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All posts for the month August, 2014

The ‘Marvel Action Hour’ featured two cartoons during its original broadcast in the mid 1990s, Fantastic Four and Iron Man.Hawkeye was featured in the latter; he worked for Tony Stark under his real name Clint Barton, and with Iron Man he became Hawkeye.

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Name: Hawkeye
Line: Iron man
Manufacturer: Toybiz
Released: 1995
Price: Then: $10-$12.  Now: $15 in mint condition, or less if loose
Scale: 5 -5.5 Inches in height
Accessories: Bow, quiver, three arrows, knife and ID card

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I always enjoyed watching the Marvel Action Hour as a kid. The animation was of good quality, and it was always great watching the Fantastic Four and Iron Man do battle with whoever was the villain each week. In Iron Man’s case, the Mandarin seemed to always be the enemy and hatching some over-the-top plan to defeat Tony Stark or Iron Man. When my brother bought the Iron Man series on DVD it re-ignited my interest in purchasing some classic figures from the Iron Man series toy line by Toybiz.

 

SCULPTING

I feel Toy Biz did a great job with having these figures match the source material. Hawkeye looks just like he did from the cartoon show. Sculpted with pretty heroic proportions, it’s almost as if every separate muscle has been defined. Hawkeye sure is ripped. There’s also a lot of great detail on parts of his costume too. I really like his cowl as well; it looks very Batman-esque to me.

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PAINT

Like the previous toy reviews from this series, Toybiz does a pretty decent to good job with their paint applications. Hawkeye hardly has much paint slop and the applications are fairly crisp and neat. It’s not perfect, but for a kid’s toy it’s quite acceptable. Always best to make sure you can get a one with a decent application; if possible, as sometimes you can get a dodgy one.

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ARTICULATION

Hawkeye sports pretty basic articulation in his lower body, his legs can be moved at the waist and knees in a natural motion. It’s his upper body where he suffers a bit. Mainly due to Hawkeye being an archer, his arms are pretty much pre-posed for this; however, his right arm can be rotated at the elbow and both shoulders too, so he’s not totally helpless. His head can also be moved as well.

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ACCESSORIES

Hawkeye hit the jackpot with his accessories count! Three arrows, a bow, a quiver and a small knife. He’s packing a good number of equipment that’s all pretty much required for the character; with his bow and arrows being the most important parts (obviously) and to a lesser extent, his quiver. I like the clear plastic line used for the bowstring, it’s a nice touch. The knife looks great too and goes in a small sculpted sheath on Hawkeye’s leg. All Hawkeye’s accessories look great even if they are cast in the colour they are meant to be, with little to no paint besides the knife.

 

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Like the other figures in this line, pretty solid and hardly anything to worry about. Expect perhaps, you could lose the arrows and knife if you aren’t careful.

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PRICE

Hawkeye was pretty cheap, $15 USD plus shipping. I felt that price was fair for this type of toy and am pretty happy with it. I picked up Hawkeye off eBay and that’s the best place to find one if you are after him.

 

OVERALL

I always liked the look of the original Hawkeye costume; I always thought it looked pretty cool. This one is pretty good mix of that, with modern flares; all the elements are there for a classic Hawkeye look IMO. I also like having that older style Marvel figure in my collection to go along with my Iron Man figures from this series and other Toybiz toys from around the same time period. Tony needs all the help he can get when battling the Mandarin and his allies, so he’s going to need Hawkeye to help out! Worth picking up if you are a Hawkeye or old school Toybiz fan!


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Chaos Man is made by Real X Head, which is a small Japanese company run by Mori Katsura, who makes vinyl toys. Over the years there have been a number of figures and variations released as well as collaborations with other people or stores. There are a number of Mutant Chaos variants ranging in size and shape. Chaos Man is a larger sized figure and kicked off  the 8” adult sized figures from Real X Head, which have proven very popular indeed!

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Name: Chaos Man
Line: N/A
Manufacturer: Real X Head
Released: 2009
Price: First released – 6,000 YEN (guestimate). Now – varies 6,000 – 9,000 YEN
Scale: 8 Inches in height
Accessories: None.

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After buying a few Pheyaos Men, how could I not pick up at least one Chaos Man? It is the character that started the larger 8” Real Head toy series after all! So with an intention to buy at least two Chaos Men I ended up with a semi translucent red/pink version with a black rub (bought in Japan) and the subject of tonight’s review: A fully painted version (bought from the US).

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SCULPTING

I’ve partly covered what I think about the sculpting on this figure in my Pheyaos Man review. There are a couple of small differences between the two, firstly the hands have one less finger on them and secondly, but much more obviously, we have a different head. All parts have great amount of detail and it never looks like too much detail in the one place, its spread out really well. I’m a big fan of this base body and it still looks amazing even after acquiring a few Chaos Man/Pheyaos Man figures. The new Chaos head sculpt is excellent and coupled with the new body really makes the character look a lot more mature.

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PAINT

This is where this particular Chaos Man really shines for me. Beautifully blended reds, golds, silvers and blues topped off with a black rub that not only shows off the details in the sculpting, but really makes those colours pop! Masterful work with the airbrush gun on this one, by Goto-san Real Head’s one and only painter. Normally the paint application is always to a high standard, but for this one I think it’s really been pushed to the next level!

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ARTICULATION

Chaos Man has six points of articulation: head, arms, elbows and waist. All these joints are swivels and can be rotated 360 degrees. For this type of figure and the material it’s made out of, this is a great amount of articulation for the larger size. You can get a good number of subtle, yet expressive poses as well as little more extreme ones. It really is a great base body for the small, yet growing, variants and collaborations.

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ACCESSORIES

No accessories for this figure, besides the scarf/neck wrap if you can even call it an accessory. It still looks pretty cool and it’s good this was carried over from the smaller figures.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

There are none at all – this is an adult designer toy after all. It is made very well, so there are no issues with it.

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PRICE

I paid around $100 for this particular Chaos Man, it’s a bit of a mark up, but I haven’t seen this colour way anywhere else, so sometimes with Real Head figures you do have to pay a bit more then the norm. I bought this particular Chaos Man from Vicious Fun, and as per usual I’m very happy with their customer service, packing and prompt shipping too.

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OVERALL

I enjoy this figure just as much as the Pheyaos Man version, considering they are fairly similar, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Chaos Man looks cool and the size is very impressive too. I’m very happy to be slowly building my own ‘Chaos family’. If you have any of the larger Real Head figures, you are going to need at least one Chaos Man in there as he is the starting point for all the rest.

The ever-growing Chaos Family

The ever-growing Chaos Family

Chaos Man and Pheyaos Man

Chaos Man and Pheyaos Man

 

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Mark XXI AKA ‘Midas’ was one of a large number of Tony Stark armour suits featured in Iron Man 3 when Stark activates his “House Party Protocol” in order to combat Aldrich Killian and his Extermis soldier forces. During the final battle Stark uses a number of his armour suits to help himself in one way or another to defeat Killian.

Midas was released in 2013 as a “Summer Exclusive” figure, meaning it was pretty much an additional Toy Fair exclusive for 2013 and limited by a certain number for each country. When I saw the pictures of Midas put up on Hot Toys’ Facebook page, when they announced it. I knew I needed to have one. Something about the gold finish elevated it above simple Mark 7 repaint to me. Plus it’s also a great homage to one of Iron Man’s first costumes.

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Name: Midas (Mark XXI)
Line: Movie Masterpiece Series
Product Code: MMS 208
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Released: 2013
Price: Then: $260.  Now: $550 MISB Minimum.
Scale: 1/6
Accessories: Two open hands, two articulated hands, two forearm rocket attachments, two shoulder missile launchers and one display base

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LIST OF PARTS

Inside the box you get the following items:

One Midas figure
One removable chest armor
One pair of interchangeable forearm rockets
One pair of articulated hands and light-up repulsors (white light, battery operated)
One pair of forceful fists
One pair of repulsor palms
Two sets of interchangeable shoulder armors
One circular figure stage with transparent pillar

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SCULPTING

One thing Hot Toys always does a great job on is sculpting, sure they have their share of hits and misses, but most of the time they hit it right out of the park! Midas is no exception! The figure is beautifully sculpted with perfect smooth surfaces, plenty of small details and looks very screen accurate – with the exception that apparently we never saw Midas on the screen during the battle scene. Either way, it’s instantly recognizable as an Iron Man armour suit that’s incredibly detailed and that ticks all the boxes for me as I’m more of a casual Iron Man fan.

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PAINT

The other thing Hot Toys does really well is paint application; they aren’t called “high end” figures for nothing! The paint apps on the Iron Man suit are pretty much flawless. There are a number of gold tone variations and they all work great together to make Midas look awesome! There’s also a little bit of silver here and there. But like the name implies it’s mostly gold. I really can’t see any faults with the paint and with Hot Toys it’s pretty much a given the paint apps will be close to perfect every time.

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ARTICULATION

Midas has a lot of articulation, so hopefully I don’t miss anything; you have a ball jointed head, neck, shoulders, hands and hips. Hinge arms and double hinged knees what appear to be rocker ankles and an ab crunch as well as hinged toes. All in all, you have an outstanding amount of articulation and it makes putting Midas in most Iron Man type poses a joy to do. Midas also balances quite well as there are and heavy pieces on the figure. One thing I wasn’t sure on was if the elbows were double jointed or not. They don’t seem to be and I wasn’t going to crack open any other Iron Man figure to find out if they are all like that. So besides that one little nit-pick I am very happy with how easy it is to pose Midas.

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ACCESSORIES

Midas is a bit light on accessories you get a few different hands and some weapon attachments, no second head or battle damaged parts though. Personally this lack of accessories doesn’t bother me too much as I can get all the poses I want out of what’s here, but If I wanted anything extra included, I would have liked to have seen a second head with Tony Stark’s face squished inside of it. The display stand included is pretty damn impressive too! Quite large and attention demanding, it really stands out due to its size and part of this stand has already been seen before with the Tony Stark workshop set. I would have also liked the standard Hot Toys black display stand included too, but the stand in the box does its job well.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Some parts on Midas felt a little weak and I didn’t want to force anything too much. So I would say just watch out for the normal things with Hot Toys figures, like not being too forceful when posing it, not trying to put it in any extreme poses, taking out all the batteries from the figure and reading the instructions, you can’t go too wrong! Expensive figures need to be handled with care after all.

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PRICE

I paid $550, shipped, for mine from a great seller who is in a Facebook group for Australian 1/6 scale Enthusiasts, One Sixth Oz. I was very happy with that price seeing all other outlets, like eBay for example, had it for much more. Midas is pricey, but funnily enough Midas still isn’t the most expensive toy in my collection (Vintage Japanese exclusive Transformers take that cake and eat too!) so Midas is my most expensive Hot Toys figure at least, the cheaper you can get Midas the better, as I think it’s not worth anymore than $550 considering it is a repaint of Mark 7.

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OVERALL

Midas was one of those figures I needed to have in my collection; I didn’t rush to get him and waited until I could pick one up for a decent price. For some collectors I can understand it’s not a priority to have this figure in their collection and that’s perfectly fine. Midas’ appeal is really only to die-hard Iron Man collectors or I think, people like me who are the casual Hot Toys Marvel fan – as far as buying the figures go and want something a little different Iron Man wise in the display cabinet. So with that said, Midas won’t appeal to everyone, but on its own merits it’s an excellent figure and is another great effort from Hot Toys.

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Kenner’s line of ‘Aliens’ Space Marine toys was fairly short lived. After only 1 & 1/2 series of figures the Marines were dumped in favour of Predators instead to do battle with the Aliens. What marines we did get however were quite cool and in most cases had action features to add more play value. Apone, a character that appeared in the Aliens film franchise, also received a figure in this toyline.

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Name: SGT. Apone
Line: Aliens
Manufacturer: Kenner
Released: 1992
Price: Then: $10-$16.  Now: $10 – $26 MOSC or less if loose
Scale: 4 -5 Inches in height
Accessories: Machine gun, two grenades

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I really can’t remember why my brother and I decided to collect the Kenner Aliens toys when we were kids – being a toyline based off an MA 15+ series of movies – but they did look cool. The Alien designs were nice and there were a variety of figures. But you can’t just have Aliens… You need Marines as well! Regardless of what collectors at the time and collectors now think of this toyline, I still like what Kenner did with about 90% of the figures they made. Now on to the review!

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SCULPTING

Kenner has taken a lot of liberties with their interpretation of each space marine character; they sure do not look like how they appeared in the movie. However, to me, what they have come up with, is still in its own way charming. The sculpting overall is pretty solid there are a lot of nice details on the figure, like the robotic arm or the harness or even the leg armour. I also like the head sculpt too. It may not be the best likeness of Al Mathews, but it still provokes the character of SGT. Apone to me. Like Ripley he has been sculpted in a set pose with articulation added later.

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PAINT

The paint on Apone, isn’t too bad, there is the occasional slop here and there, like on the silver shoulder pad on the chest. However, the bulk of the paint is quite good – which is another thing I enjoyed about Kenner’s toys, they were always well painted and well made. The colour scheme is a bit funky too: bright yellow shirt with teal pants and a red cap to top it off. The colours really didn’t bother me too much as a child and I still have a soft spot for Apone even now; but I can understand to some collectors this is one of the main deal breakers for this figure.

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ARTICULATION

Apone sports a whopping six points of articulation, swivel head, arms and legs. The waist does swivel too, but it’s only to help with the action feature so it will snap back into its normal position once moved. Apone’s action feature is that he “throws” the gold grenades he comes with, which involves placing a grenade in his hand, raising his robot arm up and then turning his waist and letting it snap back, theoretically throwing the grenade away.

He may have a robotic arm enhancement, but it doesn’t help him throw grenades very well at all. Apone should just stick to using his machine gun and that’s it.

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ACCESSORIES

Apone comes with a couple of accessories, his machine gun and two grenades. Besides holding each item in his hands, he can also store them on his back or store the machine gun on his leg too. This is pretty neat as he doesn’t always have to be carrying all his weapons in his hands all the time.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

None that I can think of; Apone is rock solid. What would you expect from a early 1990’s toy? Just make sure your one has a good paint job before you buy it.

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PRICE

I was happy with the $10 + shipping costs; however, I wouldn’t pay too much for this figure, as he is not worth any large amount of money.

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OVERALL

Apone has a couple of faults and short comings; he’s not a very good representation of how the character appears in the movie and his action feature is a bit weak. But like Ripley I think he really captures the idea of the character well, which is a battle hardened space marine sergeant. The toy’s colours may be a bit funky for collectors these days, so I really think he’s only worthwhile if you are buying him to reclaim your childhood or if you really want a set of retro Aliens marines in your collection.

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The ‘Marvel Action Hour’ featured two cartoons during its original broadcast in the mid 1990s, Fantastic Four and Iron Man. The Grey Gargoyle was featured in the latter; he used to be a chemist until an accident gave him the power to turn anything he touched into stone. Now one of the Mandarin’s henchmen, he was featured fairly regularly on the show.

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Name: Grey Gargoyle
Line: Iron man
Manufacturer: Toybiz
Released: 1994
Price: Then: $10-$16. Now: $16 in mint condition, or less if loose
Scale: 5 -5.5 Inches in height
Accessories: Two pieces of stone and ID card

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I always enjoyed watching the Marvel Action Hour as a kid. The animation was of good quality, and it was always great watching the Fantastic Four and Iron Man do battle with whoever was the villain each week. In Iron Man’s case, the Mandarin seemed to always be the enemy and hatching some over-the-top plan to defeat Tony Stark or Iron Man. When my brother bought the Iron Man series on DVD it re-ignited my interest in purchasing some classic figures from the Iron Man series toy line by Toybiz.

SCULPTING
Toy Biz has done a great job with the sculpting on the Grey Gargoyle. I really like the stone effect used on the figure, as, coupled with the grey plastic, almost makes it look like the toy could be made from stone. The proportions are great too and it looks like a pretty close match to how the character looks on the show. Even though I may not be a huge fan of the character, I really like the look of the toy!

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PAINT
Typical of most toys from this line, paint is kept to a minimum and where possible the figure is cast in the colour it’s meant to be. Here, the bulk of Grey Gargoyle is cast in a light to medium grey tone. I feel it works really well for the toy and it makes it pretty clear what his powers are and that he is made of stone. There is a little bit of blue added to the gloves and boots as well as a darker blue to the inside of his cape. The eyes and eye mask are also given a little bit of paint detailing too. Overall the paint application is pretty clean and crisp. Even by children’s toys standards it’s a lot better then what some toys have now days!

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ARTICULATION
Grey Gargoyle has pretty standard articulation: swivel head, swivel arms, with one elbow having a hinge joint, swivel legs, which are restricted by the groin a little bit and hinge knees. Not a complete statue, but not super articulated either. I would say the articulation is decent at best. You can get a few poses out of him. He also has an “action feature” where if you place a stone piece in his straight arm and pull it back Grey Gargoyle will “throw it”

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ACCESSORIES
Like all the other non Iron Man characters in this line, he is pretty light on accessories. You get two pieces of stone and an ID card, which has a little bio of the character on it. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing and does add a little bit more play value to the toy.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
Not really much to worry about here – the figure and accessories are rock solid and can stand the abuse of children, so any collector need not worry.

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PRICE
I was happy with the $10 + shipping costs; however, I wouldn’t pay too much for this figure, as he is not worth any large amount of money.

OVERALL
The Toy Biz Iron Man figure is always going to need a few enemies to beat up on and Grey Gargoyle fits the bill perfectly. He’s a pretty neat figure by himself, but works best when with a few of the other henchmen for the Mandarin. I would only buy him if you are completing your Marvel Toy Biz Iron Man collection, like me. Otherwise there’s no point really owning this figure, unless you really need some sort of Grey Gargoyle figure in your collection.

 

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