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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Art Figures Navy Seal Special

Art Figures is a small 1/6 toy maker from China that was founded in 2008.  Despite their young age, they've produced a number of high quality action figures loosely based on American films.  Their last figure, based on Ray Stevenson's Punisher War Zone movie, was an incredible piece worthy of a real movie license (they currently do, "off the books" right now).  Their followup to this figure is the "Navy Seal Special", a dead ringer for Bruce Willis as he appeared in the war drama "Tears from the Sun".

Art Figures' head sculpts are generally very well done, with realistic paint applications, high attention to detail, and a solid likeness to the celebrities they are based on.  Here, they've captured the older, battle-scarred and weary Willis quite well and he does have some untended cuts and such to capture a moment.

Several issues I had with the figure: the earpiece is difficult and fragile to use on the figure.  It's a given that small parts for 1/6 require patience and care to assemble correctly, so there's not much more I can say about that.  Second, the alice harness can be tricky for those without experience dressing it.  There are no instructions, so you'll have to be seasoned or else figure out how it attaches to the belt on your own.

Overall, this is another surprising release from Art Figures and a good value buy for those who want movie-based figures without paying Hot Toys' prices.

He has more gear, but this was all I had time to futz with before taking pictures.

This is definitely one of the best production Willis sculpts I've seen in this scale.

I'm pretty happy with this one.  Not the biggest fan of the movie, but glad this was made.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hot Toys MMS 139 Resident Evil Afterlife Alice Unboxed

There is just something about Milla Jovovich and the Resident Evil movies that rubs the right way with me.  Honestly, the films themselves are poorly written, lazily directed, and full of horror and sci fi movie cliches that would make seasoned movie goers cringe.  Still, there's something primal and enduring (to the 14 year old teenage male in me) about seeing the seductively clad Alice kick zombie ass up and down the post-apocalyptic wasteland-scape.

And so it was with utter childlike glee and otaku fanboy excitement that I awaited the arrival of my two (yes two) copies of Hot Toys MMS 139 Resident Evil Afterlife Alice.  Here, Hot Toys has captured MillaJ, as I now call her, in her first and primary costume in the movie: a black skin-tight leotard with corset, tactical holster/harness, armguards, leggings, and thigh high boots.
As those who have followed this figure from it's announcement may already be aware, there was some controversy about the facial likeness of the prototype.  Some thought that face was too narrow and harsh to be Milla.  Well, Hot Toys has apparently heard the critiques and answered with a softer head sculpt that actually has a lot of subtle shading that only makes itself known when held at different angles and lighting.  It's a masterful job by Song Hye Hyun, and Yulli, Hot Toys' two beautiful female Korean sculptors and needs to be seen in person to be appreciated.

Alice comes with an arsenal of weapons: dual shotguns, revolver pistols, submachine guns, kukri knives, and a short sword.  You can holster most of the weapons, save the kukri knives, making this Alice quite the butt kicker in both the figure and accessories departments.

Speaking of butts, however, comes my only real gripe with Hot Toys Afterlife Alice--her ass is too big!  I'm being completely serious here--this baby got back.  Now, I'm not a man who is at all opposed to some junk in the trunk.  I love some rump shaker as much as the next guy.  But the booty on this figure is just ginormous!  She could call all the boys from the yard from here to Tokyo with that milkshaking money maker, no lie.  It's so big, it can be a distraction.  The real Milla just isn't built that way, so I'm not sure I understand exactly why Hot Toys chose to go that route.
Anyway, dumps like a truck aside, this is a fantastic movie female figure, one that fans of the series should not miss!

Great choice for the box cover--striking and dramatic!

Hot Toys' talented artists are not just sculptors and toy makers--clever and inspired interior art with the jagged glass surrounding the clear window here.  Nice job Hot Toys!

This figure is one of the best all-around female figures since Abigail Whistler

"Stop staring at my butt!!"

All I need is nine more of these for my Alice clone army.  :p

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hot Toys Spider Man Unboxed

Just a quickie post to chronicle my copy of Hot Toys Spider Man.  At first, I had some trepidation about how the figure would turn out, but I must say that Hot Toys once again exceeded my expectations.  The single piece body suit is very well done with a solid fit that doesn't sacrifice much in the posability of the True Type base body.  I suppose that over time, extreme poses will affect the stitching and stretchability of the material, but like anything else, some care and moderation should keep this one looking good for a reasonable period of time.

Nice packaging.  As usual, a color insert protects the inner plastic holder.

Includes a heavy sculpted base to add to your display options.

Yes, I chose a "safe" pose.  Nothing crazy in the detolf.  :p

Fine raised detail on the suit.  Note the minimal bunching of material around the neck and other joints.

Femme Fig Photoshoot of the Day

I'm not into "Barbies", but I do love female 1/6 action figures!

Here I take a TrueType caucasian female body and pair it up with an Abigail Whistler head and custom swimsuit from Modern Life of France.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hot Toys Tracker Predator

As someone who isn't compelled to collect a complete line of a particular figure license, there's something about Hot Toys' Predators the movie 1/6 figures that tickle my fancy.

Perhaps it's their unique hunting specialties and accessories!  Hot Toys' Tracker Pred features the animal tusked mask and a fantastic Tracker "Hound" alien complete with leather reins for holding that spikey bad boy at bay.

Like other masked preds, in this line, the Tracker features light up LED mask, and an environmental base you can rest the Hound on.  Putting the Tracker, Falconer, and Berserker together in the same display looks really awesome, but for now, here's a couple of pics of just Tracker himself, just after I unboxed him.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

DID Captain Dan

Here's a few shots of Captain Dan from DID.  Those of you who remember DID's French Resistance Pierre will recognize this figure set as the German version.  While I don't collect "Nazi" paraphenallia per se, I do appreciate a good historical figure.  This one features a great headsculpt, the usual sharp tailoring and wood/metal accessories that DID is known for, and a light up camo'd version of that spectacular real-working chain bike we got with Pierre.

Hot Toys Resident Evil Jill Valentine Battle Suit Version

For those of you who missed the first action figure version of Jill from the Resident Evil 5 video game, Hot Toys gives you another go around with Battle Suit Jill.  This version of Jill features a skin tight jumpsuit, mind-control chestpiece, and an arsenal of weapons to go along with her new blonde locks.

A few things I don't like about the figure design: the size of the head and the length of her neck give her a slightly giraffe-necked appearance.  Second, her head sculpt is exactly the same as the first Jill-it would have been nice to see a more menacing look to match the costume and theme.  Finally, the alternate cloak can be very tricky to put on due to the tight fit of the holes and the overall restrictiveness of the costume.

Still, like most Hot Toys, I'm really pleased with this figure and it's a nice looking female to add to the collection.  Great for fans of the game!