Kool Kollectibles content

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!

17 Oct 2021

Hot Toys MMS536 Captain America

The Endgame version of Captain America was released by Hot Toys earlier in the year. But shipping delays really did affect the worldwide release of the figure, but I finally received my preorder from the local Australian distributor!

It was definitely worth the wait though! Click through below to check out my review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Scroll further down for some pics and more thoughts.

The set comes with a decent array of accessories, with my favourite definitely being the unmasked head sculpt. The default masked head sculpt looks a little undersized to me for the larger body. The swap out face plates are good for the odd action type photo opportunity, but for me this will be museum pose all the way (more on the restrictive suit later).

The unmasked headsculpt I think has a fantastic likeness to Chris Evans, and is scaled much better with the body. The face itself, and the added height with the hairstyle, just makes it suit better with the taller and bulkier body. It of course has the usual amazing Hot Toys paint app and skin texture.

The swap out hands are a decent variety for all sorts of poses. Glad they had one specifically for holding the shield. It is a pain in the arse to attach, especially with the tiny buckles, but following the instructions in the manual is probably the best way to do it.

The broken shield is a good option for those posing with the battle damaged Thanos. Hot Toys even fixed the orientation of the shield harnesses so that it sits right when he's holding it. But for me, I'll be going with the standard shield, which is still nicely weathered.

When I swapped out the head sculpts, I noticed a bit of blue dye from the collar had bled onto the neck piece. So I decided to use the plastic protection around the neck on the unmasked head sculpt in case the collar bled onto that too. Not sure if it will actually be a problem, but I'll err on the side of caution with this one.

Once set up, this figure does look very heroic. The body is definitely taller and bulkier than the old Golden Age Captain America figure I have. I think they did this so that the figure scales with their newer, larger Iron Man figures. The suit is very rigid and restrictive in its material, so crazy poses will be difficult to reach.

But luckily for me, I'm a terrible poser anyway. This thing looks pretty damn heroic just standing their, so that's how he'll be in my collection. This is perhaps my favourite of the Captain America suits, and I love how they incorporated the scales as an homage to the classic comic outfit for this version.

Hopefully I get Fat Thor and the battle damaged Iron Man Mk85 to close out the collection this year. I'm sure the big three will look amazing standing next to each other in the cabinet!

10 Sept 2021

Delays and upcoming preorders

It feels like ages since I've received anything on the collecting front! It's been mostly due to all the worldwide shipping delays on items that I have on preorder. But here's a quick video with me just summarising the things I have hopefully coming over the next few months.

23 Jul 2021

Mid-Year 2021 Collection Update

Before I forget, here's a link to my recent mid-year 2021 collection update video over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can check out the new home theatre room and my rearranging of stuff 😀

Transformers Masterpiece MP-52 Starscream

Controversy always tends to follow a Takara TF Masterpiece release these days, and even more so when the character has also been released by 3rd party companies. When it's a major character like Starscream, with a brand new Seeker mold, it's a recipe for heated debate and comparison. Add the potential for quality control issues, and it could be a disastrous release for Takara.

Hound turned out this way, with many reports of brittle plastic and breakages. There were some initial reports of cracked plastic on Starscream too, but I hoped mine would be mostly OK just as it was with Hound. In the end, mine had one small issue, but overall I think it's another fantastically designed figure from Takara.

Click the link below to check out my video review, and comparison with the old MP-11 Starscream, over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to give the video a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel too! 😁

Box art is the typical classic MP style, with some nice photos of the figure and included accessories. The figure is packaged in jet mode, so collectors like myself who prefer to display the figures in bot mode will have to transform at least once. This is OK, despite the transformation usually taking up to 60 minutes for me since I go so slowly.

The included set of accessories is decent, and follows the trend of Takara including homages to specific events in the G1 cartoon series. This time the set does not include the coronation kit with his crown, shoulder pauldrons and cape, but I believe this is included in Japan via a mail-in order once you buy all three new Seekers. Hopefully non-Japanese retailers are still able to sell this as a separate set.

What you do get is a decent flight stand that works better in jet mode rather than bot mode. It's a shame I can't use it with MP-11 since I'll be having that in jet mode now. The blast effects are decent, but like the other figures I won't tend to use them. The new Megatron gun is painted nicely, but does appear a lot smaller than previous Megatron guns that came with the previous Seekers.

My favourite of the accessories would have to be the swap out face plates. I love that Takara have made these over the more recent series of figures, and they really do add to the expressiveness of the characters. The smirk is such classic Starscream, and the one that I will use in my display.

As I mentioned earlier, there were reports of cracks in the plastic. Before I even took the figure out of the box, I checked one of the most commonly reported areas, being the base of the rear stabilisers. Sure enough, my right stabiliser had a tiny hairline crack at the base where the pin is inserted to allow the stabiliser to rotate.

I've rotated that part during the transformation, and it doesn't seem to get any bigger. It's hidden away under the folded wings in bot mode, so in the end it doesn't bother me too much. I was more worried about any cracks in the ankle joints that might affect the stability of the bot standing. Thankfully after checking both ankles, my figure doesn't have any cracks in that area, so the figure stands quite well.

Many people have said the jet mode is worse than MP-11, but I strongly disagree on that point. The paint app alone makes MP-52 stand out so much more. In fact, the panel details are made even more apparent due to the paint app, whereas the panel lines on MP-11 are barely visible since it's just unpainted grey plastic.

I'm also not bothered about the underside of the jet mode, where people would prefer it to be sleeker like the real jet. My thoughts on that are the same as for carbots, where I don't really care about how the car looks from underneath. If there are any design compromises to be made, and they make them to affect the underside as opposed to the top, that's perfectly fine to me. I display my cars and jets usually from the top or angled like the photo below. I don't display them with the bottom facing up 😆

I also love that the null rays are transformable this time, to give them the fatter look in jet mode and the sleeker look in bot mode. This is cartoon accurate and I love the way in which the transformation just rotates around to suit both modes.

The transformation to bot mode is perhaps not as complex as that for MP-44 Optimus, but still has its fair share of tricky parts. Similar to the way in which the panels fold away for Optimus, I love how the panels fold for Starscream's legs. They make for a beautiful cartoon silhouette much like MP-36 Megatron.

The clipping of the ankles into place does require a little force, so I am not sure if this is contributing to some of the breakages. I made sure to hold the pieces as close to the base of connection as possible when clicking together to reduce any torque or pressure. Some of the transformation videos I watched showed the fingers quite a distance from the point of connection, which always scares me. I applied this too when I unclipped the thigh area to extend the legs. By doing this, I didn't hear the rather unsettling crack that I heard in many videos.

The folding of the chest piece to reveal the faux bot mode chest went a lot smoother than I thought it would. The rotation of the nose cone had many reports of issues, but holding close to the base again made it a lot easier for me. As long as the folding is performed at the right angles, it will all collapse quite easily and fold up into the chest cavity.

One tricky part was clipping the top of the shoulder intakes into the peg at the rear. These never looked like the slots were aligned, but as long as you make sure the joint where the wings fold down are telescoped out, then this should help in pegging it all in place.

Lots of collectors seem to hate the use of faux parts, but for me I think it's design genius by Takara. They always do it as part of an integrated transformation sequence, and it allows for the best proportions in either bot mode or alt mode. In the case for Starscream, I think this design choice makes for a great jet mode, but also perhaps the best cartoon accurate bot mode ever made for Starscream.

There are also a lot of complaints about the lack of waist swivel. Again, I am completely in favour of this design choice by Takara. I would much prefer an unbroken centre chest piece, than have it split just so that I could rotate the waist. I think the character looks far better with an unbroken centre chest piece, and I would not really use the waist articulation anyway. I think the great ab crunch and other areas of articulation give the figure all the articulation points needed to get it into some awesome poses.

In comparing the bot modes of the old MP-11 to the new MP-52, it really is amazing at how much toy engineering has come in 10 years or so. The old Seeker mold was definitely great for its time, but now looks very dated in comparison to the new. The proportions in the chest and legs are the biggest difference for me, and how well the kibble is hidden in the newer Starscream.

People were reporting that the new Starscream was also far too short, which is simply not correct. It's perhaps only a few mm shorter than MP-11, noting that in my photo above I actually did not push the MP-11 loose torso all the way down properly. In looking at the old G1 character scale chart, I also think the new MP-52 scale in bot mode perfectly complements that of MP-36 Megatron and MP-29 Shockwave.

Some have also complained that the size of the head is too big. I'm not sure why that is, because I think it fits in well with the proportions of the body in bot mode. Other 3rd party figures, and even MP-11, have the head far too small for that pin head look. I don't think the head is so large that it looks like a bobble head. For me, it matches fine, and looks great with the swap out face plates.

Another concern of collectors was the darker shade of grey in the paint application. I think in some photos the colour does appear too dark, but in hand I find the colour perfect. Compared to the unpainted plastic of MP-11, it just stands out so much more with a more premium aesthetic just like MP-36 and MP-44. For me, this MP-52 bot mode is the definitive G1 cartoon Starscream.

I love how expressive this figure can be to convey those classic Starscream moments. The neck articulation allows MP-36's hands to grasp his neck in that iconic choke hold. The fingers allow lots of expressive gestures, and again that smirk is just classic Starscream.

Posed next to the previous Decepticon releases, I'm so glad that Takara has gone down this route of making the figures as close to their cartoon representations as possible. It really does look like the figures have jumped out of the TV screen!

The only sad point for me is that it highlights now the need for a new Soundwave mold! At the very least, I think Takara needs to give the old MP-13 mold a + version cartoon repaint like some of the carbots. That would be a fantastic way to close out the use of that mold.

In closing, if you're on the fence about getting this MP-52 Starscream figure, I would still highly recommend it. Particularly if you're a fan of the cartoon aesthetic, I think this figure will speak to you on many levels. Yes I think the reports of QC issues (my hairline crack included) is disappointing, but luckily for me my issue didn't stop me from really enjoying the figure.

Hopefully if you get this, yours comes without any QC issues, or only minor enough to not be a problem. It's a shame these production issues tarnish the reputation of these releases, but overall I still think they are some of the best engineered and designed toys in our generation. Can't wait to see what they release in 10 years time!

6 Jun 2021

Bandai Star Wars Movie Realization Mandalorian

I have the previous Boba Fett variants in this Star Wars Movie Realization series, so could not pass up the Mandalorian variant. Prices were certainly crazy on Ebay, and the official US Bandai retailer doesn't ship outside continental USA, which is damn ridiculous. But at least I managed to get the figure from Big Bad Toy Store, despite the markup. It was still far cheaper than Ebay, and I'm glad I managed to add it to the collection.

Click the link below to watch my full video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can subscribe and give the videos a thumbs up too 😀

Packaging and contents are pretty much what's standard for this series now. The array of hands is nice, and the weapons are beautifully done too. Of course the main weapon is the long rifle that is prominent in the TV show, and Bandai did a great interpretation of it here.

The pistol looks nice too, and the shorter sword is on par with most of the other figures that also included it. Apart from these accessories, of course the main incentive to get this figure is for the Season 1 Mandalorian armour.

There is obviously a lot of reuse in the armour and figure in general, being mainly a Boba Fett variant. But there are also quite a few unique differences of note. The soft goods cape is definitely something to watch out for. It doesn't really hang naturally due to its material, and the rifle has to be attached to his back under the cape which is not show accurate.

Therefore I made a mod to the cape by making a small hole where the peg on the long rifle can use to attach to his back over the top of the cape. It looks much better that way and is something that Bandai should've done themselves!

The chest and torso armour pieces, and aspects of the gauntlets, kama, and shin armour have unique molds or variations. And of course the helmet itself is unique. The paint application is a great representation of the Season 1 armour, with lots of great weathering and black wash to really bring out the sculpted detail.

I heard that Bandai gave an interview where they stated more Mandalorian armour variants are planned, so I assume a beskar armour variant from Season 2 is coming. Not sure how much that is going to end up looking like Jango, but at least for now these four variants do look pretty damn awesome together. If you're a fan of this series, it's definitely a figure to add, especially since they're so slow in releasing anything new in the series! Hopefully you can get it for a decent price!

5 Jun 2021

Storm Collectibles Street Fighter E.Honda

The Storm Collectibles Ultra Street Fighter 2 figures are some of my favourites in 1/12th scale. This new E.Honda isn't from USF2, but I couldn't resist getting it since it has his classic outfit. I do hope one day they release an E.Honda USF2 figure, but this will suffice for now.

Click the link below to watch my video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! Also make sure to give the video a thumbs up and subscribe to stay tuned for more videos 😀

The set comes with a decent array of accessories, and the swap out head sculpts are the usual high quality sculpts and paint app. The biggest thing missing is of course an accessory depicting his iconic 100-hand slap move! I really hope they include that with a future USF2 version, which would come with the additional swap out loser head sculpt too.

Poseability wise, this thing does everything I expected a bulky character like this would do. The body torso is made of a softer almost vinyl type material that allows for a great range of motion. The shoulders have the usual nice articulation and butterfly movements. Even the legs and knees have good enough motion to get into some natural sumo poses.

Together with the other figures in this series, they certainly all look fantastic together. It just brings back so many great memories of me playing in the arcades in the 90s. I'm really looking forward to the USF2 Zangief, and hopefully they announce the teased Balrog soon too. If they go back and complete the rest of the core SF2 World Warrior cast, it'll be a dream come true for at least this particular SF2 fan!

Blitzway and 5PRO Studio Inspector Gadget

I grew up in the 80s watching all the classic cartoons, with Transformers, Masters of the Universe, Voltron, Thundercats, and Battle of the Planets being my favourites. But another show that I also loved watching after school was Inspector Gadget. When I saw the announcement that Blitzway, typically known in the 1/6th scale realm, was releasing an Inspector Gadget figure, I just knew I wouldn't be able to resist adding it to my 6-7" (1/12th) scale 80s cartoon collection.

And Blitzway, partnering with 5PRO Studio, did not disappoint! It's a fantastic figure that fans of the cartoon will definitely love! Click the link below to watch my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe too and stay tuned for more upcoming reviews 😃

The packaging art and style is very reminiscent of Bandai S.H.Figuarts action figures, which is fine since it's all collector friendly. Unboxing is great as you appreciate each accessory and smile as you remember scenes from the cartoon that used them. And the set is definitely packed with a lot of his commonly used accessories.

The swap out mechanism used for many of the accessories with the keyed pegs can be rather fiddly, but once pushed in tight they all look nice. The roller skates have some nice diecast use, and roll exceptionally well. The neck and arm extensions also look great with a nice silver metallic paint app and softer rubber outer material that must be over a thick metal bendable wire of some sort. You can definitely bend them to get more natural poses, and there doesn't appear to be any risk to damaging the paint.

The umbrella is painted a beautifully rich red, and the handle also sports a diecast post which gives it much more stability. It looks great when using the metal arm extensions and the swap out hat pieces to which the arms extensions can be attached. You can pretty much place anything in those hands coming out of the hat, so using the umbrella or other accessories like the magnifying glass and torch look great to show off as many accessories on the figure as possible.

The fiddliest accessory would have to be the go go gadget copter. Placing it on the swap out hat piece is the easy part. But attaching the metal handles to the base, whilst articulating the arms into a decent pose was next to impossible without the handles detaching from the base. In the end I just settled with having the handles placed gently into place at the base without them really being inserted properly. It looks OK, but I wish they had implemented this better.

The spring leg extensions however work fantastically well, and actually do have a metal spring mechanism. He used these legs extensively in the show, so I was always going to use them in my display. I tossed up whether to use the hand extensions in the hat, but ended up decided to go with the copter, skates, and spring legs. This was because I wanted to also use the included flight stand and have him in the air behind some of my other 80s cartoon action figures.

Overall I think it looks pretty damn fantastic. The swap out face plates and eyes give more posing and display options too so you can mix it up any way you want. The smiling face for me really brings out his character so I chose that one.

The body of the figure itself is also very nicely done. The paint application is great across the board, and I love the use of the softer plastic for the jacket. It doesn't hinder articulation too much, and still looks natural over the body. Articulation in the arms and legs is par for the course. I do wish neck articualtion hid the gap just above his tie a bit better, but the tilt action really allows for some great expressive poses.

Overall I think Blitzway and 5PRO Studio have done a fantastic job with Inspector Gadget. I passed on the other figures in the series because they're more mini-statues and figures. But if you're a fan I think getting them all makes for an awesome display on the shelf. I hope they release another Gadget figure with different accessories, because he still used so many others in the show too! But until then, then is perhaps the best Inspector Gadget figure on the market since the 80s! Go and get it!

23 May 2021

New Lego Space Shuttle and Scout Trooper Helmet

May 4th is always a time to watch out for new Lego Star Wars releases, and this year included the new Scout Trooper and Darth Vader helmet sets, as well as the Probe Droid and free giveaway Tatooine set. I bought all of those as well as the new Space Shuttle Discovery.

Click through below to check out the video reviews of the new Lego sets. The Darth Vader helmet and Probe Droid pics and videos are coming soon!

Space Shuttle Discovery and Hubble Space Telescope:

Tatooine Homestead:

Scout Trooper Helmet:

PCS 1/3 scale Street Fighter Cammy

I've loved playing Street Fighter ever since the early 90s in the good old arcade days. The Pop Culture Shock, now known as Premium Collectibles Studio or simply PCS, statues in their 1/4 scale have been well known and sought after pieces for many years. When their 1/3 scale series was launched, I just had to have some of my favourite characters in that scale.

I have the previous Ryu and Chun-Li statues in this series in their classic outfits. So when Cammy was announced, also with her classic outfit, there was no way I was going to pass on that! Her classic outfit is perhaps one of the most iconic in Street Fighter history!

Click through the link below to watch my video review of Cammy over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can also give the video a thumbs up, and subscribe too for more video reviews coming soon.

The box is the typical 1/3 scale size, with some great photography of the classic version with a couple of shots of the two other variants. Those lucky enough to get all three will have a fantastic series of statues showing the key evolutionary changes to her outfits in various Street Fighter games.

Unboxing these large scale statues is always a great experience, and Cammy was no exception. For the most part, I was simply glad that the key areas of the sculpt around the face, legs, and arms was mostly OK. There were a few minor scratches in the paint work where the light catches an angle and highlights areas of the paint that don't have that nice matte finish. But they're hard to see from most angles so it didn't bother me enough to ask for a replacement.

The other key area of concern for me was the fabric outfit. Luckily the stitching on mine was pretty much perfect. I had seen some others where the stitching had already frayed or come loose, which looks very untidy on a figure like this, so I was glad mine was OK. The material is not to delicate that touching it causes runs or tears, and mine was mostly OK with only a tiny run near the back shoulder that is not very visible. So I was OK to keep this particular piece and not run the risk of getting a replacement that is worse!

The classic outfit looks fantastic on display, and her bright colour definitely gives her a lot of shelf presense. Adjusting the fabric on her neck to securely fit over the head sculpt is a bit fiddly, but it certainly looks better that way than just placing her head on the joint with the fabric tucked underneath.

The fiddliest part of the assembly process did not turn out to be her ponytails, but the two small pieces for her fringe! I had to dip them in very hot water to soften the tip just slightly, which allowed for a better fit into the tiny slots in her forehead. I was glad that I was able to get them in properly without snapping anything.

Here's a bit of a cheeky shot of the new Lego Hubble Space telescope catching images of a new moon! 😁

Once all setup, she scales beautifully with the previous Ryu and Chun-Li. They looks absolutely fantastic displayed together. After playing these characters for so many years in the arcades, and then again more recently in Street Fighter 4, these statues certainly bring out the nostalgia each time I see them.

I'm slowing setting up the home theatre room now, and have found a spot for these three large statues behind my couch. They'll watch guard over us as we watch the latest 4k movies! Now all I need is for PCS to make a 1/3 scale Ken in his classic red gi outfit and I'll be set! Here's hoping they make that announcement soon!

8 May 2021

Tweeterhead Hordak EX statue

The previous Sideshow statues in the Masters of the Universe series were beautifully done. I was very disappointed when it was revealed that Sideshow had given up on the line. But thankfully, Tweeterhead has taken up the reins, with their first statue to continue the series being this incredible Hordak.

Click the link 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 to stay tuned for upcoming videos!

I was so happy that I managed to secure the EX version direct from Tweeterhead. Despite the shipping fiasco, the final statue is a work of wonder! The aesthetic perfectly captures the style from the previous Sideshow statues, so they all look like they're one continuous series of characters.

The surprise in the EX set was the cannon arm, which is a great homage to the 80s cartoon. It goes beautifully with the cartoon styled EX head sculpt. The swap out head is slightly larger than the regular head, and I think fits the overall body proportions better.

The staff is nicely done, but if that takes up too much space, then you can choose to use the swap out left hand which is just a resting hand. But for me, the staff just adds so much more menacing presence to the statue on display. I'll definitely be going with the 80s style head sculpt and cannon arm for my display.

A cape is provided that has pleather on one side and a red satin finish on the other. It doesn't seem to hand or fold around the shoulders very naturally, so I will be leaving it off. It does have too much of a Dracula feel to it, and the statue seems to be a bit too busy with the cape and the cannon arm and the staff. Swapping out for the more simpler parts might suit going with the cape instead.

Leaving the cape off also shows off more of the incredible detail in the body sculpt. The paint app is very well done, with sharpness and no colour bleed. The shading in the paint app really brings out the details in the sculpt, with a good dose of weathering and splashes of metallic red and silver.

The regular head sculpt is the more realistic style similar to that of the regular Skeletor sculpt. It's beautifully painted, but unfortunately mine came with a paint chip on one of the horns. I've been in contact with Tweeterhead, but am still waiting for confirmation that a replacement will be sent. I'm hoping to hear back from them soon.

The base is also nicely done, and I do like the big magnetic Horde symbol. The overall pose is the usual one-leg-up-pointing-into-the-distance style, but it suits the character well so I'm OK with it. It perfectly complements Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, and adds a great villain to my collection.

I really hope Tweeterhead continue deep into this series of characters. I already have the upcoming Teela EX version preordered, and hope for characters such as Man-At-Arms, Beastman, Trap Jaw, and Mer-Man. If you're a MOTU fan looking for a great, more adult-oriented interpretation of these characters, this series is just for you! Go support it! :D

10 Apr 2021

I'm still alive! Just been a quiet month or so!

 Yep, I've definitely been neglecting the website for a month or so. Things have been pretty quiet on the collecting front, with real life work taking a priority as well as not many preorders coming in. But things are starting to pick up again, with a couple of things dropping in just this weekend! Stay tuned for more reviews coming soon 😀

7 Mar 2021

Threezero DLX Soundwave and Ravage

Seems to be forever since Threezero released the DLX Soundwave and Ravage from the Bumblebee movie. I think the first early batch came out around September 2020, and similar to their previous Optimus and Bumblebee figures, they released them in stages. BBTS finally got their batch and it's definitely worth the wait!

Click the link below to watch my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel.

Packaging and contents are pretty much on par with their previous DLX releases. The stand is pretty useless, but I guess a decent option if you really want the figure in some sort of jumping pose. In any other pose, the figure's articulation and strong joints allows it to stand on its own very well.

The hands are well sculpted and painted, but I noticed that they are the exact same sculpt as for the Optimus figure. I think this is contributing to it looking like it has really small hands, particularly with the fists. It's not so obvious with the action hands, but still a bit of a disappointing shortcut taken by Threezero on this aspect.

I read that the underlying body structure also reuses that from Optimus, but I would never have known without reading that. If true, I think the only issue is that it makes the figure seem almost too big in comparison, like it's slightly overscaled compared to Optimus. As a stand alone figure, it looks amazing, but side by side with Optimus it feels strange for Soundwave to look so much more like a beast than Optimus.

Thankfully everything else about the figure is pretty damn awesome. The highlights for me, like with the other DLX figures, is the incredible attention to detail in the sculpting and paint application. I can't think of any other toy manufacturer that does metal weathering as beautifully realistic and detailed like Threezero.

Most panels are plastic, but you'd never know with everything looking like it's worn and battle damaged metal. Even the rubber panels along the sides of the torso look seamless with the metallic look with the surrounding plastic.

The use of diecast is strategic for strength, such as the shoulder cannon joint, and areas of the hips, knees, and ankle. It all makes for a perfectly balanced figure that has the style and weight expected for a figure in this scale and price point.

I haven't compared the figure in detail with movie screenshots to see how accurate it is, but I doubt many will find too many faults. No matter which direction you look a the figure, there's just so much detail to take in. I love how they've maintained the design where using the articulation reveals more detail, such as in the torso ab-crunch revealing spine detail, the shoulder butterfly revealing more upper back detail, and the knees having that silky smooth integrated movement with the thigh panels.

I would still love more ankle tilt and rocking motion, but there's enough there to allow flat footed poses in wider action stances. The way the panels can be moved out of the way to give more range of motion in the shoulders and hips is great too, allowing some very nice crouching poses with Ravage.

Ravage comes out of the box all folded up ready to be placed into Soundwave's chest. It's a nice enough option, but I think most collectors will have Ravage displayed ready to pounce in front of Soundwave. The transformation is fairly straightforward, but I definitely recommend following the instructions or detailed YouTube videos.

There are aspects of the rear hip joints that need some careful attention to rotate the joint correctly. Also The extension of the leg panels can be tight on first attempt, but go easy and you should not have any issues with breakages.

Once transformed into the animal (looks more wolf than jaguar!) mode, the articulation in the legs is just enough to get it into some decent stalking poses. I wish there was more lateral movement in the neck area to get it looking slightly sideways, but overall it looks pretty nice. Again, the amazing weathered paint application takes the sculpt to the next level.

I think the designs of these characters from the Bumblebee movie really were the representations that G1 fans have always wanted. They have the new modern detailed aesthetic, but have enough homages to the original G1 cartoon versions for fans to have that immediate connection. Soundwave's design is a little stranger, with some wide hips that are a little awkward. But side by side with the MP figure, I just love how both remind me of my childhood, but make me excited about what could happen in the future.

It's a real shame for me that Threezero seem to have moved on from the Bumblebee movie in this DLX series. Their focus now seems to be other source material, such as the IDW comics. I was really hoping that they would at least make three or four more characters from the opening scene, such as Brawn, Wheeljack, Shockwave, and Starscream. That would've been perfect, whereas now the three that I have seem a little incomplete.

Either way, these are fantastic figures in and of themselves, and display beautifully in the collection. I'm sure new and old fans will love these figures when added to the collection.