Kool Kollectibles content

8 May 2022

Lego Mandalorian Helmet set

Here's my quick look at the new Lego Mandalorian Helmet set. A much-improved version over the original Boba Fett set, with better proportions.

24 Apr 2022

Hot Toys TMS018 Captain Rex

I'm not a huge Clone Wars or Clone Trooper fan, and actually sold all my previous Sideshow Clone Commander figures a few years ago. But the recent Hot Toys Clone Troopers with head sculpts, namely Cody and Rex, looked too good for me to pass up.

The previous Cody was a nice figure, and this Captain Rex is no exception. Click through below to watch my review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to give the video a thumbs-up, and subscribe too for all my latest videos.

The set is the usual Hot Toys packaging, with a decent array of accessories. If you have the Cody figure, then you'll be pretty familiar with what you get with Captain Rex. The biggest improvement for me over the older Sideshow figure is definitely the underlying body, as well as some of the fine detailing in the armour and weapons. Hot Toys really does know how to make some things look very realistic.

Of course the other massive improvement is in the unhelmeted headsculpt. The old Sideshow version was actually one of their better sculpts, but the Hot Toys paint application and fine sculpting really take it to another level. I dont't think there are any other companies out there that release the consistent high standard across so many releases like Hot Toys does.

The magnetic chest pouch and jetpack make for very easy assembly when decking out the figure. The shoulder pauldron seems to be very securely glued in place, whereas I thought the Sideshow version was more of a floating piece. Either way, it's not too big a deal, and the articulation is not really hindered in any way.

The articulation has the usual constraints due to armour suits like this. But you can still get some great action or static poses that are more realistic and organic than the older Sideshow figures. I wish Hot Toys would provide a hand sculpt that better holds the helmet, but you can make do with one of the more relaxed hands despite it being a little loose.

Posed up next to Cody, these two do look fantastic. I got the two to complement the prequel Obi-Wan and Anakin figures, and they'll look great in the cabinet. The head sculpt are similar, obviously as they're clones, but there's enough difference to still make them interesting.

I think these will be all the Clones I need in my collection, But for those getting all variants, I'm sure they'll look pretty amazing in any collection. Certainly with a whole army, these make for a great centerpiece in many Star Wars displays.

4 Apr 2022

Transformers Masterpiece MP-52+SW Skywarp

This new MP-52 Seeker mold has been pretty sensational with the quick release of Starscream and Thundercracker, and now Takara have completed the core trio with the release of Skywarp. I for one am grateful that Takara did not take years to release these three like they did with the MP-11 mold!

Click through below to watch my video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to give the video a thumbs up, and also subscribe to the channel to stay tuned for upcoming Masterpiece reviews!

Packaging and accessories are pretty much as per the previous MP-52 releases. I'm still disappointed that Takara did not include a Reflector camera accessory for the Seekers to hold, but included yet another Megatron gun. The paint app of that is still too dark I think, especially compared to the guns provided with the MP-11 mold (see my video for the comparison).

Either way, the inclusion of the base is nice for those that like to display in jet mode. The thruster effect accessories attach easily enough and look decent. The face plates are essentially the same as those provided for Thundercracker, although the paint app is more of a flat finish as opposed to the slightly metallic finish on Thundercracker. I actually like that there is the slight variance between the three characters.

There was a lot of discussion upon early photos of Skywarp pointing out the distinct change in the hue of the purple. Not just between the old figure, but also compared to many of the promotional photos from Takara. But what I noticed was that those same promotional photos had different colour timing depending on the source website of the images.

I found that the same images from Japanese retail sites showed the purple to be the same as the released figure, with a highly saturated purple that is high in contrast. But then other US based website and some HK based websites showed the promotional photos with a much more lilac-like hue more similar to the previous MP-11 colour.

From those promotional photos, I was actually looking forward to the lilac colour, as I thought it suited the cartoon matte finish of recent figures. Early in hand photos showed the purple having an almost blue colour to it, so I was quite disappointed.

But once I got the figure in hand, it's very strange that the colour to your own eyes appears different to how it appears in photos and videos! The colour in hand is actually very nice indeed, and makes the figure stand out much more than the lilac colour.

The difference in purple is even more apparent in bot mode, and I think it's gorgeous! It matches better with the darker purple with the MP-29+ Shockwave, and is a nice contrast against purple Decepticon diorama backdrops.

As with the other two MP-52 releases, the paint app overall is fantastic. The very dark grey paint over most of the figure gives a much more premium look than the plain unpainted black shiny plastic of the MP-11 version.

I also love the touch of teal on the kneecaps, and the nice lighter grey around the air intakes and torso. I didn't have too many paint defects on my copy, apart from a tiny scratch on his shoulder. So overall, I'm really happy with how Skywarp turned out.

In terms of build quality, I'd have to say that Takara has improved with each MP-52 release. The joints on Skywarp are firm, but not too tight. The plastic also feels more sturdy, and I did not have any issues with cracking at the base of the rear stabilisers or the ankles.

I think these three new Seekers really are the pinnacle of cartoon accuracy in the MP series. Just the organic aesthetic nature of the design, the magical way in which the legs and feet transform, and the nice poseability really make these shine on display. Yes the torso sequence to fold the jet mode cockpit into the chest is still a pain in the arse, but the final bot mode result is superb.

The paint app really make these three standout, especially from their far more plasticky MP-11 predecessors. If you're an MP collector and love the G1 cartoon, then I could not recommend these enough. Seeing these standing on your shelf will definitely bring out all that 80s cartoon nostalgia! Here's hoping they announce a new Soundwave figure soon in this new cartoon-accurate style!

3 Apr 2022

Hot Toys MMS543D33 Iron Man Mk85 Battle Damaged Version

I still can't believe that I preordered the Hot Toys MMS543D33 Iron Man Mk85 Battle Damaged diecast figure back in 2019. It's taken almost three years to arrive, but it's definitely worth the wait!

Click below to watch my review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to give the video a thumbs up, and subscribe to the channel to stay tuned for all my upcoming videos. More pics and written thoughts below.

I did get the exclusive version from Sideshow, which comes with the holo shield. It has a pretty disappointing flimsy plastic quality to it, but apparently that's to reduce its weight so that the figure's arms can hold it up properly. Either way, I won't be displaying it like that in my cabinet, and it didn't cost any extra, so in the end it's not such a big deal to me.

The other accessories are decent, but I probably won't use many of these either apart from the base and the finger clicking nano gauntlet hand. I tried as many of the light up features as I could be bothered to. It's a pain in the arse getting the panels off and inserting the numerous batteries, so I just tried the helmet and the toros, and gave up on the rest. I don't really like the use of the electronic features in my display. To me, this figure was designed for a single pose, and we all know which one that is.

Once set up in that iconic pose, this figure just looks amazing. The head sculpt I think is fantastic, with a good likeness and the usual Hot Toys amazingly realistic paint application. Swapping it out initially was difficult, but the trick is really to pull the head sculpt down towards the chest and it removes quite easily.

The rest of the figure has some pretty great articulation to allow for the kneeling pose. The shoulder armour seems to be a different design to my other Iron Man figures, and is flexible enough to move out of the way to allow the arms to move freely.

The bicep armour has a nice feature where it can be raised out and up, which then gives more range of motion of the elbow. This allows for a pretty deep bend at the elbow for that finger snapping pose.

The figure looks pretty great from any angle. The battle damage on the armour, particularly from the front, looks decent to me. There were some complaints that the paint app was too flat or not detailed enough, but I think the battle damage comes across quite nicely. The red parts of the armour have a decent transition from shiny red to a more matte finish around the battle damaged areas.

It certainly goes well with the scarring and blood streaks on the head sculpt itself. You could use the detail helmeted head sculpt, but I think most collectors buying this will just use the unhelmeted sculpt.

Getting the figure into the kneeling pose is pretty straight forward. However, the figure does end up resting on the inner knee brace that is just a plastic piece to the side of either knee. I worried that this may bend or crack over time due to the weight. I was also concerned that the paint on the figure would react and be damaged by the paint on the base. This sort of chemical reaction occurred with the previous Hot Toys Robocop figure when it was placed seated in the Robocop chair.

Since I was paranoid about resting the figure on the knee braces, and damage to the paint over time, I decided to use a few small pieces of the black foam from the packaging as cushioning under the knees and ankles. I'm hoping that over time the black foam will prevent any damage to the knees.

Together with some other Iron Man diecast figures, it's clear that the scale was smaller with the earlier figures such as the Mk3. In comparison, the more recent Mk6 fits better in scale with the MK85. But I still love the Mk3, and display it on top of it's Hall of Fame styled base, which gives the illusion of increased height.

Together with the other Endgame figures such as Captain America and Thor, the trio definitely makes for a great centrepiece in the collection. I'll definitely be displaying them like the photo below in my glass cabinet. They're three great figures from perhaps the most iconic movie in the past decade.

I'm glad I've pretty much got all the figures I wanted from Infinity War and Endgame. I'll have to see how the rest of the MCU Phase 4 turns out before I decide on any further Marvel figures. But at least this core trio makes for a perfect MCU core cast for me!

14 Mar 2022

Lego 75327 Luke Skywalker Red Five Helmet

It's been a while since I received anything that I preordered. But at least Lego haven't been too delayed in getting their stock out. Here is my quick look at the new Luke Skywalker Red Five Helmet set.

Looks pretty good setup next to the Sideshow X-wing Luke 1/6th scale figure and the Lego UCS X-Wing.

4 Jan 2022

MP-53 Skids and MP-54 Reboost

The Honda City licenced release into the Takara Transformers Masterpiece series shouldn't really be a surprise for fans. Takara loves their official licences for the carbots, and it was only a matter of time for them to make a Honda release. It's only fitting that this release has been timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Honda City Turbo car from the 80s.

It's definitely a design from the earlier era of the Masterpiece figures, being very similar to the style and aesthetic of the Datsun and Lancia series of figures. I think it looks pretty nice, and still fits in with the overall cast of characters.

Click the link below to watch my video review of both figures on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to give the video a thumbs-up, and subscribe to stay tuned for the upcoming MP-52+ Skywarp review!

Packaging is the usual MP styled artwork, so you know what you're going to get. I'm still not a fan of the collector card art, but I guess they just get packed away into the drawer anyway. Accessories aren't all that much to write home about, and is definitely a lot less than more recent cartoon-accurate releases.

What you do get is decent in quality, with the chromed weapons definitely giving that G1 vintage toy weapon vibe. The chrome is good quality, so no issues there. It's a shame that Skids did not include the little Honda Motocompo. But I think the red variant that comes with the Reboost repaint is inline with the prevalent style and combination of car and scooter packages being sold in the 80s.

The motorbike does fold up to some degree to pack into the rear boot of the car. But it's a bit of a pain getting the handlebars back out of their folded position, so I won't be doing it again any time soon. Plus I think it looks better next to the car mode and the holographic mini-figure.

Car mode paint app is excellent on both figures. Everything on my copies is sharp, with no colour bleed or chipping. It's pretty rare these days that MP figures don't have some major controversy in paint application or plastic quality. But these two feel and look very sturdy.

Even the attention to detail to internal features is great, with very nice touches such as painted engine details under the bonnet. The decals and paint for the Honda logos and number plates is also very well done. I love the tamped on Turbo labels on Skids in particular.

The transformation is much simpler than recent, more cartoon accurate characters such as Sunstreaker and Hound. The sequence is much more reminiscent of earlier releases such as Prowl, Wheeljack, and Bumblebee.

That's not to say the transformation doesn't have its fiddly parts. Rotating and folding in and out the arms is perhaps the most difficult part, and getting the torso fixed under the armpits properly is also fiddly. But overall, it's a pretty nice, simple, and intuitive transformation that ends in a pretty damn nice looking bot mode.

I think the articulation in bot mode is pretty good too. Shoulders and elbows have a good range of motion, and I love the ankle rocking motion. The hips are on some soft ratchets, and do not move backwards behind the hip. Some collectors have complained about this, but I think that's pretty natural so I don't have any issue with it.

With the hips, knee, and ankle articulation, both figures can get into some decent walking and action poses. The head sculpts look nice too, and similar to the older figures do not have any swap out face plate features that have been a nice addition to more recent characters.

Together with the rest of the cast of MP characters, both Skids and Reboost fit right in perfectly. Yes, the shoulders are not cartoon accurate, but I think that was a wise decision by Takara on this one. The cartoon design in the shoulders is pretty ridiculous, and looks very weird. I think this design, which is more aligned with the G1 toy, is definitely a better looking choice.

For those that love the Diaclone repaints, Reboost fits right in with other red repaints. When MP-53+ Crosscut releases in a month or two, I'll have to decide which of the repaints I keep in car mode! Either way, it's always great to get another G1 character in the MP lineup.

Here's hoping Takara announce more carbots in 2022, such as Trailbreaker, Hoist, Jazz, and Mirage!

1 Jan 2022


I love when Lego releases a new big UCS Star Wars set, and this new AT-AT is no exception! Click the link below to watch my video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Progress photos are further below.

18 Dec 2021

Hot Toys MMS588 Lando Calrissian

Any day that Hot Toys releases an original trilogy Star Wars figure is a good day for me! It's great that with this release, Hot Toys has tackled a character that hasn't been done for years in this scale, and is a massive improvement of course from the old Sideshow Lando figure.

Click the link below to watch my video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can subscribe too and stay tuned for upcoming reviews!

The set doesn't come with too much, but I guess there really isn't all that much to include from The Empire Strikes Back for Lando Calrissian. What has been included is all nicely done to do a great job for essentially a pretty simple figure.

The cardboard Cloud City backdrop is a little tacky though, and the way the flaps fold and connect is not very secure. But at least the weapons, communicator devices, and swap out hands are all well done. The cape is a nice felt material with some good stitching, although it is a pain to attach to the figure and look natural (more on that later).

The figure itself has a fantastic head sculpt. The slight smile is OK, but I actually would've preferred some sort of cheeky smirk. Either way, it has the typical Hot Toys realistic skin tone and fine texturing in the hair. The figure's outfit is beautifully tailored, and my favourite part of the figure. The shirt is a similar material to the cape, and is tucked in nicely and moves/folds in very realistic ways.

The pants are also well tailored, fitting well over the padded body. The belt looks a little plasticky, but from normal viewing distances is OK. The boots are the typical pleather material used for previous Star Wars figures, and still look nice with the outfit.

As mentioned earlier, the cape is a pain to put on the figure. It has movie-accurate straps that go over the shoulders and under the armpits. Just be careful in pulling on the elastic straps to make sure the collar can fit snugly around the neck. There is a small wire in the collar to bend it around the neck once you have the cape oriented the right way.

Eventually you can get it to sit quite naturally. It does tend to balloon out at the rear, but that's mostly hidden on display so just try to make the folds look natural from the front. The gold inner lining is a nice contrast to the baby blue material of the outer cape and shirt. I actually used a light iron to get out some wrinkles out of the box. Using a bit of water spray and the iron helped to tame it a bit.

Once set up, the figure does have a lot of shelf presence, and looks fantastic for such a simple figure. Together with the rest of the Empire Strikes Back rebels, the glaring omission of a Han Solo from the movie is readily apparent. All figures that Hot Toys have released from Episode 5 have been fantastic figures.

I really do hope that Hot Toys announce more Han Solo figures soon, as I would love to have a variant from Empire Strikes Back as well as his Endor outfit from Return of the Jedi. Here's hoping 2022 brings some good news for Star Wars collectors!

Hot Toys MMS557 Thor from Endgame

I received the Hot Toys Endgame Captain America recently, and now another of the core trio from that awesome movie has finally arrived in Fat Thor! I normally don't like electronic features, but found them on this figure to be really enjoyable to mess around with!

Click the link below to check out my review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe and stay tuned for upcoming reviews (hopefully Iron Man Mk85 Battle Damaged version comes soon!)

The set comes with a decent array of accessories, with my favourite being the light up Stormbreaker (which is a larger size than that provided with the Infinity War figure) and Mjolnir. The swap out hands hold the accessories well, and the lightning effects are a nice transluscent soft plastic with no major risk of snapping.

The worst part of the accessories is the flight stand for the base. They should've just included the standard crotch grabber. It's nea impossible to get the flight stand waist support around Thor's fat belly anyway, so it ends up being pretty useless. 

I normally don't like electronic effects, or the typically toyish plastic add-on accessories like the lightning effects. But on this Thor, they both actually work really well together to sell that look from the movie.

The paint application on the weapons is particularly excellent. They look chromed/metallic when the lightup effect is off, but when turned on have a bright transluscent cloud effect from within the weapon blade. It really does look fantastic.

The lightup effects on the torso are also pretty good, and are quite bright at their connection points to the body. Adding all the accessories and turning on the lights does make for a pretty impressive display piece. Even without the lights turned on, I think it still looks pretty damn good.

The hard molded torso piece gives him that hilarious fat belly, and it makes for a nice difference to previous figures with his standard nicely cut body. The only Thor figure I have is the old Light Asgardian Armour version from The Dark World. Pretty nice contrasting figures in the collection.

I also think the new headsculpt is a better likeness to Chris Hemsworth, also the older figure is still pretty good. Both figures for me have pretty limited articulation, and mine will be pretty have these museum poses in my display.

The torso, being hard molded, is definitely restrictive. But even the pleather pants are quite tight, so I don't think you'll have Thor doing anything too dynamic for too long in the display. The arms are a soft rubbery type material, so I would avoid leaving them bent at the elbow for any length of time.

Now that I have Fat Thor and Captain America from Endgame, I only have the Iron Man Mk85 Battle Damaged figure left to complete my Endgame trio. I preordered that figure almost 2.5 years ago, so it's been a very long wait! Hopefully that releases late 2021 or early 2022, and I hope it's a worthy addition to complete my trio!

5 Dec 2021

Lego 40483 Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber

Lego has a tradition of giving out freebie gifts with their larger Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series sets. This year is no exception with this new Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber set being sent out with orders of the new UCS AT-AT.

Click through below to check out my quick review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! Make sure to like and subscribe to stay tuned for the upcoming review of that massive AT-AT set!

27 Nov 2021

Lego 76188 Classic Batmobile, Batman, and Joker

Loved watching the classic 60s Batman TV series during all the re-runs in the 80s. It was pretty much compulsory viewing for kids after school here in Australia! Great that Lego released this set, but why on earth did they leave out Robin?!?

Click through to watch my quick review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can subscribe to stay tuned for upcoming reviews in Dec!

24 Oct 2021

Transformers Masterpiece MP-52+ Thundercracker

It's great that Takara aren't wasting too much time releasing the original core three Seekers in this new MP-52 mold. It took them years to eventually release Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp in the old MP-11 mold, but thankfully all three will be released this year.

Thundercracker is second in the MP-52 mold, and the beautiful baby blue paint app in this new style does not disappoint! Click through below to see my review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel, and scroll further down for more pics and thoughts! Don't forget to give the video a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel for more review soon!

Box art is the typically Masterpiece style, and the accessories are similar to those provided with Starscream. Thundercracker doesn't come with any cartoon episode or '86 movie type accessories though, which is a real shame. I would have loved a small Reflector in camera mode for Thundercracker to hold, but Takara seem to ignore Reflector.

As with Starscream, I think the jet mode looks fantastic, and I actually prefer it to the MP-11 mold. Yes, the underside is perhaps not as sleek, but I actually think it looks much nicer from every other direction. I love the properly coloured blue nose cone, the cluster bomb styled underwing weapons, and the panel lining accentuated by the awesome blue paint app.

The unpainted blue plastic of the MP-11 repaint looks rather dull in comparison, with a very slight green tinge and translucency that cheapen its appearance. The silver air intakes and chest area look pretty nice, but even the MP-52+ matt grey painted finish looks great too in keeping with the cartoon aesthetic.

The transformation into bot mode was every bit the pain-in-the-arse I remembered from Starscream. It was slightly easier this time around, and I feel the joints are a little tighter and stronger on Thundercracker. But areas of the transformation, such as the collapsing of the chest area and the pegging in of the air intakes, are still fiddly and annoying.

But at least the end result is worth the struggle, with a gorgeous bot mode in this iconic colourway. I love the cartoon touches such as the lighter blue knee caps and the correct upside down insignias on the wings. As I mentioned in the original Starscream review, the MP-52 mold is a massive upgrade from the MP-11 mold.

That old mold really does look dated now, especially in bot mode. The body proportions and style of the new MP-52 mold are so much more refined and organic. Some people really dislike the less busy and matte finish of the newer figure, but I personally think it's a huge improvement over MP-11, as there should be for almost a 10 year difference in engineering.

It's a shame that Hasbro Asia no longer provide the free collector coin or pin with the figures anymore. I think the last one they did was for MP Arcee. It's disappointing that they didn't do one for Starscream or Thundercracker, but it will be interesting to see if they randomly do it for the upcoming figures in the series.

In the end, for collectors like me that love the original cartoon, this new Seeker mold is perfection. I think the overall QC is better on Thundercracker than it was on Starscream. I had no cracks in mine, although there are still the few obligatory minor paint blemishes. I think every one of my MP figures has some sort of minor paint defect. Considering even my Bandai SoC Voltrons have some tiny blemishes too, I'm just used to these Japanese robots not being perfect in every possible way.

Looking at this pair in my shelf though, along with other Decepticons like MP-36 Megatron and MP-29+ Shockwave, these MP Decepticons really are as perfect as an old 80s G1 fan could possibly hope for. I cannot wait Skywarp to come at the end of the year, and just hope that 2022 brings more iconic G1 Decepticons into the MP series.

Pix Brix Street Fighter 2 puzzle sets

I stumbled across these Pix Brix sets over on the Big Bad Toy Store website. I'm a big Street Fighter fan since growing up playing the original Street Fighter 2 back in the days of actual arcade centres. These sets really spoke to my nostalgia of many things 80s and 90s. Being a brick building fan of Lego, these were pretty much a must-have for me!

Now the Pix Brix design of each individual piece is quite different to Lego, despite the very similar aesthetic on the packaging art! The build styles and technique are quite different too. You may get a better feel for this in some of the close up shots in my video reviews below over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can check them out, and scroll down further for more pics of the completed set.

It's great that each set comes with a character sheet with some decent artwork and character biography. The colour map to build each set is on the reverse side of each character sheet. I didn't recognise some of the artwork, but by all accounts they are orginal character art from the game.

Each set is 768 pieces, being 24 x 32 bricks in dimensions, taking the complete set to over 6000 pieces. At about USD$21 each, the price to piece count to pretty decent. Once completed and put together, the full size of the set really becomes apparent, and it simply looks fantastic.

Since they are brick built, the character portraits do look better when viewed from a small distance. But that's perfect for placing them on a book shelf, gaming desk, or in your display cabinet. I'm very much out of space these days, but will definitely need to find a spot to display this set.

For a bit more of a size comparison, here is the completed set with me on the couch! This set is perfect for Street Fighter fans, particularly those with fond memories of the original arcade game and core cast of characters. Highly recommended!