Sunday, January 12, 2014

Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Marvel NOW! Captain America Review

The new Marvel Legends Infinite series has finally hit stores around my area, and the first of the two that I found is this modern, Marvel NOW! Cap. Is it a good representation of good ol' Steve? Read on to find out!

No matter how often Arnim Zola's twisted creations beat him down, Steve Rogers will always stand up!

The new Marvel Legends from Hasbro come in very nice packaging reminiscent of the Star Wars Black Series. There is no tape involved, so it is collector-friendly and is also good for storing accessories.

On the side of the package there is a nice sketch of movie Cap throwing his shield. 

When you open Marvel Legends NOW! Cap, you'll notice that there is no paint shading. This is an ongoing trend with Hasbro's recent Marvel Legends, but Steve's sculpt is so nice that it really begs for a light blackwash to bring out the details. His headsculpt is similar to the Commander Rogers figure in ML1, but the NOW! Cap's head is smaller. The shade of red used on the suit is a smidge too bright, but not enough to make the figure look terrible.

What does bring the figure down is the quality control. There are numerous accounts of the eyes being misaligned or the arms missing grey detail, so look before you buy. The worst of these paint issues is in the abdomen area. The type of paint used is glossy, and it scratches off VERY easily. Moving the ab crunch and posing the figure left an unattractive blue gap in the middle of Cap's torso, so be very careful when handling this figure.
Be careful with your figures!
Paint issues aside, this figure's articulation is wonderful. Cap has a balljointed head on a hinge, balljointed shoulders, a bicep swivel, double jointed elbows (but only the bottom hinge is really functional, the top one barely moves), swivel-hinge wrists, the aforementioned ab crunch, a waist swivel (which was stuck when I got the figure out of the package), T-jointed hips, an upper thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, a calf swivel, and ankle rockers. All in all, an amazing articulation scheme that really makes the figure fun to pose (and makes the paint issues that much worse).

Cap stands about 6 inches tall and works in scale with other Marvel Legends. He is a little too tall for SWB and too short to fight NECA's Predator.

Captain America comes with two accessories: his mighty shield and the BAF piece. The shield is the same shield from all other Hasbro Cap figures (which I don't have) and has a clip so it can attach onto his arm.

The shield can also peg into Cap's back, but it sits a little too high for my liking.

The Mandroid head is an all-new sculpt made of the "swirly" plastic like Iron Monger. I didn't intend on building Mandroid, but the great lineup of figures definitely has me tempted.

All in all, Cap is a good figure. His articulation makes him very fun to play around with and pose, but watch out for that ab crunch!
Steve and Tony
The Marvel Legends Infinite Series is hitting stores right now. At Target, these figures are $14.99, but they are $20 at TRU and Wal-Mart. NOW! Cap is packed two per case, so he probably won't be hard to find. For $15 I'd say this figure is a definite buy, but it's questionable at $20 if you already have a good Cap. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The LEGO Movie 70801: The Melting Room Review

What better way to start off a new year than with new sets from the LEGO Movie? Today we'll be looking at one of the two smallest sets in the line:

Melting Room (70801)
122 pieces
SRP: $12.99 USD

This set comes in a fairly small box. On the front we see a photoshopped picture of the set with Wyldstyle kicking over a poor Robot SWAT guard. The box's back is adorned with another picture of the set and showcases some of the play features.

When we open the set, we get a 35-page instruction manual and 122 pieces. I won't go over the booklet, but some interesting pieces (excluding minifigures) include:

  • Two shorter chain pieces
  • A black triangular piece from the Cars line
  • A clear disk piece
  • A new "pipe" piece
  • Two printed plates
  • A white piece that holds a minifigures' legs without studs. This originated in the Friends line. 
 Now, the main draw of the set: the minifigures! We get Emmet, Wyldstyle, and a Robo SWAT.
The Special has arisen.
Emmet is the exact same minifigure as you'll get in most of the LEGO Movie sets. He has a new hairpiece with two tufts of hair in the back. He has nice printing on his torso and legs as well as decent back printing.

A mouthful of hair

Emmet has two expressions: a scared print and a determined one. However, if you want to use the determined side, be aware that the hair piece does not cover the scared face on the back completely. 

Emmet also comes with the Piece of Resistance, which is a new piece in red that can attach to his back. I'm not a fan the neck piece, and it makes his neck seem too long. In fact, the trailers show Emmet without the grey piece and the Piece of Resistance glued to his back. 

This version of Wyldstyle is exclusive to this set because of the new hood piece. It is slightly rubbery and comes in a separate little baggy.

There isn't much reuse potential with the hood because Wyldstyle's hair is painted on and it features side printing that is pretty much exclusive to Wyldstyle. Wyldstyle has some nice printing as well, and even has arm and foot printing! 
Yes, this is a different expression
She has two expressions, one normal and one slightly more determined. 

The final figure is the Robo SWAT. He has a nice cap with a printed logo on it, which may be exclusive to this set. 

His head is shared with some of the other Robo SWAT figures, but he has cool torso printing that can be reused for police minifigures if desired. He has a gun with a clip from the Dino line, but it looks empty without anything in the clip. All in all, the minifigures are great, but may be redundant if you plan to buy some of the larger sets in the line. 

While some may buy the set solely for the minifigures, it also has a small playset build of the Melting Room (or Chamber). The build didn't take very long, but it had some interesting techniques for the table that Emmet is chained to. The set consists of three main parts: The weapons rack with handcuffs and an axe, the rotating table, and the Melting Laser. The play set has some pretty cool features for a small set.
This play feature is GEARED towards kids. I'm terrible, I know. 
 If you turn the gear on the bottom, you can move the table up and down. Emmet will stay securely thanks to the chains and the leg-holding piece. 

The laser (which I assume is to melt off the Piece of Resistance) is on a pin, so it can swivel back and forth. It can also hinge forward and backwards due to its construction. While the playset is drab in its colorscheme, it is very versatile. It can be an Extremis testing facility, Oscorp's lab, or even Lex Luthor's Krytonite laser (if you replace the red bar with a green one). The possibilities are endless!

In conclusion, the Melting Room is a good set. If you plan on buying the other sets in the line, then you can probably pass. But if you want hooded Wylstyle or simply a taste of the new LEGO Movie line, you won't be disappointed by this little one.