Monday, December 12, 2011

Toys City NSW Marksman Overwatch Operation

Toys City's latest modern release might be it's best yet.  This guy comes stuffed to the gills with gear, including some new-to-this-scale AOR2 (after a long wave of desert colors), but the highlight has got to be the Opscore "FAST" bump helmet.

This thing is a little scale masterpiece with air vents, various rails and mounts, and even little bungie-style elastic cords to secure the NVG.

AOR2 paint scheme to match the uni.
The velcro stickers match the air vents very well.
The elastic mini bungies are pretty sweet.  Yes, it's fragile, but still fun to put together.

Despite the obvious fragility, TC did an excellent job designing the build of the helmet--I found it very easy to assemble, with minimal fuss.  A great job of engineering and 1/6 design, IMO.

Another well-designed item is the Mk11 sniper rifle.  Highly detailed with a movable mount/stand, you can even read the manufacturer logos printed on the side.

The rest of the set is a hodge-podge of other items.  Perhaps to cut costs, TC used AOR1 for the pouches, vest, and chest rig.  Not sure if that all is supposed to match, but it looks acceptable to me.

The body is solid with no major complaints from me.  The head sculpt is good-looking, with a good paint app.  I don't know who it is supposed to resemble, if anyone, but I've heard the likeness being compared to everyone from George Clooney to some french actor I'm not familiar with.

Overall, this is my favorite figure set from Toys City so far.  It combines some new elements, with some older elements in a good value package that is fun and relatively hassle-free to assemble (considering the details involved).  I'd highly recommend the figure to any modern military figure collector.

This guy looks ready to provide some cover fire.
Perhaps an odd mix of camo?
So much detail. 
No idea who this face is supposed to resemble.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Inflames/Headplay Metal Boss

Here's a figure I didn't think would get released: The Inflames and Headplay collaboration, "Metal Boss" boxed set.

From the distinctive Yoji Shinkawa-eque box art, down to the costume and accessories, this is an amazingly blatant carbon copy of a certain video game character renowned for defining the "stealth action" video game genre.

Licensing issues aside, what we have here is a pretty impressive action figure.  The body has solid joints and is able to hold poses fairly well despite being clothed in a skin-tight black undersuit.  The costuming has great tailoring with both a solid color and camo-variant set of BDUs.  Accessory-wise, it includes CQC knives, pistol with holster, rifle, belt, alice harness, pouches, and even a crazy detailed crocodile head mask!

Never heard of Inflames before, but I do know of Headplay.  Headplay, as the name implies, specializes in 1/6 action figure head sculpts and here they've done a decent job capturing our cold-blooded friend's likeness.  I still think Headplay's sculpts are a bit undersized and the neck looks a little too long as a result, but the overall effect is acceptable.  The wires in the head band that can be posed are a nice touch though.

On it's own merits, this is a fun and worthwhile figure to own.  I recommend it if you can find it for the MSRP of $150 or less.  Anything more and you're better off waiting for Hot Toys to make their officially licensed product.

I can't tell if this is an homage or if they took an actual bit of artwork.  It looks fantastic, either way.
Two uniforms, and...check out that caiman head!
Some nonsense writing on the back, lol.
Changing to the camo outfit isn't too difficult, just remember how the straps were connected before removing.
To me, the head is a bit too small.
This is a fun figure to mess around with.
Classic hand-to-hand pose.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dragon Models Limited Soviet Infantry w/Mine Detector - "Vladimir Petrovich Koslov"

Due to limited budget, I try to stick to collecting just modern military figures or Hot Toys.  However, once in a while, I'll come across a WWII-themed item that is just either very inexpensive, or else too cool to pass up.

The latter would be true of his unusual re-release from Dragon.  "Vladimir" is a Soviet infantry rifleman circa 1941-45.  The box claims he is part of the Eastern Front 1943, but what really makes him stand out is his Mosin-Nagant rifle modified with an unusal and (I assume) not very common VIM 210 mine detector and mine probe!  Good luck finding much about this facinating piece of WWII military gear--although there were no doubt sappers assigned to fight along side regular infantry rifleman, I had a hard time finding anything about these guys in my limited research.  Kudos to the team at Dragon for finding any reference material on this subject!

Back to the figure itself, Vladimir uses the latest 3.5 Dragon figure body, and sports an updated headsculpt featuring newer, more subtle paint techniques.  I think Dragon did a nice job on this one as their paint application goes very well with the pale tones of a young Russian fighting on the Eastern Front.

The outfit and gear are very simple in this set, with just a belt with a couple of pouches, cap, and backpack designed to hold the mine detection unit.  The Mosin-Nagant is typical Dragon with solid constuction and working metal parts.  The mine probe is a bit tricky to assemble since it just kind of sits on the end of the rifle barrel with no real way to secure it other than friction and gravity, but it's pretty cool.

At around $80 MSRP, this is not much of a value, and overall, I would say the only real draw would be the rifle and mine detector.  I would only recommend this set to those with an affinity for WWII Russian themes or those who appreciate interesting WWII relics.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


First off, to all those who are or have served in our Armed Forces, THANK YOU for your sacrifice.

Today I'd like to go over the recent Special Forces CJSOTF-A figure from Playhouse.  It's been five years since Playhouse came into the 1/6 action figure scene, and they are commemorating this milestone with another well-made military set highlighting an operator from the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan.

This guy features a plethora of parts, including a relatively uncommon 1/6 scale Glock gen 3 pistol, MK18 Mod 1 rifle with Spectre DR Combat sight, Tru-Type combat shirt and BDUs, MICH-2000 (mesh camo) with a really sweet AN/PVS-15 night vision google attachment complete with covers and working slide mechanism, plus a whole lot more.  The helmet set is one of the better ones I've seen and even has velcro stickers so you can secure the light and Ess Land operation goggles if you want.

The CJSOTF-A figure uses the newly improved S1 body and I think it is a bit better than the overly stiff one used for their last Navy Seal Team 10 guy.

I'm still putting this one together, but so far, I'm very impressed.  Here's the photos I took so far:

Nice graphics
Like most boxed 1/6 military figures, there's no instructions so you have to rely on the box or the Internet for reference.

The box features a nice slip cover with raised gold lettering and artwork.
Lots of interesting accessories you can gear up with.
The helmet is awesome.  I also like how Playhouse reinforces their straps to make it easier to loop in the molle.
Dude isn't the handsomest-looking chap, but he has the beard to cover that up.
Joe Cool--a work in progress.

Stay tuned for a future post when I finish putting all the junk on him!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Phicen / SMCG Customs Laura Tumulus Raider II

Phicen has taken their seamless body technology and teamed up with a US customizer to release this revised version of their latest female action figure boxed set.  Featuring a "Tomb Raider" adventure theme, the Laura II includes detailed pleather/leather-like boots, belt, and holsters, dual pistols and machine guns, an extra set of griping hands, tailored jacket with artwork on the back, and a clear plastic base.  After facing some quality issues with their small chested female base bodies (as I reviewed months ago), I was a bit hesitant to jump into a boxed figure, but Chad of SMGCustoms is a stand up guy who does quality work, and I liked what I was seeing in the prototype promo photos so I decided to make a purchase.

I'm glad I did!  This is a well done set with some nice accessories.  The pistols resemble those from the Tomb Raider games and have working slides (a bit of a pleasant surprise).  The jacket is nicely done, although it has a bit of a "love it or hate it" design.  The belt and holsters are simple, and easy to work with.  But the star of the figure is no doubt the boots which are highly detailed with buckles, straps and laces.  It is very technical in design and really makes the figure pop, IMO. 

Like all seamless figures, the figure is rather limited in posing, and has a few odd quirks that make it a bit less realistic and dynamic to pose than perhaps intended, such as folding/bunching of the rubber skin around joints.  However, my copy had no major QC issues and I was pleased with the overall look of it.

At about $100 shipped, this figure is on par with similar female action figure sets from Triad Toys and I would recommend this figure to those fans who purchase similar products.

Simple white outer sleeve reveals a simple black shoebox-style package.

Inside, Laura II sits in a vacuum-formed plastic tray.

Under the figure tray is another tray with the accessories.

You'll need to attach the pistol holsters to the belt yourself, but it's not hard.

Although the head and body are the same, I like this version of Laura much better than the first one released earlier this year.

You can see how the pants was attached.  This was probably due to the "stickiness" of the rubber body.  It is supposed to be "tack-free", but it's not completely slick.  Some futzing of the fit of the material is required, but I just wanted to get some quick photos in.

While the hot pants might look better for the seamless aspects, I actually prefer this outfit a lot more.  Looks a lot more practical for adventuring, IMO.

Posing isn't too much of a problem, as long as it's not too extreme.

These boots are an eye-catcher.  Definitely puts the fig over the top, IMO.

Yes, her chest is of the over-sized, siliconal variety, but this is sort of an unlicensed Lara Croft lady, so there's some relevance there.

At some angles, the head sculpt and rooted hair are actually quite nice.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ACI Flamma, Warrior of Rome

Focusing primarily on 1/6 clothing, accessories, parts, and base bodies, ACI isn't much known for it's boxed sets.

That may all change now with it's latest release, "Flamma", a Roman Gladiator sporting a brand new muscle body design.

While this set may not have an abundance of accessories for it's relatively luxe price of $130-$140 or so, what it lacks in gear, it more than makes up for in originality and fun factor.

First off, the box.  ACI seems to have invested some money here, showing off the figure with a windowed case with full color outer sleeve.  Very reminiscent of Hot Toys.

The vacuum-formed plastic inner case reveals the figure, fully kitted out with leather like harness, belt, arm guard with leather-like straps, leggings, a painted plastic shield, plastic myrmillo helmet (painted gold metallic), extra hands and a sword.  It even comes with a long, black cloak for even more costume options.

Let's be honest, in a hobby dominated by dudes with guns, there aren't too many 1/6 Gladiator figures on the market today.  Here, ACI has meticulously created a new body designed to be displayed with little armor or clothing.  Knowing that this is a relatively small company with limited distribution and production resources, you'll begin to understand what a labor of love making this body must've been.  The skin is textured, the muscles are sculpted, and the joints are designed in a way to be less conspicuous than typical action figures.  The joints are solid and stiff overall.  There is some "ratcheting" action with the shoulder and knee joints--a bit of getting used to if you are used to smooth-moving parts.  Oddly enough, my copy's knee joints stopped the ratcheting sounds right after I started bending them around some.

The head has some slick paint apps compared to ACI's "free" heads that come with their regular nudes.  Although the Gladiator's visage is pretty harsh, it's well done with a realistic look.

The hands seems to suffer from inconsistent skin tone issues and several of the hands didn't even look like the same color as the rest, let alone the body.

The wrist pegs seem to have a typical action figure design, but for whatever reason, both of the pegs on mine snapped at the moving joint.  I understand that wrist pegs tend to be fragile on 1/6 joints, but this is the first time I've actually broken a peg.  That both snapped so quickly does make me wonder if there is something more going on with that.

In any case, despite the wrist issue, I really like this figure!  The whole package is an interesting and fun set to pose and mess around with.

If you are interested in the subject, or just want a break from celebrity or military themes, then I do recommend the ACI Flamma figure for purchase.  (Just be careful with those wrists!)

The wrists are already broken here, but manage to stay on without glue.

The shield is simple, but colorful.

The helmet fits well and can be removed rather easily.

This is a good-looking, good-posing figure--great job, ACI!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Toys City Pararescue Jumper

Yesterday, I provided an overview of the Toys City Green Beret of the US Army and today, I'll focus on the Pararescue Jumper from the US Air Force.

The "PJ" as they are often referred to, are in the business of saving lives.  With a broad range of combat, survival, medical, and other specialized training, these brave men and women are counted on for everything from search and rescue to recovery.

Toys City's take on a geared up PJ features a sand-colored AC uniform accented by khaki accessories, M4-A1 with grenade launcher, M9, and host of medical gear, including a pretty sweet medic bag.

Like the Special Forces guy I reviewed, the PJ body is pretty loose-limbed, but is generally able to hold poses.  Headsculpt is solid with good paint apps.  Kind of reminds me a bit of Josh Duhamel  from the Transformers movie.  I believe the head was used for a different earlier figure set as well, but I can't think of it offhand.

My primary issue was getting the headset on with the helmet.  It was a real pain and I ended up breaking the headset at the earpiece (where I usually tend to break these, if it happens).

Still, I really like this figure.  Lots of cool gear, a clean look, and an interesting subject.  I'm looking forward to TC's next figure!  Hopefully I will have a review of the NSW Marksman Overwatch figure soon.

Until then...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Toys City US Army Green Beret ODA 721

The Fall figure rush is on!  I received and unboxed my first Toys City figures recently.  Today I'll start off with the Green Beret.

This Special Forces "A" Team guy sports a woodland camo combat shirt and BDUs, and comes well-armed with a SCAR-H, drop down M9, tactical knife with wrist blade, and a LAW!  Whatever this guy is getting into, he'll be prepared to unload if things get hairy.

Overall, it's a real nice military set that seems to follow the real thing more or less.

Some issues I had with the figure: loose limbs.  While it doesn't affect the figures general ability to hold a pose too much, I would probably feel more comfortable if the joints were a bit stiffer.

Another more minor issue might be the choice of headsculpt.  TC went with the same head they used for their earlier Navy Seal Water's Edge dude (albeit without the camo face paint).  Luckily for me, I don't already own that one, but those who do might take exception to paying full boxed set prices for recycled parts.

In any case, I think I'm now a fan of Toys City.  The quality of the uniform and gear is pretty solid--comparable to other popular 1/6 military companies like Soldier Story.

Stay tuned for part two of my Toys City unboxing!  I'll be sharing my thoughts about their Pararescue Jumper.