Kastor’s Retro Reviews

February 27, 2008

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Kastor’s Retro Reviews

come check out the new column on Kastor’s Korner


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

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.    

Finally Doom Has Bots

November 29, 2007

When Toy Biz lost the right to make Marvel toys most of us thought our chances of getting the robot Doombots from the Fantastic Four Movie line was lost.  We knew some retailers got them last year but they were few and far between.  After hearing the Toy Biz factory might have some over stock and we might get these at clearance stores like Big Lots or KB outlets our hope returned until that did not happen.  Those who had them did not want to trade to sell them unless you made a crazy offer.  They were cool to look at and you had to have more then one, but would you ever see them? 

A few weeks ago someone on Fwoosh from Sweden got about 10, and put them up for trade.  I jumped at the chance not sure what I would have to give up, but it was worth a shot.  After some negotiations we came to a deal, 2 Doombots for HML 1 BAF, Xorn and Ultimate Ironman.  While to some that seems like a lot for me who had a friend getting out of Marvel Legends, all it cost me was shipping.  So about a week later I had my 2 Doombots, and they proudly stand protecting Dr. Victor Von Doom. 

These figures really make me miss Toy Biz.  The Doombots tower over the other figures showing their ability to protect their creator.  The detail work on them shows off all the wires and tubes which make up these metal monsters.  The one drawback on these figures is loose joints.  The elbow and knee joints are tiny compared the limbs they connect and makes posing a challenge.  The one saving grace of these joints is they can bend in either direction which allows you to pose them in different stable positions that would look awkward on a humanoid figure.  You can see in the picture the two ways these Bots can stand.  One can stand strait up while the other is in what I like to call resting position.  This resting position shifts the center of gravity on the figure allowing it to stand.  There is an action feature on the figure although I’m not sure what it does.  When you push the button on the back the Bot’s entire upper body slumps down, this really makes it hard for the Bot to stand.  The final feature of the figure is a small hidden button on the upper back hidden in the figures details, which lights up the eyes.  I found it by mistake when I put the figure in a box and saw it light up when I put other figures on top of it.  Over all I love these Bots, they are a great addition to any display and I can’t wait for the day when I have room to put out all my Marvel Legends.   


Rory has been busy

June 7, 2007

So after a hard day of sleeping in the Batman room of our house, Rory awakes to find my new fall free Icons set up.

She explores, plays and poses with the legends.  I really think she wants to take Doom’s place. 

The New Marvel Legends Trend: Part One

April 16, 2007

Well we are entering either the end or the new beginning of Marvel Legends.  As most of us have seen Hasbro’s wave one, and some have seen wave two, we are starting to see what Hasbro has to offer us as collectors.  In my area in Connecticut HML1 is everywhere and though Ironman was hard to find today I saw 2 full pegs at the local TRU.  In between we also have something new for Marvel Legends, exclusives.  While the Giantman wave was a mess for collectors, these new exclusives seem to be easy to find but come at a higher price (around 2 or 3 dollars more then normal figures).  Now, where after that one wave Toybiz stopped, Hasbro continues to put out the exclusives.  The first round is only at TRU, but who knows where will be next for Hasbro. 

Their first offering is a sliver coated Wolvernine, labeled as a 25th anniversary figure. 

This comes in the new stanadard HML packaging with the exclusive sticker on the front. 

On the Back corner of the box you can see a Hasbro on-line sticker. (We all hope it leads to army builders)

I decided not to liberate this figure so I took some close ups of the figure in the package.  You can see that Hasbro still has not fixed the Claw warping on Wolverine figures.


Not too special but over all a nice opening.

 Coming up next Diamond Emma

I’m Back

March 30, 2007

So, I have been gone for about 2 weeks and I’m getting a lot of support, thank you all.  We have had a few deaths in the family in the past few weeks and it has turned our lives upside down.  As things start to calm down I’m coming back to this blog.  Now the family issues are not the only reason I took time off.  The message boards have been a source of stress for me over the last few weeks, to the point that if I had to choose hunting for toys or going home, I went home.  I just wanted a break.  I have been working a lot on taking pictures and writing my ideas down some fun and some serious.  I have though long and hard and decided that if I want this blog to become my soap box, I have to voice my opinions even if others don’t’ agree with them.  After losing on Fwoosh and feeling alone on AFI I am coming back to talk about all that and toys of course.  So stay tuned it will be an interesting ride.