Sunday, June 8, 2014

Power Lords wave 1

In addition to the previously released army builder Power Soldiers and Grapptikk Grunts, the first wave of carded "main characters" recently went up for pre-order. I was lucky enough to get my hands on these early, and will take a look at them now.

I posted a general overview previously, including the basic articulation breakdown, so I won't be delving too deep into that again.

First up, we have the main star of the line himself, Adam Power.


Adam uses the same basic body as the Power Soldiers, but with a new unhelmeted head.

The sculpt on the head is top notch, with detail in his hair, and a nice clean handsome face.

He comes with the same type of staff and rifle as the Power Soldiers, an interchangeable Soldier head in matching orange with a blue visor, and all the same articulation as was present in the Power Soldiers.

The main thing that sets Adam apart from the Power Soldiers is his paint. Whereas the Soldiers were solid colors with minimal paint, Adam has all of his details painted. The red and blue accents on the orange suit pops in such a way that you have no choice but to take notice of him and how beautiful and rich his colors are.

The only down note I can find on this entire figure, is that Adam doesn't come with an orange neck to go with the Soldier head, and that lack of consistency will likely keep people from actually using the additional head. Of course I found use for it in other ways (you can see one of the villains holding the "dismembered" head as a trophy in some of the pics from the Power Lords overview)

Up next we will take a look at Ggrabbtargg.


Ggrabbtargg utilizes the same body as the previously released Grunts, and uses the "Sergeant" head, which has become a personal favorite of mine.

This orange variant of the mold was made exclusive to the top 2 levels of the Power Lords Fan Club as incentive for members, and so far will not be available any other way (but may be used by the Horsemen for promotional purposes later on)

The orange skin on the mostly black uniform gives him a nice contrast, but never gives off an overly "Halloween" vibe, like many orange/black color schemes tend to do.

In contrast to the previous Grunts, who recieved either a long or short handled war mace, Ggrabbtargg comes with both handles, letting you display him to your preferences.

One drawback I must point out, it seems his head received a darker wash than the rest of his body, making his head look "dirty" compared to his arms and legs.

Next up, lets take a look at Ggripptogg, the leader, or "main character" the Grunts are based off.

Just like with Adam, Ggripptogg comes with more paint applications than the previous releases, most notably the green highlights on his arms.

Ggripptogg also comes with our first reversable head (pics of both sides in the overview), which also has green accents.

To further differentiate Ggripptogg from the Grunts, you'll notice that his arms are turned a different way. Whereas the Grunts and Ggrabbtargg have their hands on top of each other, Ggripptogg's hands are side by side. This not only makes him different from the Grunts, but also allows him display possibilities and poses that the Grunts are not capable of.

Just like Ggrabbtargg, he also comes with both a long and short handle for his war mace.

All these new, different parts leads us right into one of the most exciting figures from this release, Ggrapptikk.

While not exclusive to the Club memberships, Ggrapptikk is included as an incentive to the top level of the Club, and is also known as the "Ultimate Edition Barlowe Tribute".

As soon as you take a look at Ggrapptikk in the package, it is apparent why he is referred to as "ultimate". Not only do you get this mold in a cool blue, but you get one of every single accessory with him.

Thats all 4 heads (standard in red, "alien" in black, "sergeant" in blue, and the reversible in blue), both short and long loin cloths, long handle and short handle for the war mace, both regular and side-by-side arm setups, and a regular up/down arm setup in red to use with Ggipptogg.

Laying all of the extra pieces out was nearly dizzying, with worlds of possible combinations swirling through my head.

And I must say, the ice blue body just works so well on this figure. Part of me hopes they will release more Grunts in this color later on, while part of me wants this figure to be unique and take a place of honor leading the villains into battle.

This figure literally has it all, and fully deserves that title of "Ultimate Edition".

Lastly, we will take a look at my favorite figure from this release, Lord Power.

In the original toy line, Adam Power and Lord Power were a single figure, with a mechanism in the figure to rotate the upper body to simulate Adam transforming into Lord Power. Thankfully the Four Horsemen have decided to forego is transformation, and make Lord Power a separate figure.

Lord Power utilizes the Power Soldier buck from the waist down, using the same vibrant orange/red color scheme as seen on Adam power. From the waist up, LP is all new.

The Four Horsemen's sculpt on this figure is far superior to even the impressive sculpt on the Power Soldiers. The muscle detail and over exaggerated veins are all wonderfully sculpted, which is then highlighted even more with the deep red over the veins and chest details. This is (literally) topped off with a wonderfully sculpted head, with hair that looks like it is fresh out of the breeze, stoic eyes, a superheroic jawline, and the power gem which looks like it wants to leap off of his forehead, with just the right amount of red in the eyes and gem that they stand out, but don't dominate the sculpt.

Being that there are no orange details on the upper body, the lower body can seemlessly be changed out with any of the Power Soldier lower bodies, giving Lord Power many unique looks, just by changing his pants (I'm particularly fond of using the black Soldier's lower body, for a more sinister looking Lord Power).

Due to the sculpt, Lord Power loses a single point of articulation, as his neck is sculpted as part of the upper torso, and thus is not removable like the other figures in the line.

He comes with the same staff and rifle as Adam Power, as well as an interchangeable Soldier Elite head in the orange/red color scheme.

One minor flaw to this figure, the paint over the sculpted veins is not 100% spot on, but the variation is so minor, odds are most will never have noticed if it wasn't pointed out to them.

The Four Horsemen had impressed me very much with the Power Soldiers and Ggripptikk Grunts, but with the release of the carded figures, I have now been blown away. With even more exciting figures already shown to be on the way, this line looks to be the new benchmark for what a  3 3/4 scale line should be.

Head over to to get in on the pre-order for these figures.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Power Lords!

Power Lords is a vintage toy line that has been resurrected by Four Horsemen Studios.

Coming a bit before my time, I had no ties to the vintage toy line, and had originally planned to skip the new toy line. After buying the first released figures on a whim, I have now jumped in feet first, finding myself with about 2 dozen figures so far, with judicious parts reuse establishing Power Lords as a major source of my army building endeavors.

The simplest bit of parts reuse has been the Power Soldiers and Power Elite Soldiers. The only variation in the figures other than color is which helmet they come with. Despite the basic nature of the figures, I really love these guys and can't seem to get enough of them.

Each figure comes with a staff and a rifle as accessories, and they have been released in a wide variety of colors so far.

Articulation is great on these guys, especially considering they utilize the much celebrated Glyos system. The inclusion of Glyos compatible parts means that each joint can be removed and swapped out with other Power Lords figures, or other Glyos compatible toy lines, with some truly astounding combinations possible.

Articulation is as follows:

Neck ball joint

Base of neck swivel

Shoulder disk/post joint

Elbow disk/post joint

Wrist swivel

Waist swivel

Hip swivel

Knee disk/post joint

Ankle disk/post joint

That hits pretty much every possible bit of articulation I would want on a figure. The only thing really missing is some type of improved hip articulation, and the Four Horsemen have already shown that future figures will indeed have that extra articulation.

At first I was one of the stronger voices in the community about not really seeing the need for Glyos compatibility. I'm not much on swapping arms and legs from one figure to the next, and had limited scope on what all was actually possible.

After receiving a factory error on one of my figures (which the Four Horsemen would have happily rectified), I decided to actually test out some of what was possible with the Glyos System. With all of the various small companies producing Glyos compatible parts, you can create pretty much anything you want. Here I have couple of examples of what I was able to create in just a few minutes of tinkering.

Opposing the Power Soldiers are the Ggrapptikk Grunts.

Much like the Soldiers, the Grunts make the most out of changing as few parts as possible. Unlike the Soldiers, they have access to a few more parts to help make each set unique. There are different loin cloths, short or long handles for their war maces, and twice as many heads available.

The articulation is as follows

Neck ball joint

Base of neck swivel

Shoulder disk/post joint

Elbow disk/post joint

Wrist swivel (thats 4 wrists total)

Waist swivel

Hip swivel

Knee disk/post joint

The articulation is a bit more limited here, but due to their design, I really don't think much more articulation could be added without compromising the sculpt of the figure.

The Grunts have the same Glyos compatibility as the Soldiers, with the different heads available being my favorite thing about how versatile the figures are, including a 2-sided head(bottom set)!

With all the different heads and loin cloths, I have actually managed to set up all 9 figures I have of this mold with no 2 being alike, giving the "evil" side of the fight the appearance that their entire race has banded together to take on the Clone Trooper-esque Power Soldiers.

At a relative scale of 3 3/4in, the entire line should easily fit in with other smaller scale collections, such as Star Wars or GI Joe, and they fit perfectly with the Marvel Universe figures, which I personally have a ton of.

All in all, this line has impressed me and looks to impress me even further in the near future. With the first wave of main characters set to be released to the general public any day (look for my review of those to be up tomorrow), Power Lords has become one of my favorite toy lines and anyone that collects action figures needs to pick at least a couple of these up.
For more information on the figures, or to see what is currently for sale, hop on over to

I'm back!

It's been a long couple of years since I updated, but I'm back.

In the next few days I'll be posting an overview of the new Power Lords line and a review of the most recent releases.

Look for highlights from my recent string of Ultra Magnus reviews and whatever other little goodies I can come up with to get back in the swing of things.

Also, in the near future be on the lookout for the first ever Transfanatics sponsored podcast as as the forum continues to grow past it's simple beginnings.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Too long between updates!!

It's been over a month since my last update, and that is just unacceptable.

To make up for it, coming soon I will be reviewing all 4 of the Young Justice 6in figures.

I will also have a review of the 8in Thundercats Classic Tygra figure coming soon, and the 6in modern Panthro.

Stay tuned!

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Scarlet Spider!

One of the things shown off this past weekend at the New York Comic Con was promo shots of the upcoming Scarlet Spider series.

I've been a big Scarlet Spider fan for years. Something about the drifting spider-clone that found he had no choice but to continue as a hero despite everything, really spoke to me. I even felt satisfied that he died a proper heroic death.

And he has fashion sense. The plain red body suit with the blue hoodie was a great contrast to the classic costume. Even when Ben Reilly became Spider-Man, I felt like he had a nice update.

Years later, Tony Stark built Spider-Man a tech costume, which was eventually given to a 3 man stealth team, affectionately referred to as the Scarlet Spiders. This team was also a set of clones, but of a perfect physical specimen name Michael Van Patrick, who was killed in a training incident. A costume I already liked was made even more awesome by tying it back to Scarlet Spider.

So far we haven't seen the full costume on this new Scarlet Spider. It looks kinda cool, but I don't know if it really pulls off a "Scarlet Spider" vibe as well as the Iron Spider costume did.

I think the characterization will go a long way to making up my mind as well. In the few shots we have seen so far, he looks a bit sinister, which would go against the spirit of what I feel Scarlet Spider represented.

I dropped Spider-Man comics shortly after Mephisto rewrote history, but this may bring me back into the fold, especially in the coming weeks as we get more information on this new Scarlet Spider.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Late Review: Sucker Punch Extended Cut

This review will have more spoilers than my average movie review, just for the fact that i need to point out stuff that has changed from the theatrical cut to the extended cut.


The extended cut is only available on Bluray. An odd note, you get 3 disks with this. 1 dvd that has the theatrical cut and digital copy, 1 Bluray that has the theatrical cut and special features (like the cartoon background stories for the fantasy world segments), and 1 Bluray that has only the extended cut. I'm fairly certain that some of that could have been combined into the same discs (they could have at least included the mini-cartoons on the extended cut Bluray to avoid having to switch disks)

Sucker Punch actually weighs in as one of my least favorite movies of all time. Hot girls running around with guns is a great premise, but the backdrop of the movie was so scattered and depressing that it made the movie hard to enjoy.

The movie starts off in a bleak setting somewhere roughly between the 1940's and 1960's (i dont think it is every specifically stated). Our young "hero" is dealing with the death of her mother and now having to deal with her creepy stepfather, who seems to look a little too longingly at his stepdaughters. It is implied that he is either physically or sexually abusive to the girls, or at least intends to be now that the mother is out of the way.

At this point we run into our first extended scene. In the theatrical cut, Babydoll (as we come to know her) wildly shoots a pistol, missing her stepfather, but apparently hitting her younger sister with a ricochet. It actually isnt very clear at this point if she actually hit the sister with the ricochet as we are told later, or if the stepfather has killed the girl prior to Babydoll arriving. In the extended cut, Babydoll shoots twice, the first is the wild round shown in the theatrical cut, the second shot is lower, hitting the stepfather in the arm, and has a trajectory that is more likely to have actually hit the sister.

Fast forward a bit past Babydoll getting dropped off at the asylum and spending a quick minute montage showing her stay before the lobotomy that her stepfather and the shady asylum worker have arranged to keep her quiet. At this point we have the first, most drastic reality shift. I say it is the most drastic, because, while the action scenes are fantastical, they are clearly the product of Babydoll's imagination, whereas this initial reality shift is almost like turning on a different movie that just happens to have the same characters.

We get another extended/altered scene here. In the theatrical cut, it is sort of implied that the "High roller" will be coming to take Babydoll's virginity, in the extended cut, it is spelled right out for you, leaving no question. This is followed up by an extended "tour" scene, where Rocket is showing Babydoll around. In this extended cut, we see that the cook is heavily attracted to Rocket, making his attempted rape of her later a little less random, as we now know he is acting on pre-existing urges. Also we get a brief note that Blue (the manager) will often lock the girls in the cleaning closet when they misbehave, explaining the completely random event of putting SweatPea in the closet near the end of the movie.

We are also treated to a lengthy musical number that is only seen previously as part of the end credits. The musical number consists of Blue and Madame Gorski (the head mistress) singing a duet while they montage various other musical numbers, each highlighting one of the main girls. We also see a detailed look at the business aspects of the "theatre" that were only hinted at in the theatrical cut, mainly that men from the audience can go to a booking window and pay to have sex with girls from their favorite musical number, as well as plenty of gambling and drinking.

The girls (Babydoll, Sweatpea, Rocket, Amber, Blondie) band together to steal items to help them escape. Each of these adventures corresponds to one of Babydoll's dances (which we still never actually see) and subsequent dreamscape shifts. I'll give a breakdown of the dreamscapes later.

As each item is gathered, Blue becomes increasingly suspicious of what is going on and begins threatening the girls. These threats are more blatant in the extended cut, while they were more implied in the theatrical cut. All of this comes to a head during the last dreamscape, when water shorts out the radio while Babydoll is dancing for the cook, prompting him to realize the girls were trying to steal his knife. Rocket dives in front of her sister, Sweatpea, saving her from the cook, but taking the full length of the blade in the process.

At this point Sweatpea is sent to the closet (which we now understand the reasoning behind...), and the other girls are sent to get ready for the show. After a slightly longer, more heated exchange between Blue and Madame Gorski than in the theatrical cut, Blue kills both Amber and Blondie, shooting Blondie twice in the extended cut. In the theatrical cut, we are lead to believe these 2 were killed due to their escape plan, which is harsh to be sure, but in the extended cut, it is made clear that the girls are killed as a way to punish Madame Gorski after she wouldnt back down in the proceeding battle of wills.

Following this is a slightly longer, more detailed exchange between Blue and Babydoll, again laying out openly some of the things that were merely implied in the theatrical cut, and Babydoll stabs him as he attempts to force himself on her.

Babydoll frees Sweatpea from the closet, letting her know the other girls didnt make it, and they use the items they collected to escape the building, only to find a group of men in the courtyard that they have to pass through to fully escape. It is then that Babydoll realizes that she must sacrifice herself in order for Sweatpea to escape, and that this was always the way the adventure was supposed to end. Babydoll distracts the men as Sweatpea sneaks past them.

We now have 2 additional scenes. the first, we see Sweatpea taking a dress from a clothesline as she traverses the countryside, explaining how she arrives at the bus stop at the end of the movie wearing different clothes.

The second scene, is a rather uncomfortable scene in which Babydoll awakes in the bed of the High Roller. He then proceeds to explain to her that he has everything he could ever want, except people telling him the truth. With all his money and power, people will tell him whatever they think he wants to hear, and he has no way of knowing if he can trust people. His remedy for this, is that he seeks that one pure moment of truth when a virgin gives herself to him willingly, as he can see the truth of her actions in her eyes.

The scene as a whole left me feeling very uncomfortable, very sleazy for having sat and watched him say all those things.

As Babydoll gives herself to the High Roller, we snap back to the original reality, as the Doctor is finishing the lobotomy. He is startled by the look in her eyes, as if she wanted him to perform the procedure. It is here that Dr Gorski comes in and realizes that the orderly, Blue, has been forging her signature. We see Blue and other orderlies taking Babydoll to an abandoned area of the asylum where they place her in a chair. The other orderlies find this act to be one step to far and tell Blue that they dont want to hurt the girls anymore. Blue is dismayed at Babydoll's lack of response as he attempts to molest her, screaming that she is gone as the police burst in and arrest him. As the carry him out, he is crying out that it is the stepfather's fault and that he will tell the police everything.

The movie ends with Sweatpea (the only girl that did NOT want to escape) stepping into line to board a bus. Police stop her to question her, but she is rescued by the bus driver, who is the same man seen giving the girls orders during the different dreamscape sequences.

Now, as for the dreamscapes.
The first one is a temple, in which Babydoll first meets the Wise Man and receives her trademark weapons, the gun and sword. Immediately after gaining her weapons, she faces off against 3 giant stone samurai warriors. While this is a fun scene, the fighting is probably the least well done of the sequences.

The second is a WWI/WWII type setting, only instead of Nazis, the 5 girls face off against Steampunk zombies. Most of the girls are wearing some sort of modified military attire, with Amber wearing the most visual cues from military uniforms, and of course Babydoll wearing the schoolgirl outfit. I will mention that i liked Sweatpea's outfit the best, as it had more of a comic book character kinda vibe to it, with the hooded trenchcoat over the skimpy outfit.

This action sequence is slightly extended, giving Amber a few seconds of extra screen time, and giving Blondie a pretty wild solo shot where she mows down a field of zombies.

The third is a medieval setting in which 3 of the girls fight through a castle of orcs to retrieve the fire making stones from the throat of a baby dragon, while Amber flies a bomber plane with Blondie manning the guns. This sequence is again a bit longer, adding a second or 2 to the dragon's nest scene, and a longer fight with the orcs, in which the girls put away their guns and all get busy with swords. There is also a slightly longer scene toward the end of this sequence that shows more of the girls fighting the knights that have breached the castle, although no reasoning is ever given for why they may have attacked the girls.

The final sequence is a futuristic setting in which the girls (minus Blondie) are attempting to take some sort of weapon of mass destruction off of a high speed train bound for a city in the distance. The 3 girls attack the train while Amber flies the helicopter above. Inside the train is a slightly extended fight sequence between the 3 girls and a mob of robots. The girls reach and deactivate the bomb, but as they are prepping it for extraction, one last half dead robot slams Rocket against the wall, breaking her jet pack, and reactivates the bomb. This of course corresponds to the scene where the cook stabs Rocket. Snapping back into the dreamscape, Rocket forces the other girls to escape while she stays on the train when it explodes as it reaches the city.

There are some good things about the movie, like the afore mentioned hot girls running around with guns. For fans of the classic pinup girls, this movie is perfect, as even when the girls are just walking around, they all have the classic pinup girl lingerie on. And of course Jamie Chung gets a fair amount of screen time, and that is always a plus in my book, as she is probably the most attractive Asian girl i've ever seen (and i spent time over there).

The action as whole was really good as well, with the girls not just randomly shooting guns, but actually wielding them like they knew what they were doing, though the swordplay was significantly less believable.

On the negative, the whole shifting of realities at the beginning was jarring. I didnt, and still dont, see a real purpose behind it. It felt more like the writers had more than one movie in mind, and instead of making separate movies, combined them into one.

Regardless of which of the 2 realities you were watching, however, the movie was depressing. It is hard to balance hot girls and killer action, with such bleak and hopeless surroundings. And this movie fell well short of finding that balance.

All in all, I would rate this movie somewhere between a decent rental and a "maybe if it comes on cable". I felt the theatrical cut wasnt worth the price of a movie ticket, and i feel that the Extended Cut really isnt worth the $25 or so i paid for the Bluray set (even considering the 3 disks and digital copy)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Marvel Universe X-23

today lets take a look at the new X-23 figure.

a little background for those not familiar with the character, X-23 is essentially a clone of Wolverine. the Y chromosome from Wolverine's dna sample was damaged and the geneticist working on the project started working on a female clone. a successful clone was established on the 23rd attempt. X-23 is basically the same as Wolverine except the obvious fact that she is female, and instead of 3 claws on each hand, she has 2 per hand and one in each foot. her claws were actually extracted and laced with adamantium when she was young.

now, the figure.

X-23 comes sporting her X-Force uniform. The paint is very clean and crisp, with nice straight lines on the legs stripes and shoulder slashes, and the silver on the nose of her mask, which is something they left out of the Warpath figure. the various buckles are also painted silver, which are some small details that could have been overlooked

She comes on a mostly new body (it might be 100% new, as i dont immediately recognize any of the parts), highlighted by the fact that she is of smaller stature that the other female figures. her hair is sculpted in a way that doesnt block articulation, which is a definite plus. she also has newly sculpted wrist and boot straps, completing her comic accurate appearance. the wrist straps can also turn so that they match whatever position you have the hand in.

i would like to point out that she does not come with her foot claws. while it would have been cool to have them, she doesnt use them often enough while fighting to say that they should have been sculpted on her boots, and i dont think that this figure is big enough to make any kind of retractable claw like the Marvel Legends figure has


*head swivel

*neck hinge

*disk/post shoulders

*disk/post elbows (or "sigma elbows")

*mid-torso (back/front and swivel)

*ball joint hips (very restricted)

*thigh swivel

*double hinge knees

*boot top cut

*hinged ankle

*extreme foot tilt

X-23 is only the 2nd female figure to have the disk/post elbow articulation (the other figure being Jean Grey) first popularized by the GI Joe Sigma Six line (hence the term "sigma elbow"), and the range of motion allowed with that elbow articulation makes her far more poseable that the other female figures, who had hinged elbows and no bicep articulation.

The extreme foot tilt was a welcome surprise on this figure, as the posing possibilities increase dramatically when you add that very versatile joint. all that extra posing ability is immediately reduced, however, by her extremely restricted hip joints. i dont think i have run across any MU figure that has this much trouble with any of their joints. the joint is very stiff, to the point it feels like i might snap her leg off. and when you are actually able to move the leg, you cant move it very far. for a character like X-23, having relatively no hip articulation is very detrimental.

overall, X-23 is a very good figure. if you are already picking up the X-Force characters (like the Warpath/Wolverine/Deadpool set), then getting X-23 is a must, as she gets us one step closer to getting a complete team. the figure is a nice package, with the hip articulation be the sole drawback