Saturday, May 31, 2008

Storm by Toy Biz

Storm, Ororo Monroe, has the psionic ability to manipulate weather patterns over limited areas. Storm was part of the first assortment for Toy Biz's "Famous Covers" series, alongside Wolverine. That was how popular the X-Men had become. Growing up reading the comics, it was certainly great to be able to see them in 3-D plus the fact that they were realised on the big screen in not one but three movies and being able to share the experience with the next generation, my two rascals, was priceless. 

Being one of the first four figures, Toy Biz really nailed the costume and look. IMHO, I haven't seen a better looking Storm other than Halle Berry's Storm although she was hotter as Jinx in "Die Another Day" alongside MI6 Agent OO7 James Bond played by Pierce Brosnan.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Wolverine by Hasbro

When Hasbro produced the "Spider-Man Origins" line, they managed to squeeze in Captain America and Wolverine as part of Spider-Man's origins. What Hasbro did was take Toy Biz's concept and executed it better! Hasbro's cloth-costumed Wolverine (The "Icons" series features 12-inch articulated figures but they are still just one big chunk of plastic with strategic cuts at certain parts and joints, just not the same as clothed figures which feel more real) is one up on Toy Biz's but lest we forget, Toy Biz restarted the Mego-like series in the 90s.

No removable mask here but then, no enormous hood either

Medicom's Hugh Jackman Wolverine from the X-men trilogy

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wolverine by Toy Biz

"I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do isn't very nice" - Wolverine is the reason why the X-Men made it to the big screen. Wolverine's willingness to use deadly force and his brooding nature became standard characteristics for comic book anti-heroes by the end of the 80s and he became the clear favourite for fans of the X-Men. Hugh Jackman did a very good job portraying Logan/Wolverine in the X-Men films.

Wolverine was part of the first assortment for Toy Biz's "Famous Covers" series. Being one of the first four figures, Toy Biz put quite a bit of effort to try and get him right. This isn't a Medicom version but it didn't come with Medicom's price either. Rubber mask/hood, rubber gloves with rubber claws and rubber boots complete the cloth-costume look.

Toy Biz designed the mask to be removable since Wolverine's unmasked face is just as well-known. Unfortunately, it made the mask/hood a tad too bulky.

It always amused me that Logan's hair is the same shape as his mask (who wears their hair like that!) but this was interpreted well in the X-Men films coz it didn't make Hugh Jackman's Wolverine look dorky.

Check out Hasbro Wolverine and Medicom's Hugh Jackman Wolverine from the X-men movies

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Daredevil by Toy Biz

Black Widow was the love interest of Matt Murdock/Daredevil at one time. Daredevil is the man without fear, blinded as a youth in a radioactive accident that also drastically heightened his remaining senses and gave him a "radar-sense" allowing him to perceive his surroundings. It was Frank Miller's influential work on the title in the late 1970s and early 1980s that cemented the character as an integral part of the Marvel Universe. Daredevil (played by Ben Affleck) was also made into a live-action film released in 2003; also in the film was Elektra (Jennifer Garner), Bullseye (Colin Farrell) and the Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan).

Another of Toy Biz's infamous headsculpt with the open mouth, jaw dropping expression, just like their Cap, a poor cousin to Hasbro's.

Another gripe - those kitchen mittens - are the super villians too hot to handle?

Nice touch with the billy club - it can be joined to form a staff

An integral part of Frank Miller's Daredevil was Ben Urich (played by Joe Pantoliano, Cypher in The Matrix, Deputy Marshal Cosmo Renfro in The Fugitive, Captain C Howard in Bad Boys II) - An investigative journalist whose articles notably relate to Daredevil and the Kingpin.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Black Widow by Toy Biz

In Marvel comics, Natalia Romanova (also known as Natasha Romanoff) was a russian super-spy called Black Widow. Black Widow was responsible for recruiting a besotted Hawkeye to her cause in stealing Tony Stark's plans. She eventually defected to the United States and became an ally and Avenger.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Falcon by Toy Biz

The Falcon was Captain America's other sidekick for a while after the original sidekick, Bucky was thought to have perished during World War II. Later, he would also become an Avenger. He is mainstream comics' first African American superhero. The first black hero is Black Panther but he is an African native. The Falcon is probably a lesser known character than the rest but still gets the "Famous Covers" treatment by Toy Biz.

I liked how Toy Biz incorporated the wings so that The Falcon can spread them out.

Nice looking headsculpt too

Hawkeye by Toy Biz

While Hawkeye has no superhuman powers, he is an expert archer, a highly trained acrobat and aerialist, being trained in the use of the bow and arrow when he joined the circus as a carnival performer as an orphan. Hawkeye excels in the use of the bow and arrow and carries a quiver containing a number of customized, "trick-arrows" that use sonics, gas, explosives and flares among others. In his early days, Hawkeye was tricked by the Black Widow to steal technology developed by Tony Stark. After several battles with Iron Man — who defeats the pair on every occasion — the Black Widow is injured and Hawkeye flees with her, deciding to go "straight" from then on. Hawkeye later "applies" for membership in the superhero team the Avengers.

All archer inspired heroes in comicdom must be influenced by Robin Hood, who robs from the rich to gives to the poor. DC has Green Arrow and his constant companion, Black Canary.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Vision by Toy Biz

The Avengers believe the Vision's body was created from that of the original Human Torch android (not Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four), while the patterns of his synthetic brain were based on those of the then-deceased Simon Williams (Wonder Man). Ultron-5 was the creator of the synthezoid (an android with his own will and intelligence) Vision for the purpose of destroying the Avengers but the Vision almost immediately rebels against his creator and joins them instead.

Powered by solar energy absorbed via a gem on his forehead, the Vision is capable of discharging this energy via high-intensity optic heat beams as well as the ability to adjust his density to extreme levels, which at its lowest allows flight and intangibility and at its heaviest provides superhuman strength and diamond-hard durability.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Captain America by Hasbro

In 2007, Toy Biz was renamed 'Marvel Toys', although the Marvel movie franchises and Legends lines will go to Hasbro. (WTF?!) Stranger things have happened. Anyway, Hasbro went on to produce "Spider-Man Origins Signature Series" which were 9" cloth-customed characters similar in vein to Toy Biz's "Famous Covers" line of the 90s. How Captain America is part of Spider-Man Origins is a little far-fetched but any excuse to put out a great figure is fine by me.

Hasbro's Captain America is WAY WAY BETTER than Toy Biz's. He's almost perfect, from his head sculpt, to his uniform and shield. He has a far less exaggerated physique than his Toy Biz counterpart.

Captain America is arguably best presented as an unwavering, heroic icon of the American ideal and that stems from the figure behind the mask, Steve Rogers. To kill off Steve Rogers and have Bucky take up the mantle of Captain America is just not the same. Steve Rogers is Captain America and that's the end of it! R.I.P. Cap - you will be sorely missed!!

Captain America by Toy Biz

Marvel is planning its 2011 with an Avengers-themed summer - a two-picture project with The First Avenger: Captain America (working title) on 6 May 2011, followed by The Avengers in July 2011. It's about time we get a big screen appearance of Captain Red, White and Blue after the disastrous outing in 1990 (Yes, they made a Captain America movie then but don't waste your time with this one coz it's BAD!!)

So the story goes - Steve Rogers, a sickly scrawny patriotic young man who so wanted to fight for his country after watching the war newsreels decided to volunteer himself for Operation: Rebirth - to become super human by an experimental serum in order to aid the United States war effort. Lo and behold, the Super-Soldier was created but the scientist Abraham Erskine was killed before he could ever pen down his secret formula. Thus there was only one Super-Soldier and Steve Rogers became Captain America and the rest as they say, is history.

What possessed Toy Biz to produce figures with their mouths hanging open is beyond me. And the star on the uniform doesn't have to be THAT big, even if Captain America is best known as a patriotic super hero - that's really overkill.

Perhaps the open mouth expression is for Cap's famous rallying cry "Avengers Assemble!!"

Be sure to check out Captain America by Hasbro