Kool Kollectibles content

24 Apr 2022

Hot Toys TMS018 Captain Rex

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Apr 2022

Transformers Masterpiece MP-52+SW Skywarp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Apr 2022

Hot Toys MMS543D33 Iron Man Mk85 Battle Damaged Version

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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