Originally posted at slangards.multiply.com on Oct 28, '08
I'm not a big fan of the game , but when I saw Fenrir at 2Rats, I just wanted it right away. Sadly, the asking price was out of my budget (like 5k if I remember correctly) and Toy Kingdom wanted even more for it (6.5k at the time). Luckily, I only had to wait about 3-4 months when the last of the shops stock all went on sale. Got one mint-in-box for 2.5k at one of the toy cons (not mint-in-box since some 2Rats/Comic Alley branches open boxes to display toys).
The box is pretty collector friendly. There aren't any twist ties and everything goes back in pretty easily if you wanted to display it in the packaging. However, it'd be sad to leave Fenrir and Cloud in the box as these are toys that you have to feel in your hand.
Once you have the bike out of the box, the first thing you'll notice is the weight. Fenrir is a heavyweight. The construction is nice and solid, and the material feels durable. There are actual working, rubber wheels front and back, as well as a nice front assembly that give the suggestion of a working steering mechanism. Notice that I said "suggestion", because the steering doesn't actually work. I compared it to my 12" Ghost Rider's Flame Cycle, and Fenrir wins hands down; Ghosty's ride is sort of a hollow shell with paint apps doing most of the work, while Fenrir is a nice scale model with sculpted parts.
Even if there weren't a Fenrir, you'd still want to get the Advent Children Cloud. Like most of the Play Arts FF figures, he's got a nice balance between sculpt and articulation. While you won't be entering him in any Marvel Legends gymnastics competitions, the re-design of the character is represented well with this figure. His hair is one thing that is remarkable; it's made of a flexible translucent plastic that is very nice. His costume is also great; well sculpted to hide most of the joins, and the apron/overall thing he wears is a separate piece that you can move behind him when he is riding Fenrir.
He also comes with the Buster Sword and and extra hand. The sword is nice, but you're unlikely to ever use the extra hand since it's a b*tch to remove and you'll want him with the sword anyway. You'll want to keep the sword in his hand as much as possible because it's hard to get it out and tends to damage the fingers' paint.
If your familiar with the Play Arts line, then you already know the pros and cons of their figure construction. Joints that become loose relatively quickly, pegs that tend to break off, and plastic that gets dirty fast. The Cloud figure shares all that. Mine already has loose ankle and elbow joints, and collects dust like nobody's business. I would have liked it if they had included a breakaway sword that could be hidden in Fenrir like the movie, but that's probably asking too much.
When the Game Version of Cloud came out with Hardy Daytona, I went through the same thing. This time though I had enough extra cash to buy it at the regular price. Again, the box is the same as the first box set, with a plastic mold to keep everything in place and a window to view the figure. The set includes the bike, the figure, a few extra hands (again you'll probably never use them since you'll display him with the sword or on the bike) a damaged version of the Buster Sword and some pegs that go into his back where you can hang it.
The pegs are a nice touch, though I don't know why they needed to make it a separate piece from the figure. I tends to fall out and get lost if your not careful. The costume is no where near as detailed as the first one, and his hair is solid yellow unlike the nice plastic of the AC version. I don't really care much for the figure. What drew me to the FFVII AC line was the relatively realistic sculpts. The Game Versions have that annoyingly cutesy anime look. Many people will disagree, but to coin a phrase, big cutesy eyes detract from the "bad-assery".
The knee joints on this Cloud are a little weird. Unlike the AC Cloud, the game version Cloud can bend his knees back to about a 65-75 degrees from vertical. The actual joint is hidden well by the sculpted folds in his pants, and allows him to almost sit on his haunches. It's a nice touch, but not necessary since 45 degrees is enough to set him on the bike.
On the other hand. Daytona Hardy is a great toy. Again, there is a great amount of detail in the sculpt of the bike, with individual components showing. There is a rudimentary steering system, but it only turns the front wheel about 5 degrees. Barely noticeable. It stands a bit higher than Fenrir, but it's much much more steam punk industrial. It would go great with any figure actually. If I had to choose, I'd have picked this bike over Fenrir, for the more intricate detailing and general look.
Overall, I'd say the Fenrir box set is the must have between the two due to the superior figure giving you more value. However, if you're a fan of the game, a steam punk fanatic, or just like really cool toys, I'd say pick up Daytona Hardy as well.
First off, let me say that if you haven't bought a Classics Universe Prime/Magnus/Nemesis, buy one now. Drop what you are doing, go to Greenhills, visit Rich Toys, Wasabi Toys, or Great Toys and buy one.
This is, quite simply, the the best mold/design for Prime (barring the Masterpiece since lets face, how many of us have 5-10k to drop on a single toy?) and it's what really got me started on collecting transformers again. Both the robot and the truck modes look like they scream "Kick-ass-super-leader-bot!" and the articulation can only be matched by the aforementioned Masterpiece or maybe the Revoltech TF line.
This is a checklist from Hasbro of all the Transformers toys they’d released up until the start of the 4th quarter of 2008. It was a lot of plastic. they’ve since either moved it or taken it down, though.
I hope to one day own every single one of these things, so I’m saving it here.
Originally posted at on slangards.multiply.com Oct 16, 2008
NECA is one of my favorite toy manufacturers right now. They may have started with those boring statues and their famous "NECA-joint", but they showed a lot or promise with toys like Kratos from God of War.
As soon as I saw the Raziel figure in Toy Kingdom, I said f*ck it, I'll eat crackers for the rest of the month and picked up both versions. Being a fan of the video game (which at the time was about the most I could run on my system), I really couldn't help myself. He was my second favorite character after Garrett from the Thief series.
In my opinion, the package is pretty straight-forward. It's a relatively sturdy clam shell that has very little wasted space and graphic inserts with some nice product shots. If you were an MOC'er and wanted to keep him in the box, then it'd last you a long while.
Me, I can't stand having toys locked in plastic cages. I broke mine out as soon as I got to the office (I usually shop before shift due to my hours). You might want to be careful when taking yours out (get your mind out of the gutter); I lost some paint off the hair on mine because it had gotten stuck to the plastic of the clam shell. From the smell, I think he wasn't dried properly when they locked him in. A minor detail for me since all my toys eventually get serious play wear.
The thing that strikes you about this toy is the accuracy apparent in the sculpt. I've heard that the Four Horsemen had a hand in this one as well, and I'd believe it. Aside from his great proportions, this Raziel just looks... desolate. If you take of his shroud (more on that later), you'll see that he's missing his lower jaw just like the game, His torso is also emaciated, just like the game. He has the ruined wings that allowed him to glide through the skies of Nosgoth, just like the game.
Though his shroud and wrappings are just plastic, you'd think they were cloth. The level of detail is that good. There are cracks in his claws, joins and rivets in his boots, sinew in his muscles, and individual threads in his arm wrappings. Even his hair was sculpted as a separate piece and looks great.
Paint apps are just as great. Each of those sinews in his leg has a wash that adds a realistic depth to the figure. You'll also see great cut lines with no slop at all. A closer look at his face will really impress any nitpicker who is always looking for that perfect Marvel Legend on the shelf.
But sculpt and paint aren't why I love this figure. It's the sheer poseability of the toy. NECA put's his count at 20 points of articulation, though a few (like his ankles) have limited movement due to his sculpt. Here's the list:
- Ball-Jointed Neck
- Ball-Jointed Shoulders
- Ball-Jointed Torso
- Ball-Jointed Hips
- Ball-Jointed Wrists
- Ball-Jointed Ankles
- Ball-Jointed Wings
- Swivel Biceps
- Swivel Thighs
- Hinged Elbows
- Hinged Knees
He's even got an extra pair of hands with moveable claws that add 4 more points. What that means in non-geekese is a lot of dynamic poses that photograph great!
Speaking of extra hands, Raziel has got a some great stuff to play with. His shroud is removable, and you can exchange it with the Spectral plane version's. The Soul Reaver sword of course is there, with an extra piece that wraps around his arm. Again, game accurate since once he was injured, the sword would become a swirl of energy. There is also a great torch that is made from translucent material that looks great with a light source behind it.
And don't forget that there are two figures; the Material Plane and the Spectral Plane. The Spectral Plane Raziel is the same great sculpt, but cast in translucent plastic. Put him in front of a light source and prepare to be wowed. He comes with the same accessories, only cast in the same sort of clear plastic. The paint apps, too are great, though see-through.
The only problem with the pair is that they each only have one shroud. If you want to have the open shroud, you need to get Spectral Raziel. And if you get only him, you're generally stuck with the one pose. A great pose... but singular.
Still, I'd recommend buying them. The quality is just too good to pass up, especially if you missed out on the BBI editions. Here's hoping that NECA brings out more of these poseable Soul Reaver toys. I'd love to see Raziel's brothers in super-poseable editions, as well as a new Kain figure that you can match against him.
Originally posted on slangards.multiply.com on Oct 10, '08
First the good points; He looks like Galvatron. If you take a photo of him at the right angle, his body looks menacing and very close to the Galvatron in the original movie. The color scheme and his head sculpt are very close to that classic of animation.
The toy also gives you a decent amount of articulation. It's not the best in the Transformers Universe line and some of the joints are frustrating because of the kibble that gets in the way, but you can get decent poses out of him. Probably the worst is the limited swing of the canon arm. This being his main weapon, you'd expect it to have a decent range of motion, but between the complicated joint and the "backpack" that dangles behind him, you can't get much more than up and down.
The biggest let down is pretty unexpected. I love complicated transforms, but with Galvatron, I think they went a little overboard. He's a "deluxe" class figure with way too much going on. you need to swing parts out and up, lock them into place, and still you have kibble that just kind of hangs off him with little purpose. Not the best engineering.
He's also kind of small. He's a TANK. They should have given him at least a "Voyager" class treatment to get him to scale.
Still, It's a pretty good looking figure and a nice addition to a transformer's collection. If you square him off against one of the smaller Primes, or against the Classic version of Hot Rod, he looks pretty good. Evil like.
Originally posted at slangards.multiply.com on Oct 10, 2008
I found this great bootleg in the St. Francis Department Store. It's a knockoff of the Classic version of Megatron. It has all the articulation of the smaller original and the mold is excellent.
Here's a size comparison:
The only real problem is the joints. Some of them are really too loose and fall apart. The paints bad too, but really what you do you expect for P230.00?