Monday, 30 December 2013

The Hobbit figures 'wave 2' Review

I've made no secret about the fact that I am not very impressed with The Bridge Direct's decision to release only one new figure as part of the Desolation of Smaug  1:18 scale toy line, last year The Bridge were my favorite toy company, I went crazy buying all their stuff and purchased doubles for customs. Then I moved on to the 6" line. I hope things change, but I get the feeling these may be the last toys of theirs I purchase, because I fear this is the end.

I watched The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug last night and I loved it, lady Elf and all! Review to come later, I have to watch the film a couple more times first! The film motivated me to review the New Hobbit figures, I purchased them a while back online: They cost more than they should! so I stuck to the 'Mirkwood Hero' pack and Radagast the Brown in the 6" scale. I went looking for the other 6" figures at Toys'r'us after I watched the film, but all I could find were wave 1 Bilbos (1:18 scale) and 6" Tauriels. I may buy Azog, later but he really isn't a favorite of mine, seeing as he should have died at the battle of Moria, but I won't ramble, this time.

Anyway, while I'm still upset they didn't release the remainder of the Dwarves, which would have been my first choice, I'd pay a fair bit for that complete set of the  Dwarves they teased us with at toy fair. But as it stands I'm glad they released Thranduil, I've always liked the character and Peter Jackson has done him justice. The same is true with the choice of Radagast, a character that has always fascinated me as have all the other Istari, especially those that are barely mentioned by Tolkien, At first, I wasn't sure about his characterization in the film, but it works! I wish that Radagast had been done in the 1:18th scale, but who knows what motivates the bridge to do what they do.

I will let the pictures do the talking and then I'll do the usual likes and dislikes. Obviously I will not be reviewing the 'custom fodder' included in the Mirkwood pack, if you'd like to see those figures reviewed go here. Now to clarify: I still think that the toys are awesome, and as long as they are released I'll keep buying them, I mean, I still buy the movie themed stuff at the cinema! 

Dear Bridge, release this pretty please!


- The figure's likeness, for it's scale, is very true to the film
- While the robe hinders the articulation of the legs, it's still included and the figure is still very poseable.
- Although the robe does not reach all the way to the ground, the figure still stands very well, much better than some of the other figures
- The included accessories are appropriate, a sword and a staff are included

- There is a distinct band (see picture) between the hair and face of the figure, I'm not sure what it is, maybe it's a joint between the hair and the head? I didn't notice it at first but when I did I couldn't 'unsee' it and it affects the figure's appearance

The Seam

Radagast the Brown

- Likeness to the screen wizard is great, if a little serious
- Sculpting is great, from the beard to the face to the robes, it's what you'd expect from a 6" line, I think he is a much more superior figure than the Gandalf they produced last year, that figure felt like an upscaled version of the 4" figure and his likeness was not very close to Ian McKellen
- Hat is removable and you can see the bird nest in his hair
- The staff is very cool, I'd have preferred a crystal like stone in the staff rather than it being painted. Radagast can hold it and this is always a plus!

The Istari

- The scale, I would prefer a 1:18 figure, I know most people would disagree
- Under the robe, he is wearing a brown onesie with very little detail. However, this isn't a big issue at all, as the beard and robes make it difficult to see underneath anyway. You have to remove the head and part of the robe to see it.
- While I'm not a fan of all the bird poop on Radagast in the film, I would have liked to see it sculpted onto the figure, instead it is painted on and it just looks like a lighter patch of beard

I have included a few photos of Gandalf below, comparing him to his Toy Wiz counterparts, which in my opinion are superior to the first wave of 6" figures by The Bridge. However, the Bridge figures are much better than the wave 1 figures presented by Toy Wiz and I would argue that Radagast is at the same level as the 'final' series of Toy Wiz figures, which had better actor likenesses and were 'super poseable'. I have to thank The Bridge for staying far, far away from 'action features'

The Bridge Direct Gandalf, Toy Biz Gandalf with 'light up' staff, Toy Biz 'Super Articulated' Gandalf

Close up

Anyway, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year! and I look forward to all the new toys the year will bring!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Injustice: Gods among Us Toy Wave 2

Hello all,

I received the second set of two packs from BBTS a while back and I've been meaning to review them, now I don't know if they are wave 2 and 3 or whatever, it really doesn't matter to me.
The sets are as follows:
1. Harley Quinn and Cyborg
2. Superman and Nightwing
3.Aquaman and Black Adam
4.Flash and Raven

I will review each set in the order specified above, looking at the good and bad sides as usual, there are things I discussed in my first review, which I don't want to go over again so feel free to check it our here.

Now, I am more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan, in particular the film universe that revolves around the Avengers. However, I've always been a fan of Batman and his Rogue Gallery. So it's great to see Harley Quinn and Nightwing, It really surprises me that we have yet to see Batman or the Joker! There is another set out now which is made up of Catwoman and Doomsday out now and I'll be getting that set as well.

That is not to take away from the sets I'm reviewing, it's great to see Superman and the Flash. It's also good to see Black Adam, but where is Shazam? I find it odd that they are not pairing Heroes with their respective villains, I get that it's based on the fighting game where you can fight anyone, but since my concerns over The Hobbit line, I'm worried I won't be getting these heroes in this scale any time soon. I love the 1:18th scale it's my favorite. I also have to add that these figures are shorter than the Marvel Universe modern G.I.Joe line, and I'm sure they'll be shorter than the upcoming Mattel 4" figures, so if this line ends it'll be incomplete and while Cyborg, Raven and Black Adam are great, I'd rather have Batman, The Joker and say Sinestro (Green Lantern is already available in another exclusive set, though it's not Hal Jordan).

Ok, I think that's enough of that... onto the reviews

1. Harley Quinn and Cyborg

-For their size, the sculpting on these figures is great, as is their appearance, they look like they stepped out of the game, this pretty much applies to all the figures
-The female figures, because of their size are particularly impressive, they aren't bulky and the level of articulation is very good
-Paint application is very good with relation to their size there is no paint bleed, well nothing major. The printed detail on Harley's clothes are very impressive, as I understand it the character's design is unique to the game.
-Cyborg's sculpt is very cool and there is a lot of detail in his armour, a lot of wires running here and there
-The lack of accessories is a real problem, particularly because of the nature of these two characters Harley Quinn should have a couple of revolvers, a cherry pie/bomb or a massive mallet, all three if possible. Unfortunately she has even less equipment than she does clothes!
-Cyborg's lack of accessories is also annoying, particularly when you see all the changes he goes through in the game during special moves, removable hands would have been a great option here so you could attach a few accessories like an arm cannon.

4/5 Behind the times for both

2. Superman and Nightwing

-The costumes look amazing, particularly Nightwing's, the paint applications look awesome, I think this is a great version of that character
-Nightwing comes with an accessory: His Escrima sticks!
-Superman's cape is cool it's sculpted to look  as though it's fluttering int he wind

-Superman is too 'small' in the game he is a much 'larger' figure, they should have bulked him up instead of using the standard body
-Although I am happy with the inclusion of the accessories, only one fits into his hand propely. While taking the photos, I almost lost it. In addition to this it would have been great to have a staff included as well, to mimic more battle scenes from the game.

Superman 3/5 Behind the times
Nightwing 4/5 Behind the times

A night out in Gotham

3. Aquaman and Black Adam

Comparison of the detail in the outfits
- Sculpting on both figures is great, the armour on Aquaman looks very realistic and the texture on Black Adam's costume looks amazing, it's a simple costume yet the detail makes it stand out
-The Sculpting on Black Adam's face is spot on
-Aquaman's face is impressive, but for different reasons, the sculpt is very realistic, which is different from all the other figures so far, his head is also larger
-Both of these characters are very 'bulky' that is to say, they are large so when you place Adam next to Nightwing you can see the difference int heir physique. This is something I wish had occurred with Superman
-Aquaman has a trident, which is ideal!

-Aquaman's head is bigger than all the other figures, and while I like the sculpt, it doesn't fit in with the rest of them
-Aquaman's left hand snapped off as soon as I tried to turn it,
it's a real issue with these figures, well some of them, at first you're terrified of moving them because they may just snap. However, once you have loosened the joints they're fine. The issue is, I hate having to put extra work into toys I paid for, I mean they're not customs so why do I need to drill them and add pins? Why do I need to use steam to loosen joints? This is not an issue with other toy lines I've been collecting lately, even the bridge direct which is a new company do not have these issues.

Aquaman 2/5 Behind the times
Black Adam 4/5 Behind the times

4. Flash and Raven

Stand not included
-This is a set I really enjoyed, both figures look amazing, Raven is menacing and Flash's costume is very detailed
-Their size is great in comparison to some of the larger character's whose physique is very muscular
-You can put the flash in a running pose, one of his hands is sculpted as an open palm

-Like some of the other characters, Raven could have used some accessories, like a raven or some purple 'magic' effects or attachments
-These figures, most of them, would benefit from figure stands, I've put all my DC stuff up on a shelf formerly reserved for the Bridge Direct's Hobbit line and some of the female figures can't stay standing and create a Domino effect, this never happens with my G.I.Joe's as they are always on stands.
-This is more of a thought than anything else, some figures should come with swap-able hands, this would be great for the Flash.

Flash 4/5
Raven 4/5

Well, that's all guys, now I just need to get the Catwoman/Doomsday pack and I think there's a few good ones coming up, there is a photo of a prototype 3 3/4" Joker out there. I've also got most of the latest Bridge Direct Hobbit stuff, which I hope to review, some day...

Saturday, 19 October 2013

JAC's Lament: The Bridge Direct and the Hobbit

The Bridge Direct, last year it was my favorite toy company, why? because it was making toys for The Hobbit. I love all the works of J.R.R Tolkien, from The Silmarillion to The Lord of the Rings. I don't claim to be an expert on Tolkien but I've been trying to read through as many of his works as possible and I can tell you some are harder to read than others. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy took me a whole year to get through, The Silmarillion I started reading in 2002, put it down and only finished it early in 2013.

What's the point I'm getting to? Well, it took me only a few days to read The Hobbit when I was in year 10. It was this book which made me fall in love with Middle Earth and made me want to know all about it! I was amazed when I found out Gloin was Gimli's father, even more so when I found out Legolas was Thranduil's son! The Necromancer a weakened Sauron and the idea that Saruman once led a white council against him.
I love the battle of the five armies Orcs, Goblins and Wargs vs Drarves vs Elves and even Eagles! the way that Bard shoots down Smaug the golden with a single black arrow! This book had everything! I like most of the stuff that Jackson has done, and like the original books there's somethings that work better than others. But I think that's something I should save for another post...

I love 3 3/4" so I was so excited when The Bridge Direct released their The Hobbit line. I wanted this scale when Toy Biz had their highly successful line. I had always wanted the toys based on Bakshi's film, but couldn't afford them. Then I wanted to get Toy Vault's Lord of the Rings figures based on the books, I couldn't find those anywhere and even if I had I couldn't have been able to afford them, this is similar to what happened to the Toy Biz figures, I have a lot of them, I don't have all of them. The Bridge Direct was going to offer me an opportunity I'd never had before, to collect an entire line of toys based on Tolkien's work. As you know I've been doing just that: I have every single figure they've released so far. Some of them in multiples, as you have noticed from my customs. I had to order the Goblin King and Thorin pack from England because I couldn't find it anywhere. I am currently in the process of finding all the 6" figures, just so I can have them all! Those I may keep in their original box. I have paid full price for all of them too by the way!

When I noticed that there were rumors of the line coming to an end, I began buying their other toys (The Bridge Direct), to give away as gifts etc, recommended Pinkie Cooper and their flying super hero stuff to friend of mine looking for gifts. I can't claim that I have much influence anywhere, but I must say that I am very disappointed in their post, which you can read at the start of this 'article'. It reveals a very disappointing line, particularly for the 3 3/4" figures, I know I will buy it, I can always use the others for more customs. Thranduil does need Elven Guards after all.

I can even say that if all they released this year was the remaining Dwarves, I would not have complained if the line ended after that, but they haven't done that, despite the fact that fans have been very vocal on facebook, the company seems to ignore us completely. They couldn't even release just the Dwarves... Keep in mind that when this line came out I could see entire armies on my shelf, along with all manner of monsters and Trolls not to mention Smaug himself! I had high hopes for this line. Now we'll be lucky if 'demand warrants' any more figures.

Now, we can all help by buying the figures at full price, I think however, that most serious collectors have already done that, so what is going on? I don't know and The Bridge Direct doesn't seem to want to enlighten us, so this makes matters very difficult. Anyways, this is essentially a rant, so if you've made it this far down, you deserve a prize of some sort. All I can offer is that I will post a review of the remaining Injustice toys over the next week.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Mirkwood Elves

Hello all,

Just put together some quick The Hobbit Elf customs, not the 'flashback armoured elves' wouldn't that be awesome? I'm a little worried the line won't last long enough for army builders. I mean, I remember that back in toy biz's day they were constantly releasing stuff.

Anyway, hope you like them, I'll try to differentiate them more from the main legolas figure when I think of how to do it, if I feel it's necessary. Most pictures I've seen if elves in the upcoming movie shows there's not that much of a difference clothes wise all of them wear green so...

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


Yes! I'm still here!

Just thought I'd update you on what's going on with me:

1. I've been real busy, so much so this is literally the first time I've checked on my blog. I'm as popular as ever...

2. I've been cherry picking Masters of the Universe classics for a while. But I finally decided to spring for a subscription in 2014!  I'm not completely sure that was such a great idea...

3. Got a few customs in the works, a 'beast form' Catra and my version of an oliphaunt.

4. I've also got a few more injustice figures, which I may review...

5. In game news... Haven't had the the time to finalise the zombie version of the game. Well time's one reason... Lack of interest, the second.

6. I'm hoping the Bridge Direct continues to release 3 3/4" figures. Otherwise I've cleared a lot of shelf space for nothing!

Anyways, nice chatting to you all!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Behind the Times: Injustice Gods among Us

Hello all, did ya miss me? I'm back for yet another behind the times so read on if you're interested in the figures.

I love Injustice: Gods among us is an awesome game, I've really enjoyed it! I've also downloaded all the skins and extra characters including the Scorpion add on. It's the first game of this type that I have ever really enjoyed. I found out about the toys before the I had heard about the game. I love the idea that there are finally going to be some 'good' 3 3/4" scale DC based figures. I ordered the first two sets from BBTS, the other two Cyborg and Harley Quinn and Raven and the Flash are on their way here as you read this. The first two sets are made up of Solomon Grundy and Wonder Woman and Green Arrow and Deathstroke There are some great in depth reviews on these characters on the web. I will give a general overview, likes and dislikes etc for each set and a score for each at the bottom.

Solomon Grundy and Wonder Woman

-The scale, this applies to both sets obviously. However, this is also an issue... read on later. To be honest all other attempts at this scale by Mattel have ranged from O.K. to terrible, I just saw some of the Superman figures at K-mart and they demonstrate exactly what I mean. Unfortunately, they focus too much on the 6" line, neglecting the 1:18 scale collectors. Unfortunately, it seems like Hasbro is following in their footsteps... These figures are not by Mattel however, they are by DC collectibles
-Speaking of scale: Grundy is huge! he towers over all figures in his scale

-Articulation is great, definitely competes with the best Hasbro has to offer
-The costumes the characters wear are based on the game and aren't the traditional costumes they are known for, this may be a downside for some people, but to me it's great, I'm not a fan of Wonder Woman's traditional outfit

-The knives sticking out of Grundy's back are all pretty straight, I heard in another review that they came bent, but the package the figure comes in is designed so that they maintain their shape. maybe it's a running change?

-Grundy also has a 'hole' in his back where you can place his knife, which is the only accessory which comes with the set.

-I mentioned Wonder Woman's costume, it's really cool. I much prefer the 'armoured' look

-I absolutely hate it when I purchase a figure and it breaks as soon as I take it out of the package, particularly when it's a figure that isn't available anywhere I have easy access to. Wonder Woman's foot snapped as soon as I took her out of the package and tried to move it around, it may have something to do with the fact that the their joints are made up of 'clear' plastic which seems brittle. The same thing happened to my first Voltron Lion. I'm going to have to glue it back on!
Fatality! Or maybe a total... Injustice?
-While I'm discussing Wonder Woman's flaws, I'll have to add the fact that she has her fingernails 'painted' but it just looks like she has blood on her fingers. I couldn't get a good picture of that.
-The next major dislike are the lack of accessories, the only accessory is Grundy's knife, but both characters could really benefit from more for example, Grundy could have a tombstone, like the one he uses in the game. Wonder Woman should have a sword, shield and her whip note that I wrote should, because these are necessary accessories.

I give Grundy a 4/5
Despite the fact that I think Wonder Woman is a great figure, I give her 3/5 'Behind the times'

Green Arrow and Deathstroke

-Deathstroke looks awesome!
Weapons not included

-So does Green Arrow!

-The detail on each figure is amazing!

-Green Arrows bow is really cool and includes a 'string'

-Articulation for these figures is great allowing for many cool poses

-I am afraid to move one of Deathstroke's feet, there is too much paint caked on and I'm afraid it'll snap like Wonder Woman's. I have tried all the boiling water tricks etc...

-Lack of accessories is really a problem here, Green Arrow has his bow which is cool, but he could use an arrow or something. Deathstroke really needs accessories, the guns he has holstered are sculpted on, the rifle included is too big, like a cheap G.I.Joe rifle and too big for his hands. The guns and sword you see in the pictures are those I added from my bits box. Weapons are Deathstroke's thing... especially in the game, most of his special moves include a gun, pair of guns or a sword.

-The scale shows up here as well, with Grundy it's fine cause he's huge, with Wonder Woman it wouldn't be a problem if she were an 'average' height woman, but since she is an amazon, she should be bigger. Deathstroke and Green Arrow look tiny next to other figures of a similar scale. This is a problem for me as I like to display all my figures together, the only reason I really wanted DC figures in the 3 3/4" scale was so I could display them next to my Marvel Universe figures, as you can tell by the photos, this doesn't turn out so well... I'm going to need a whole different shelf for these!

I give Deathstroke and Green Arrow a 3.5/5 
'Behind the times'

Final Thoughts

I'm really enjoying this line and though I've spend some time on the negatives it's because I have to 'import' these and I always judge these figures a little harder. I'm really looking forward to Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Superman and I really want to see a Batman vs Joker pack (fingers crossed)! The one fear I have is that all the figures are all readily available at BBTS, does this mean they aren't very popular? I'm really concerned that this line won't last!