Kastor’s Retro Reviews

February 27, 2008

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Kastor’s Retro Reviews

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Finally the new home is OPEN

January 6, 2008

Hi all just wanted to give all an update.  Kastor’s Korner has a new home @ http://www.kastorskorner.com/   This week will see the long over due HML3 final review as well as DCUC wave one.  We should also have some Mattel answers soon


Action Thursday: Moleman

December 20, 2007

Finding these mole monsters on clearance at TRU is great!!!


Grodd

December 19, 2007

This is the newest offering from the JLU line, bringing this long living line in closer to completion.  Grodd was one of the main bad guys on the JLU show and now we have him to add to the growing roster of villains for the Justice League to square off against.   

The main feature in this box set is the Gorilla Grodd.  Grodd was an ape who came in contact with a meteor during the 19th century.  This gave him and his fellow apes both super intellegence and, in some cases like Grodd and his adversary Solovar, telekinesis and telepathy.  Grodd and Solovar clashed time and time again for the great Gorilla City.  When Solovar was captured by humans and brought to Central City, Grodd saw an opportunity to not only take over Gorilla City but also the world.  This plan put him in the scope of the Flash and brought Grodd into The Flash’s Rogue Gallery.  Over and over the Flashes of many generations would come to blows with this foe.  Over time Grodd’s abilities have grown, developing both his mental abilities as well as his telekinesis.   Most figures in the JLU line have issues standing, but like the other larger figures Grodd has no problems at all.  The figure has an amazing sculpt, really bringing to life the cartoon character.  The figure is well painted and the detail on his face brings that sly look of the criminal mastermind to life. 

The other new edition to this box set is the Red Hood.  This figure is a simple repaint of the Joker.  The new part of the figure is the addition of a large red dome and cape.  The largest problem is that you can not see the Joker’s face before you buy the box set.  After opening the set and taking off the hood this Joker looks like Crazy Eyes from Mr. Deeds.  Given a profile view the Joker looks great but if you look at this figure straight on his eyes are looking in completely different directions.   

Overall a solid set for both collectors and parents.  Hopefully this will not be the last, and Mattel will continue box sets to get us larger characters. 

         

 


Marvel Legends Black Queen

December 14, 2007

Welcome back to another Kastor’s Review.  This time we take a look at the newest exclusive offering from Hasbro Marvel Legends, Jean Grey, the Black Queen.   This figure is not hard to review because it has very little in the way of new parts.  This figure is simply a remodel of Emma Frost, White Queen.  The newer parts are the head and a new paint scheme.  While Emma didn’t have a great head sculpt, this figure shows that details and a decent paint job are possible from Hasbro.  Where this figure fails is where every other HML fails, articulation.  I know most of you ask what kind of articulation the Black Queen needs, but we need to stop using this as an excuse for Hasbro.  This type of figure is unacceptable based on what we have been offered in the past.  The only reason that Hasbro seems to have us over a barrel is that most of us want to finish various teams and sets and we are forced to settle.  But I think as time goes on and the figures overall quality decreases, so will the collectors who need to get all the figures despite the wish lists. 

 


Action Thursday: HML 3

December 13, 2007

While I was not thrilled with the new Hasbro offerings, they do have some cool features. 
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Hasbro Marvel Legends 3: The Cap Compare

December 12, 2007

Captain America may be dead in the comics but he is still kicking in the Marvel Legends line.  This new Cap marks the return of the 1st appearance figures.  Joining the ranks of figures like Spiderman, the Thing, Ironman, the Hulk, Wolverine, and the Punisher, this Captain America is a standout figure.  Though there is a very cartoonish look to him, he really does reflect the original design of the character. The figure reflects the comic look of the character, however the figure loses points area of articulation.  

As part of the Hasbro Marvel Legends this Captain America has a great deal of decreased articulation.  In this review we will take a look at how Hasbro has actually set the figure back instead of moving Captain America forward.  I decided to look at this figure in stages, highlighting the difference between Marvel Legends 1(ML1) Cap, Face-Off (FO) Cap and this Hasbro Marvel Legends 3(HML3) Cap. There was an Ultimate Captain America but for this review we will stick to the 616 universe figures, besides the Ultimate figure is similar to the previous Captain America.   

Starting top down on the figure the heads all seem to have a good sculpt, reflecting the look of the Captain America they are modeled after.  This is the one place that all the figures have been successful.   

Where the differences seem to be most apparent is in the body.  The joints, such as the arms and legs, are the most glaring examples of the decrease in the quality of this line.   Starting with the arms: you can see all figures have the ball jointed shoulders. In both ML 1 and HML 3 you can the joint is not as well hidden as in the FO.  The one thing Hasbro started to get right as you can see here, they all share the same elbow articulation in the double joint.  The double joint was missing in the other figures in previous waves of HML.   

Moving our way down the arm to the wrist you can see the articulation is hidden on the new HML Cap, whereas in the older Caps you can see the joint as part of the sculpt, not hidden at all. This new way of hiding joints can be both a blessing and a curse.  While the hiding of the joint gives some figures a more realistic look, it also hinders the range of motion.  This new figure fails in the hand itself of the new HML3 Cap.  While you can see how in the first ML 1 you could close his hand, and next in the FO Cap the added finger articulation, the new HML 3 Cap has no finger articulation.  While it’s not always necessary, I think it just adds to the growing cost-cutting of the figures. I would have expected this type of sculpt and lack of articulation in the first offering of the figure, not the 5th.  You can also see the lack of detailed sculpt from the elbow down of the new figure.   

Moving down the body to the legs, we see the same decrease in both detail and articulation.  Again you can see here the ball joints at the hips and the double knee joints as you move down the figure both the detail and the articulation decreases.  The lack of articulation leads to the inability to pose the figure.  The loss of the toe joint makes it harder to get the figure into various poses as well as balance the figure.  There is also a hidden ankle joint like the wrist and while it may help to make the figure look a little better, you can tell when you start to pose that the ability to move the feet in certain directions is impossible, once again limiting the movement of the figure.   Overall this is a solid figure, just not a solid Marvel Legend.