liked different Transformers! So it made it a lot easier to fill out a collection fairly quickly. One such Transformer I purchased for the collection was Ratbat, which is the subject of tonight’s review.

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SCULPTING

Most G1 Transformers have always have had nice sculpting, in my opinion. Ratbat is no exception, transformed in bat mode it is a very good, if not blocky version of a bat there are plenty of smooth surfaces as well as exposed tubes on the inside of the wings, the detail work is great and really helps make this toy look good! There are also plenty of raised plates and other small details to keep the sculpt interesting. Not to mention the tiny ears are very cool too!

In cassette tape mode Ratbat looks the part. Basically he’s a rectangle in this mode; if you are old enough to know what cassette tapes look like, you can easily recognise what it’s meant to be. The stickers make up the detail in this mode and do their job well. However you need to watch out for play wear on them.

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PAINT

There is not really much paint on Ratbat himself, Just the metal torso and eyes. Also his thrusters are painted or  “chromed” too of course. The paint application on the chest is great as expected; it’s the eyes you have to watch out for as they can sometimes be applied pretty badly. Just keep that in mind when purchasing one. The chrome on the weapons is great to as expected, I feel it really adds another dimension to the toys and makes it stand out a little bit more. It also really suits the robot aspect to the toy. The plastic colours for Ratbat look great, I really love the purple/pink tones and I think they work really well with the gold and black.

ARTICULATION

Ratbat doesn’t really have any articulation so to speak; if he does it’s mainly due to his transformation that gives him anything. You can move the wings up and down and fold them inwards for some variation, also the can move the head up and down as well as move the ears a little bit. But, ultimately he is stuck in the one pose. Thankfully, this one pose still looks pretty cool.

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ACCESSORIES

Ratbat comes with two thrusters that are part of his bat mode. They are for use in this mode only, so they are there more so to complete the look then anything else. They are well sculpted and look great. But cannot be used for anything else. Also, they can be a bit stiff to attach, so be gentle and take your time.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Like most G1 Transformers Ratbat can be very delicate and brittle. If you are not careful you can lose or break the tiny ears. The main problem is those ears, the rest of the toy is quite sturdy, but just be careful with any vintage version to be on the safe side.

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PRICE

I Purchased my Ratbat from Transformerland.com, which is a great little website for almost all things Transformers with great prices, I would strongly recommend you buy one from a reputable vintage Transformers seller. I paid about $50 -$60 for Ratbat and I was fine with that. Any more for this tiny toy and you are kidding yourself.

OVERALL

I really do love the original Transformers cartoon series and toy line. It’s something I grew up with and will always have a soft spot in my heart for it. If you are a fan of G1 Transformers and Soundwave and his cassette tapes, then of course you need Ratbat in your collection as he has a pretty unique design and looks great when lined up with other Transformers from the same series.

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One thing I love to do is kit-bash my own 1/6 scale figures from bits and pieces of various figure sets to make something unique. Tonight my post is of a kit-bash I recently finished, being my take on the T-800 as it appears in the video game Terminator – The Redemption, which was released a few years ago. My main inspiration being the front and back of the box graphics and artwork. I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, but I’m quite happy with how this one turned out.
(The clean paint application on the terminator’s head sculpt where the endoskeleton sections are shown was re-painted by my good friend Darren and is not stock standard.)

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The Macho Man Randy Savage is one of the most well known and Charismatic wrestlers of all time. Best known for his stints in both WWE and WCW during the 1980s and 1990s, he has held a number of championships during his career including 2 WWE World Championships and 4 WCW World Titles as well as the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Savage had a very distinct raspy voice as well as very colourful and unique wrestling attire and was almost always managed by his wife Miss Elizabeth.

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Name: Macho Man Randy Savage
Line: Elite Collection Series 23
Manufacturer: Mattel
Released: 2013
Price: $18.99  mint in box
Scale: 7 Inches in height
Accessories: WWE World Championship title, shirt 

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Mattel has been producing excellent wrestling figures for a few years now and even from the first releases you knew they were making something special: quality wrestling figures. Something that hadn’t been seen for a while. Even little details that are important to a wrestling fan, like height difference between wrestlers and the different shapes and sizes of bodies were taken into account. Mattel have made a number of Macho Man Randy Savage figures already and this is their newest offering from Elite series 23 – Macho Man as he appeared at Wrestlemania VIII, how does Macho Man stack up when compared to previous offerings? Let’s find out!

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SCULPTING

Mattel use a real scan process when making their head sculpts of the actual wrestle; if that wrestler isn’t alive they can use photos to make a realistic interpretation of the wrestler (Rick Rude for example) or just flat out sculpt the head like a traditional toy is made (Big Boss Man).  I’m not necessary sure what process they have used with this newest offering, but I can tell you it looks excellent and is one of their best offerings to date. As far as likenesses go this sums up Macho Man the best, his hair is all messed up and his facial expression is angry and disgruntled – perfect for Macho Man especially considering the stakes of this match that the figure is from!(not only a world championship on the line, but Savage fighting for Miss Elizabeth’s honour) The rest of the sculpting is great, as you would expect. Mattel have a number of body parts they like to mix and match and has a very ripped physic, perhaps not as accurate to Savage at this particular time period, but accurate to Savage in general. There is very nice definition and plenty of subtle folds and creases on the tights and boots. All in all Mattel do a really great job in this category.

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PAINT 

In a smart move by Mattel, most of the time they will cast the pieces in the colour they are meant to be. So as far as paint goes there’s going to be very little, which is not really a bad thing. What paint we do have is very clean and well done; the paint on the eyes and beard is quite clean and crisp. There’s a little slop on the wrist bands, but that’s ok as no one is really going to look there. The designs on the tights are printed on, which gives it a very clean look. Considering the amount of detail here, it’s easily the right choice and the end result is great! Sometimes you will get a slight smudge or layering issue, but that’s not the case here.

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ARTICULATION

Now we reach the main event! Seeing as this is an Elite Collection figure, this means we get a lot of articulation in this figure, most of this is standard for Mattel Elite wrestling figures. The figure has the following articulation: Ball jointed head, swivel and hinge shoulders, bicep swivel, ab crunch, swivel waist, hinge elbows, swivel and hinge wrists, swivel/hinge post hips, swivel thighs, double hinged knees, boot swivel, hinged ankles and rocker feet. All these joints make the figure a pleasure to pose! Of course you can get plenty of wrestling style moves out of the figure and almost any taunts or other miscellaneous poses. If anything holds this body back, it would be the hinged elbows. Mainly because they would be better off being double hinged. Also, sometimes it would be nice to have some additional hands for added play. But besides these small nitpicks, Mattel have an excellent base body for not just wrestling figures, but in general.

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ACCESSORIES

The first accessory you get is a WWE Championship title belt. It looks great and has a Vac-metal finish, making it look very shiny or chromed on top. This a standard belt released with most Mattel figures from this time period, so it’s nothing new.  I’m slowly building up a small collection of these titles, which is not something I necessarily I want. The second accessory is the shirt that comes fitted on Macho Man already in the box. Its sculpted design fits the body well without looking too big. It also has a printed design on it which looks very clean and professional. I can’t say I’m totally wrapped about the small pegs on the side of the shirt to keep it together but, that’s the trade off from having such a nice design on the shirt.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

I can’t see there being too many problems with this figure, even though this figure is made for collectors all Mattel figures are made for kids first and foremost. So you are getting a figure that can withstand some punishment, if you wanted to beat up Macho, that is. Just make sure you don’t lose any accessories as sometimes they can be tiny and hard to keep track of.

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PRICE

$18.99 + shipping costs, from Ringside Collectibles I felt was a good price. I purchased the complete series of Elite 23 so technically the price is probably cheaper. However as a singular figure purchase, I feel the price is justified as you are paying for real quality here.

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OVERALL

I really enjoy Mattel wrestling figures in general, they do a great job and I already have a large collection of them. I would even go as far as to say that Mattel have made the best wrestling figures ever! I really can’t see anyone topping the level of detail and craftsmanship anytime soon – definitely not Jakks. Macho Man is a great figure. I think it is definitely the best Macho figure we’ve gotten from Mattel so far; the new head scan is great and the costume choice pretty much sums up what I think of when I picture the Macho Man in my head. If you are a Mattel wrestling figure fan and are on the fence about picking up this figure, I would say, don’t wait any longer! Go pick it up now! As far as everyone else who is not a wrestling fan goes, it’s really up to you if you want a Macho Man in your collection or not.

 

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