Kool Kollectibles content

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.

21 Feb 2021

Kotobukiya Horror Bishoujo Pennywise from It

The Kotobukiya Horror Bishoujo series has released some iconic characters in the series, and the latest Pennywise is no exception. It took a while for it to arrive from Big Bad Toy Store, but it's a beautiful addition to the impressive lineup.

Click the link below to watch my review of the Leatherface statue over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can subscribe and stay tuned for more reviews 😃

I think Kotobukiya have definitely stepped up their game on the packaging art, and the latest certainly give pause for collectors to consider keeping or at least displaying the artwork. Unfortunately for me I just do not have the space for that anymore, so this sort of packaging usually ends up in the recycling bin. But for those with the space, I'd highly recommend displaying the boxes, or at least keeping the boxes for posterity.


The details in the sculpting and the paint app really impress upon unboxing. The paint on the head sculpt is super sharp, and I love the bright colours of the eyes that almost seem reflective. A nice touch would've been some glow in the dark effect, but still in natural light the eyes have a scary piercing look to them. The orange hair is a bright contrast to the white, and sets it off beautifully.

The sculpting in the costume is perfectly brought out with many layers of shading and colours in the paint application. I especially love the use of black wash and shadowing to accentuate all the folds in the detailed costume. The areas around the neck, biceps and upper thighs look fantastic.


The two areas that were a little disapointing to me are related. The main issue is the steel wire used for the ballon chord, which is not flexible or malleable. This affects posing of the balloon, especially since it leans so far forward when placed into the hand.

I used some warm water to soften the plastic around the hole since initial insertion is quite difficult. But once it's placed in, the steel wire tends to fall forward, given the balloon an awkward angle. This is made worse by how low the pose of the statue is leaning forward. The prototype photos were taken from a rather low angle, which sort of hid how much the status leans.

By leaning forward, it seems to hide the face sculpt and much of the details of the body too. I would've preferred a pose that was more upright, but still leaning forward slightly to hand the balloon to the unsuspecting child. I'll have to figure out some way to keep the balloon string as upright as I can without snapping anything.


Despite that nitpick, there are so many other positives to the statue. The paint app and sculpting themselves makes this perhaps my new favourite in the series. I love the metallic finish to the base that gives that perfect impression of it walking through blood. The SS Georgie sets it off perfectly as well with the movie.

As a Bishoujo interpretation of the character, I'm not sure Kotobukiya could've done much better in the design (pose aside). It's the perfect balance of creepy and beauty! Here's hoping they announce more of these horror characters in the not-too-distant future!


Kotobukiya Horror Bishoujo Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Kotobukiya Horror Bishoujo series has been high quality since its inception, and they just seem to be getting better and better too! I was glad my preorders for Leatherface and Pennywise finally arrived, and they were certainly worth the wait!

Click the link below to watch my review of the Leatherface statue over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can subscribe and stay tuned for more reviews 😃

The box art for this series seems to be getting better too, with some gorgeous photos of the statue along with the usual awesome prototype concept art by Shunya Yamashita.


I've decided to go with the stock head sculpt this time, and not the masked sculpt. The masked version is definitely a nice representation from the movie, but I find it almost too creepy. The unmasked sculpt just pretties up the statue for me, which is appropriate for this Bishoujo series I think.


The sculpting on this Leatherface is top-notch, with great natural folds in the costume. The apron almost seems like a separate floating piece, but does not rotate or adjust in any way. The bloody spatter is nicely done, but I do wish it wasn't so thick on the chainsaw blade. I think the prototype photos show more subtle bloody spatter on the blade which looks better. But overall it still looks great.


The prototype photos never really showed what was under her shirt tails, and the fan service is in full force with a nice view of her voluptuous rump. The wedgie from the undies adds to the fan service expected with this Bishoujo series.

The front view is also nicely done, and gives that unique Bishoujo spin on this iconic butcher outfit. I love the details in the bracelet, pulling your eyes briefly away from her deep cleavage 😍

All in all, the paint app is fantastic, even on the bare skin, with lost of nice shading detail too. The base itself has lots of great sculpted and paint details too. I was surprised at how much more I liked this statue than I was expecting!

I had decided to get this version over the business suit version, because I think this one is more iconic for the character. But no matter which version you get, I think Kotobukiya has done another fantastic job! Here's hoping they announce more in this series soon!


15 Feb 2021

Hot Toys MSS524 Commander Cody

I sold all my Sideshow Clone Commanders several years ago, and wasn't planning on getting any more. But the prototype head sculpt for Hot Toys' new Commander Cody was too good for me to pass up, and luckily the final production version is still fantastic.

Click the video below to check out my review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. I have a few more things coming up soon, so make sure to subscribe and stay tuned for more reviews soon 😃

The box art is the usual classy style, but I do find their new habit of including this wrap around picture on the front cover a bit useless. I'd really rather they save that effort to include something else with figures.


The figure doesn't come with all that much. The biggest things missing for me would be the Phase 1 helmet, and perhaps more action oriented hands. But other than that, they've pretty much included what you'd expect with this character.

The shoulder and helmet antennas are delicate, so go easy when installing those. The swap out light up arm is a nice touch, and is pretty good for the odd photo opportunity. It wasn't too hard to swap out, unlike other arms from Hot Toys, for which I was definitely thankful.

The body definitely feels more sturdy than the old Sideshow Clone Troopers, but almost feels too tight. The legs and thighs in particular are difficult to articulate the actual body, where the armour moves freely but that's all you seem to move. I did manage to eventually rotate the thighs out a bit more naturally, but the fat suit underneath is a bit too thick and restricts movement too.


The arms are on some ratchet mechanism, but do have decent range of motion hindered naturally by the armour. The swapping out of the head sculpt was also easy enough, and the unhelmeted head goes onto the peg without too much force.

It's a shame that the base they included has been the stock standard Star Wars trooper base with the foot prints. They've used this for previous Stormtroopers and Snowtroopers, and now this. It's great for those static musuem poses that my collection prefers, but the option for allowing more dynamic poses would be nice. I'd say just give a nice printed stand with a metal name plate would've been good enough!

Either way, the final figure overall looks fantastic. The armour weathering is subtle and realistic, and the head sculpt is the usual Hot Toys high quality. If you're fan of the Clone Wars or the prequels, this will make a nice addition to the collection. For me, it'll sit nicely next to Obi-wan and Anakin from the prequels, and patiently wait for Captain Rex next!


8 Feb 2021

Transformers Masterpiece MP-51 Arcee

It always seems to take forever these days for a new G1 TF Masterpiece to release, but luckily it's usually a good day when one turns up! This time it's the new MP-51 Arcee that as always with MPs in recent memory, comes with it's fair share of controversy.

Click the link below to watch my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. I go through what I think are the pros and cons, and overall it's another nice addition to the MP series! 


Packaging is the usual MP style, and accessories are enough to cover aspects of the cartoon movie and posing options. I particularly like the long rifle, where she evokes hints of Marvel's Black Widow in many action and crouching poses.


The car mode looks very nice, especially with the other characters from the 1986 movie such as Hot Rod and Ultra Magnus. The pink, which I thought was just plastic but it actually painted, is a perfect shade, and the overall styling is very cartoon accurate.

The wheels are quite thin though, and the clearance on the underside of the car is very tight. It was difficult for me to get things lined up perfectly enough to get the car rolling on all 4 wheels at once. I guess that's been a common problem with many of the carbots, including Hot Rod.


Luckily for the most part, the styling looks awesome, particularly with the sharp white and greys to offset the pink. It's strange that Takara did not include a Daniel mini-figure in this set, but I guess they've probably done enough of the human figures that came with Optimus, Bumblebee, and Hound.


The transformation sequence isn't as difficult as other MPs, but there still are a few scary moments. Three tricky areas stand out for me:
  1. Folding the rear head lights in on themselves was tricky, especially the first time when the joints are particularly tight. You need them folded flat and perfectly in order to fold and collapse the backpack as much as possible.

  2. Rotating and pushing the windscreen through the internal hole, which needs a specific rotation and angle to fit through. This part took a few goes to finally squeeze it through.

  3. Collapsing the front part of the car over the top of the backpack as the final part to completing the transformation. You really need to make sure the neckpiece is in place properly into its peg, and gently guide the outer part of the backpack so that it can be pushed down and tightly with the rest of the backpack.


But once all of that is done, overall she looks pretty nice. The backpack is sizeable though, and does present some balance issues. This is made more difficult with her small feet, but luckily the joints are tight and usually hold poses well enough. But similar to the Hot Rod that tends to fall backwards on its large backpack, you need to be selective in your poses so that she doesn't topple over too easily.

I have seen some pretty amazing poses over on the TFW2005 forums though, so she has some of the best MP articulation around. The torso area has a rather tight ball joint, but if you manage to loosen that a little bit, you can get some pretty natural poses to go with the leg and waist articulation.


The most controversial part of the figure is of course the horizontal level of her chest plate. I think many collectors incorrectly think that the horizontal level is too low, giving her the "saggy boob" look. But the horizontal level is actually anatomically correct as shown by the designers prototype art that showed the female anatomy on which it is based.

But the human female form doesn't necessarily translate literally to robot form all that well. That's where they made the mistake in making the incline of the top of the chest piece too steep, which leaves a large white area of her neck piece. If they had instead designed a way in which the slope was more gentle, and covered up more of the white neckpiece, it would look far better and not give the illusion of "saggy boobs". There have been photos of custom chest pieces that give this look, and show what a big difference it can make.


Aside from the chest piece, I think this is another great looking figure by Takara. The massive amount of articulation makes up for the less than ideal chest piece for me. In fact, inhand the chest piece doesn't even look that bad. It's strange how close up macro toy photography certainly makes it look worse than it really is. Either way, I'm glad to have another new G1 MP mold in the collection, and she definitely adds some shelf presence to the gang. Now I'm really looking forward to the new Starscream mold!