Kool Kollectibles content

27 Aug 2020

Blitzway Zorro (Alejandro Murrieta) from The Mask of Zorro

Back in the 1990s, one of my favourite action movies turned out late in the decade to be The Mask of Zorro! It featured Antonio Banderas that had that charisma about him, and it introduced me (and the world in general) to Catherine Zeta-Jones. They had the on screen chemistry that directors and movie goers love, and the swashbuckling action and music was right in the sweet spot for movies that I really enjoyed.

So when Blitzway announced they were going to do a Zorro figure from the movie, I was so happy to be able to add more characters to my fairly small collection of swashbuckling action adventure heroes! Luckily, the release turned out to be pretty nice overall!

Click through below for my full video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! Make sure to subscribe and give the video a thumbsup too! 😃👍

At around US$280, the price for this set is pretty high, even when compared to Hot Toys and Sideshow Collectibles figures. At least the quality of the outfit and accessories is of high quality. I like that the dagger and sword have what feels to be metal blades, and the medallion chain and cape chain are metal too. They add an extra premium feel to the outfit. The cape itself has a nice material that lies quite well on the figure too. The printing on it is nicely done, but be careful with the edge roping that seems to only be glued on. If that starts coming off, it might get a little untidy very quickly.

The unmasked head sculpt has a decent likeness, although I think having the pupils looking out slightly wider would help with reducing the cross-eyed look to it in front on views. The stranding in the hair is nicely detailed, but more skin texture in the facial paint app would elevate it to close to Hot Toys standard.

The masked head sculpt has a better likeness, with a more playful smirk that captures the character from the movie more accurately. It's a shame that the wide brimmed hat is not mixed media but molded plastic to the head. The mask itself is also sculpted and painted plastic, with fabric after the knot to give it more realism. Out of the box, the hat strap is behind the head, whereas in the movie it almost always hung in front of this face and neck. So I recommend untying it and moving it to the front, then doing a simple knot at the front. It looks much more movie-accurate and realistic that way.

Out of the box, the shirt sits very high on the shoulders so that he looks like he has no neck. You do have to spend a considerable amount of time tucking the shirt properly into the pants and lower then naturally onto his shoulders. It would be easier to do if the belt could be removed via velcro, but it seems to be molded so it's very hard to move and still tuck the shirt in. Use a flat headed small tool to push the shirt into the pants, and that should help.

Once you get the shirt sitting naturally, and then adding the weight of the cape, the outfit looks far better. I like the straps on the shirt which look realistic, and the pants are loose enough to get him into some nice poses. Unfortunately the boots are fixed semi-rigid plastic, so there is very little ankle articulation if any. In wide stances the figure looks strange because the feet can't be placed flat on the ground. But I usually have my figures in fairly static museum poses, so it's not that big a deal for me.

The choice of hands isn't all that extensive, but what is there can be used to capture his playfulness from the movie. I chose these hands in an attempt to replicate the scene where he is fighting against the guards at the house before he meets Elena. The sword looks great and the medallion gives a nice flair to the outfit as well.

Getting the scabbard to attach properly to the belt was a little difficult. The clips were small and trying to squeeze them into the attachments on the belt left me worried that I was going to break something. Luckily it all attached in the end with no problems, and I won't be removing it any time soon.

It's a shame there is no attachment for the whip, but I simply wedged it between the dagger hilt and his body to at least have the whip displayed with the figure. All setup with the accessories, it does make for a pretty great looking figure in the display cabinet.

I don't have many action adventure characters in my collection, so this was a great character to add some variety to the collection. It looks great displayed next to Indy and Jack here. It's great that there are companies like Blitzway willing to tackle different source material, and doing a nice job of it too.

I'll hopefully soon be getting the Threezero Rambo figure that looks superb. If there's any figure that looks to rival Hot Toys quality, it's that one! I don't think this Zorro reaches those lofty heights, but it's overall quality is still pretty good, and certainly better than the Sideshow human figures I have. All in all, if you're a fan of the movie and want something a bit different to the usual Marvel and Star Wars fare from Hot Toys, then this Blitzway Zorro will fit the bill perfectly!

12 Aug 2020

Hot Toys MMS551 Princess Leia and Wicket

Any original Star Wars original trilogy release by Hot Toys is usually a cause for celebration, and this new Princess Leia and Wicket set is no exception! This set is the perfect complement to the previous Endor Luke Skywalker release, with awesome work on Wicket in particular!

Click through below to watch my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can give the video a thumbs-up and subscribe too!

The set comes with a nice array of accessories, as you would expect in this price range. The 2-pack includes the battle damaged Death Star Trooper and Stormtrooper helmets as extra incentive to get the set instead of the individual figures. The weathering is very nice, and the internal details of the Stormtrooper helmet is great like it was one the Luke and Han disguise figures.

The printed bases are a little disappointing in that they aren't a sculpted diorama piece like the Luke figure had. But I guess there's only so much they could use that mold for apart from sand and snow! At least there is some foliage pieces to add around the stands to give that forest effect. The tree stump is perfect to hold the helmets.

The array of hands is pretty standard, but I do like Wicket's hands that use the same sort of tech as the previous Chewbacca hands. The weapons with Leia's pistol and Wicket's spear are also nicely sculpted and painted, although some mixed media on the spear would've been a nice extra touch. There is a bit of mixed media in the helmet, just like there was with Luke. They are essentially very similar helmets, with the main differences being internally where they need to fit around their respective head sculpts.

Leia's general outfit is nicely tailored, with a nice fine material too. Nothing hinders the articulation, but the boots need the usual care around the ankles. Make sure not to pull the pants out of the boots, because getting them back in properly would be an absolute pain in the arse I think!

Removing the white protective plastic around the neck was easy enough, but the rest around her upper chest is difficult. I ended up just leaving it there because I was going to display her in the poncho that covers it anway. They really should make it easier to remove.

Getting the pouch off the belt to slide through the poncho takes a bit of patience to delicate remove it without breaking anything. But once the poncho is one and belt tied nicely, she looks absolutely fantastic. The colour of green is quite movie accurate I think, and the material is nice without being too delicate. The thin edge wire allows a bit of control as to how it flows.

Wicket is definitely the highlight of the set. It would seem to me that Hot Toys has taken the lessons they learnt from the two previous Chewbacca figures, applied them to Wicket, and made a fantastic little representation of the Ewok.

The fur around the face and belly appears to have varying levels of dark wash/weathering between the single figure release and the 2-pack. For me, the amount of dark wash around the face and belly is a nice balance, with subtle effects that look very realistic in hand. I think the face sculpt is great, especially when the fur around the face is fluffed up a little to fill and spill out around the cowl.

The rest of the body had some internal fat suit applied, which I think hinders the articulation at the hips for the legs. But the level of articulation for such a small fat figure is quite nice, with all the range of motion you'd want in the head, arms, and legs.

As a character displayed on the shelf, it looks incredibly realistic, and perhaps a better use of the fur technology developed for Chewbacca. I just hope they decide to make use of it and announce other Ewok characters!

The head sculpt for Leia is a reuse of the Hoth Leia figure, with a slightly darker facial paint app. It's a beautiful sculpt and the realism in the skin texture is the usual high Hot Toys standard. The back of the hair comes off to accomodate the helmet, which does leave a noticeable gap near the braid when the hair is put back on. But in a usual display, it won't be immediately obvious to the average person.

The little hair pieces near the sideburns are an area of concern, so be very careful if you plan on putting the helmet on. For me, I'll never be putting on the helmet, especially when the instructions have a warning that prolonged use of the helmet may cause paint transfer onto the head sculpt.

As an accompanying piece to the Luke Skywalker figure, Hot Toys could not have done a better job! The diorama pieces all look fantastic with each other, and the extra helmet pieces really makes for a great display piece in the collection.

Now I just hope Hot Toys hurries up and announces an Endor Han, or at least a Bespin Han! I have no idea what the hold up is, but hopefully fans get the announcement we've all been waiting on for years now! In the meantime, if you're a Star Wars fan, I can't recommend this set more highly - get out there and add it to your collection now before you regret it!

6 Aug 2020

Collection Update - July 2020

Here's my mid-year collection update video. Hope you can check it out, and hear some thoughts about the things I also have coming up later this year. Subscribe to the channel and stay tuned for more reviews and pics over the next few months :)