Kool Kollectibles content

31 Mar 2018

Hot Toys MMS423 Princess Leia (Hoth outfit)

There's never been just one iconic costume for Princess Leia, and her style from Hoth is as memorable as any of her other outfits. This new release from Hot Toys does it justice, just as their first figure with her classic Death Star costume.

Click through below to check out my full review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe to the channel and give the video a like :)

Packaging style is what we've come to expect for Star Wars related figures, so nothing too special to write home about. The cardboard insert looks nice, but Hot Toys continues their trend of using inaccurate photos for their figures (eg. they used the Death Star 2 in the background which was not in The Empire Strikes Back!)

She doesn't come with too many accessories, but what she does come with is nicely detailed. I won't bother using the breathing apparatus or welding goggles. But the blaster is nicely painted in glossy black with the silver tip, and she looks great holding it.

The costume is nicely tailored, with great stitch and patch work throughout. Early reports had people receiving figures with strange coloured dots near the areas of patchwork. Apparently this is ink to guide the factory workers and sewers, but luckily mine was fine.

My first figure arrived with a broken arm and Sideshow sent me a replacement body. It was an absolute pain the arse to push the pants of the new body in the boots. I had to use quite a bit of force and one of the little tools Hot Toys gives with their Iron Man figures. That was the only way to push the pant material into the boots without them looking too bunched. I would not recommending taking those boots off for any reason!

The boots are a nice fake leather type material, with good ankle articulation. The overall body articulation is also decent, but the suit does restrict it a little. But you can still get her into a decent pose to try and replicate her attitude.

The head sculpt has a slight difference to the prototype. I do think the head sculpt is good, but could have been better. From some angles it looks perfect, but from others it looks too thin in the cheeks. Still, it's instantly recognisable and on par with their ANH Leia figure.

Overall, it's awesome that we're getting more original trilogy figures from Hot Toys. I really hope they do a Han Solo and Lando Calrissian from Empire one day! If you're a fan of Star Wars, I'd jump on board and grab this figure while you can!

21 Mar 2018

Inflames Toys x Newsoul Toys Kung Fu Master aka Wong Fei Hung Deluxe Edition

Inflames Toys first came to my attention when I saw amazing photos of their Journey to the West characters. I picked up the core characters from that series, and you can check out some of my reviews here:
- Tang Sanzang and White Dragon Horse
- Zhu Baijie (Pigsy)
- Sha Wujing (Sandy)

Those were and still are some of the best figures in my collection, rivaling anything from the top manufacturers like Hot Toys, Blitzway, and Sideshow. Their figures have certainly some of the best costume tailoring and attention to detail in the accessories.

When I saw their announcement for the classic Jet Li character Wong Fei Hung from the HK kung fu classic Once Upon a Time in China, it was an immediate must-have. The Deluxe Edition looked to be an incredible set, and now that I have it, it was well worth the wait!

Click through below to see my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! Make sure to subscribe and give the video a like too! :)

The packaging is fairly nondescript, with a shot of the figure replicating a movie promotional photo I believe. The Deluxe Edition lion head is boxed separately in a small black box. So the packaging itself doesn't really even give a hint of the awesomeness within!

It's when you complete the unboxing and gaze upon everything that is included, and the high standard of quality that the contents, that the amazing job by Inflames and Newsoul becomes evident. The array of accessories is impressive, particularly with the parts that make up the flag.

The main fabric part of the flag is printed beautifully with the tiniest of details. The flag post itself is metal, which adds some needed weight and stability. The tip connects to the red tassels, and then the mid-section is made up of cardboard with patterned and glued ornaments. Everything is then tied to the flag post via fabric straps. The assembly instructions are quite easy to follow and the result looks amazing.

The Deluxe lion head is also incredibly detailed. The end coat with its patterned finish and fur edging is just beautiful. The head itself has all the typical features of a classic Chinese lion, with the fur-surrounded eyes and ears, and the mouth that can open and close. The ears were a bit fiddly to insert, and I had to widen the holes with some thick needles. Other than that, it was fairly easy to assemble and tie the red floral bow to its head around the ears.

Other accessories include the gold medal and a swap out costume. I didn't bother swapping out the clothes, as all the details in the little buttons and straps around the ankles looked too time-consuming to do. I remember how long and frustrating it was just to swap out the costume on the old Hot Toys DX04 Bruce Lee, and I just didn't have the patience to do it with this figure.

Luckily the base costume still looks amazing, and still reflects the character's iconic Chinese Kung Fu Master style. The long outer cloak has a great wire at the bottom edge so you can pose it as you like. The flow of the arms works well in most poses, and the underlying pants and shirt don't restrict the articulation.

With the assortment of hands and fan accessory, you can get him into pretty much any iconic pose from the movie. I just wish they had included sunglasses, a hat, and umbrella to give the option for the other classic costume he had.

Perhaps the only area of the figure to be careful of is the rooted hair. It's beautifully tied tightly back into a long braid, but stray strands may appear if you touch it too much. I had a few loose strands that I used some pomade to style back. It worked well, and the rooted hair and braid gives a lot of realism to the figure.

I think the head sculpt likeness is great, and matches well against Jet Li's youthful look in the movie. The paint application is pretty nice too, with some realism that Inflames did not have in their more flat paint application of the Journey to the West figures.

Overall, with the costuming, fantastic underlying body, rooted hair and great facial paint app, this ranks right up there with the best 1/6th scale figures in my collection. Displayed with the other Inflames figures, they really do show off the superior tailoring that Inflames are now rightfully praised in the collecting community. They have found and established their niche with characters from Chinese classical mythology and movies, and they do it so well.

Their upcoming figures demonstrate how they are also pushing the limits in terms of 1/6th scale muscular seamless bodies and paint application. Inflames and Newsoul Toys are definitely a collaboration to watch out for!

20 Mar 2018

Hot Toys diecast MMS378-D17 Iron Man MkVI

After realising how underscaled the diecast Iron Man Mark 3 figure was in comparison to the more recent diecast War Machine Mk1, it was a no-brainer for me to get the new Hot Toys diecast Iron Man Mark 6 figure. The War Machine and this new Iron Man complement each other perfectly.

Click through below to check out my review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can give the video a like and subscribe to the channel! :)

The box art and packaging design is the standard style for the Hot Toys diecast figures. The out slip box covers the foam interior that houses all the accessories very well. This set comes nicely decked out with all manner of swap out armour parts and head sculpts and a diorama base. The only thing I wish for would be a totally unhelmeted head sculpt.

The Sideshow exclusive accessory is a head sculpt that has a light up blue feature. I've been told it's from the scene in Avengers where Thor attacks the Quinjet, and Tony Stark grabs the helmet to wear just before he goes out to attack Thor. It's a very brief scene, and the exclusive seems rather pointless. If you're getting this exclusive from Sideshow for no extra cost then that's OK, but I would not recommend paying extra for it from HK just to get this additional headsculpt.

There are so many swap out parts for battle damage and hands to replicate pretty much any scene from the movies. The unmasked head sculpt is fantastic, with a great likeness and extremely realistic facial paint application.

The light up features are also plentiful, but I didn't even bother trying to put all the batteries in. I've tried that with the older Mk3, and that was an exercise in frustration that I just didn't want to repeat! Needless to say I always display my figures without batteries, and I would hate to leave batteries in and have them leak!

Even without batteries, the figure still commands a lot of presence on display, and looks amazing from almost every angle. The War Machine is still just a tad larger (those WM feet are a little ridiculously big I think), but displayed together they scale quite well, unlike the Mk3 that was quite a lot smaller.

The paint application on the armour is superb, with just the right amount of battle damage that can be supplemented with the swap out battle damaged parts. All the joints and moveable parts seem fairly firm, with nothing overly tight that needed excessive force. I would be careful swapping out the hands though. Mine were quite tight and needed some hot water to soften up. I'd definitely soften them, and be careful where you place your fingers on the forearms when swapping out hands - do NOT place anywhere on the armour with excessive force in case you snap something off!

The articulation is amazing for such a complex figure. Nothing seemed overly fragile, but the creaking of the joints as you move them does scare me. From what I've seen, it's definitely a massive improvement over the original plastic figure release. The ankle articulation on the War Machine was done better in terms of rocker motion, but overall the articulation in both is fantastic.

For fans that are on the fence, I'd highly recommend jumping off and ordering this straight away! These Iron Man figures are generally pretty sought after and get very difficult and expensive to buy once they sell out at retail. With these diecast Iron Man figures, I don't think you can really make a bad call on getting them!

New acrylic cases for the display room

My display cabinets were definitely getting too crowded, so recently I decided to put some money aside to get some new acrylic cases made. The price of acrylic is pretty expensive, and custom made cases are generally more expensive than similar sized mass produced glass cabinets (eg. such as the Ikea Detolfs).

But I've pretty much run out of floor space, but can still stack some cases on top of existing cabinets. So I got a few quotes from some local South Australian acrylic case makers, and selected a place called Menzel Plastics. They had a great reputation, were the cheapest, but had an excellent build quality too!

I ordered 4 pairs of cases, and picked up the first two pairs recently. Click through below to check out my video showing how I've placed them and which figures I displayed. There are a few more pics below too. I should be picking up the other two pairs in the next couple of weeks. These should all give me some extra room to spread out the collection and display the figures in a less cluttered way.

Still some room for Tarkin and Palpatine on the right, and Hoth Leia on the left.

Love how the Bounty Hunters look with Han!

Still rearranging a few things, but overall pretty happy with this side of the room now. Stay tuned for more pics when the other two pairs of cases get picked up!

13 Mar 2018

BigBoysToysHK TNC-08 E.Honda

If you follow the Kool Kollectibles Facebook page and YouTube channel, you'll know that I've loved this series of Street Fighter world warriors by BigBoysToysHK. The style of the entire series has been one nostalgic home run after another, with excellent build quality and paint application throughout.

This latest release in E.Honda means the original 7 world warriors have now been released in the series, along with Akuma. All that remain are the 4 original bosses, and they've already teased Vega. To complete the original cast in this series will be a fantastic achievement for BigBoysToysHK, and will be cherished by Street Fighter 2 fans for many years to come!

Click through below to check out my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can subscribe and check out the other reviews I have from the series.

The box art follows the design of the previous figures, with gorgeous cover art and a velcro front flap that opens up to reveal the statue inside.

The design is consistent with the previous releases, with a nice super-deformed style that suits the source material well. The sculpt on E.Honda is beautiful, with all the usual shading in the skin to really bring out the musculature.

Some have complained that the hands for the Hundred Hand Slap are from both hands, but that is perfectly accurate to the game! The animation models clearly show that he uses both hands to perform the move, and the right compromise by BigBoysToys was to show all the hands whilst keeping the static right arm in place. I think it works well.

The sound and light up effects are nice as they usually are, and masking the sound button is certainly a lot of fun that brings back fond memories in the arcade. With the classic base and backdrop from his stage in the game, this is another beautiful release by BigBoysToys. I cannot wait to order Vega, and see how they design Sagat, Balrog, and M.Bison!

Blitzway Ghostbusters Special Pack

When Blitzway first announced that they would release the Ghostbusters characters from the classic 80s action comedy, collectors world wide were very excited. It's great when 1/6th scale companies tackle characters from these sorts of movies instead of the usual mainstream stuff.

After months of delays, the set was finally released in late 2017, and overall were definitely worth the wait! There are a few nits to pick too, and I go through all of that in my video review. Click through below to check out the video over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!

I ordered the Special Pack that came with the four main characters, Slimer, and the diorama police barricade. They were all packed in one massive box, with their classic call tagline on top. Very nicely done!

Opening the main box reveals the 4 figure boxes and the separate box for the Special Pack accessories. The main figure boxes are done in a very classy way, with real fabric name plates stuck to the front box art. Note that these are not held on by velcro, but some type of glue.

Each figure essentially comes with the same set of accessories, with a few minor variations between characters. Stantz comes with the ghost trap and googles, Spengler comes with the PKE meter, Venkman comes with folded gloves and cigarettes, and Zeddemore comes with the ghost trap and cigarettes.

Each of course comes with the proton pack, which is extremely detailed. I didn't check how movie accurate it is, but overall it looks fantastic. Note that the backpack is very fragile, with lots of parts that can break off. I almost made it through assembling all the figures without breakage, until I got to Zeddemore. I must have placed my hands in the wrong spot just once, which broke off the little silver antenna piece on the proton pack. Luckily I was able to superglue it back on.

They all come with an assortment of gloved and ungloved hands. The proton blast effect is also included, and can be attached to the tip of the wand for that shooting effect. I've kept that box as I don't intend on ever using it.

The last accessory to mention, and will never be mentioned or used again, are the absolutely ridiculous stands that are included. I am not sure what Blitzway was thinking in the design, but the whole assembly and use of the stands just does not work! With the proton packs on, the stand simply gets in the way. The standard Hot Toys crotch grabber is all that was needed, but the stand design they've developed is simply a waste of a nicely printed base! The support mechanism is just terrible.

Straight out of the box, the figures need a lot of futzing to look decent. The utility belts are placed too high up on the waist, so need to be taken off and loosened. The outfits themselves need a bit of water treatment too to loosen them up so that they look more natural on the figures.

I took everything off slowly and carefully, and was then able to futz all the accessories in slow time. I rearrange the hooks on the belts to be more accurate to the movie and give a bit of variation to each character. It takes a long time, but I think for figures like these it's all worth the time.

Placing the proton packs onto each figure is a slow and tiresome process because you're so worried about breaking something. The clasps that go around the waist were of particular concern, with lots of reports of breakages. To minimise the risk, I dipped both ends of the clasp in boiling water to soften the plastic. I managed to clip all the proton pack straps on without breaking them, which was great. The shoulder straps need adjusting too, so just vary the length to try and get them to support and hang on the shoulders as naturally as possible.

Once all setup, the team certainly looks fantastic together. I do think Blitzway definitely need to improve on their facial paint application though. The head sculpts are pretty good, but let down by a lack of detail and subtle shading variation in the paint.

Zeddemore is definitely a shade too dark which hides the sculpt detail. I also think his sculpt is a fraction too small. The other three have decent sculpts too, with Spengler being my favourite. But each has a very flat paint app that gives the face a somewhat plastic look without the needed realism that Hot Toys has. I've seen some repaints on the forums that proves the sculpts are great, so if only Blitzway had done better in that area, these would have been figures for the ages!

As they are, the figures are still an awesome set to have. The articulation is generally OK, and the variety of accessories certainly gives you all the pose options you would want in your display. With pretty good likenesses all round, these will be classic characters that you'll gladly show off in your collection for many years to come. They certainly look great with other classic action/sci-fi figures!

3 Mar 2018

Sideshow Zuckuss

Finally the last of the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back is here! Overall, really happy to have the troupe complete, but there are some aspects of Zuckuss that scare the crap out of me.

Click through below to check out my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles channel. Make sure to subscribe and give the video a like :)

As before, packaging is the usual black and grey style that really is getting a bit boring!

Zuckuss comes with even less than Dengar, with only another pair of hands and his rifle. Not sure if there's been much written about Zuckuss in other non-movie source material, but a few extras for the asking price would've been nice.

The details and paint app on the head sculpt are great. Sideshow does aliens really well, and it shows here. The tentacles are a softer plastic and curl around to the rear. The breather bottle is a little strange in that I think it's meant to just hang there. I did look for some place to clip it, but it just hangs near his arm. Just untangle it from the rear if needed.

The light tan coloured shoulder straps, pouches and layered skirt look really nice, with a detailed leather like appearance. The pouches even have their own magnetic clasp to open and close. The scariest part of the outfit is the cloak however. It's made out of a very coarse, almost sandpaper-like material. It's so rigid, it's almost guaranteed that this will crack or peel over time.

I tried minimising the bending of the arms as much as I could, whilst still allowing him to hold his rifle. The last thing you want is for the cloak to start peeling around his elbows where the creases appear when you bend his arms.

On the point of bending his arms, that's pretty much all the articulation you're going to get! On mine, the arms can barely rotate forward, and the legs can barely move too. I'm not sure if it's the underlying body or the suit that is restricting movement, but it's nearly impossible to get this figure into anything other than a static pose.

It's interesting that under that cloak, Sideshow still added quite a bit of detail. The boots and shin guards look decent, but will be mostly hidden by the cloak. He also has a nice pair of pants on, so it's good that Sideshow went to the effort to fully deck him out with clothes.

The biggest benefit to getting this figure is of course finally completing the bounty hunter troupe from The Empire Strikes Back. They look absolutely fantastic together, especially along with the Han in Carbonite set. Despite the concerns around the cloak material and articulation, I think fans of these bounty hunters will have a great looking part of their Star Wars collections for many years to come!

Sideshow Dengar

It seems a lifetime ago that Sideshow released some bounty hunters. The original releases of Boba, IG-88, and Bossk were definitely years ago, and the release of 4-LOM back in May 2017 was a good sign that more was to come.

And finally Sideshow released the last two remaining bounty hunters from that classic scene with Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, with Dengar and Zuckuss being released in quick succession. Although Zuckuss shipped first, I somehow managed to get Dengar first!

Click through below to check out my full review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe and give the video a like :)

Packaging is the usual simple style mandated by Lucasfilm. The photos of the figure are decent at least.

He doesn't come with all that much, and for the price that's a bit disappointing. I think the price range on this one should've been a little lower, but I think Sideshow were banking on the demand to complete the ESB bounty hunters.

The backpack is nicely done, with magnets to attach it to the back of the figure so there's no frustration in attaching straps. The weapons are nicely detailed too. Be careful inserting the pistol into the holster, but it should fit all the way in if you go slow. The assortment of hands aren't bad, and I suspect most collectors will chose those most like the movie pose.

The facial paint app is pretty good, but still lacking that extra realism from the likes of Hot Toys. The red around the scar isn't too bad, but I would've preferred it a bit deeper in colour. The eyes do have gloss, but still lack that realism of Hot Toys too.

The lower cowl is made of fabric, and it actually covers his head. But the upper part around the top of his head is actually sculpted very soft plastic that is removable. I guess they did that to retain the shape and style, but a fabric version would've stepped it up a notch in quality. I still think it looks pretty good, and can be rotate and tilted to capture the pose you're after.

As for posing the figure itself, articulation is extremely limited. On mine, the arms move fairly well, but the torso, hips, and legs can barely move due to the suit or the underlying clothing. The armour at least is nicely weathered. I thought it was too dark in some early photos, but in hand it looks quite nice.

The boots are also nice, with what seems to be fabric socks or anklets leading up to the shin and calf areas. All in all, you can get him into some poses that match his look in the movie quiet well. But if you're after something more dynamic, you'll certainly come away disappointed.

Still, if you've collected the other ESB bounty hunters, then this is a must-have in the collection. Displayed together, along with the recent Sideshow Han Solo in Carbonite set, they will certainly be an imposing part of your collection. Stay tuned for the Zuckuss review coming up next! :)