Kool Kollectibles content

27 May 2022

Transformers Masterpiece MP-55 Nightbird Shadow

There was quite a bit of controversy with the MP-51 Arcee release, specifically around a certain part of her anatomy. It was all pretty ridculous to me, but it was surprising when Takara announced an Arcee mold variant for this MP-55 Nightbird!

It's rare in this Masterpiece series when a variant figure is actually better than the original figure. But this Nightbird release is just that, with some retools that really enhance the overall design in its favour. Click the link below to watch my full review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel, or read on further below for more thoughts!

This set comes with a slew of accessories to suit her ninja origins. The black glossy guns are repaints of the original figure, but it is a shame the long rifle is not included. Instead, we get a slew of transluscent weapon attachments that can be attached in either car or bot mode.

The yellow blade and lightsaber styled swords are a little clunky for me, and I won't be using them. But the sais fit nicely on the forearms in bot mode, which also gives a throw back to the G1 cartoon episode too.

The car mode and paint app is very nice. The glossy black is as gorgeous as ever, and the slightly metallic gun metal grey makes for a nice contrast. What does annoy me a little is the use of the transluscent yellow for the windshield. In keeping with other black Decepticon repaints, it would've looked so much better if they had used a transluscent purple instead.

But for me, it's the bot mode where this one shines. I love the retooling to change the design of the torso and forearm detail, as well as that chest piece. The biggest factor changing the illusion of too low a chest is the new chin guard on the head sculpt. That chin guard fills the awkward slope of the neck to chest piece, and filling that gap makes all the difference in the world.

Add to that the ability to remove the mouth cover to reveal the sex doll face, you pretty much get all the pose options that juvenile Japanese collectors love! 😂 I have to say, that face, and the general excellent poseability of the figure, really does make it stand out amongst the Decepticon figures in the series!

Compared to the origninal Arcee figure, I think the overall design just suits this character more. I never had any issue with the design of the Arcee figure myself, and still think it's the best looking Arcee in this scale for that cartoon aesthetic.

But the paint app and style of the Nightbird repaint brings out the details in the mold. The joints are even more sturdy on mine, except for the torso joint that is a little loose. But she can get into all sorts of awesome ninja styled poses, and looks nice with the accessories based on other video reviews I've watched.

Together with the other black Decepticon repaints, the new Nightbird fits in beautifully! As I said earlier, I do wish it had a splash more purple. If it had the same purple windshield like the others, it would've been pretty much perfect! But either way, it's still a great repaint release by Takara, and I'm glad they were able to find a good use for the mold.

Transformers Masterpiece MP-53+ Senator Crosscut

Takara have release repaints of their figures for decades now, and I'm definitely stuck in the web of buying the Diaclone repaints in this Masterpiece series. I have no idea why I bought this recent Crosscut figure, considering I already have the Skids and Reboost variants. There's nothing particularly special about this repaint, but hey, I'm just Takara's bitch at this point with these Diaclone repaints!

Click the link below to watch my full review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can subscribe too to stay tuned for upcoming reviews 😀

The packaging and contents will be well familiar to Masterpiece collectors. It comes with the Motocompo scooter, this time in metallic silver. The chrome weapons are the same as with the previous figures, and still give off a very classic G1 toy vibe.

I'm still not sure why Takara numbered this release as MP-53+, when in fact it's a repaint of the MP-54 Reboost mold, not the MP-53 Skids mold. But I guess their numbering hasn't made sense for years now! Either way, the new metallic silver finish is very nice, although I would have preferred no Autobot insignia on the hood like Reboost.

I like the use of the blue tint in the windows that gives a bit more variation between the figures too. I think three versions of this particular mold will be enough for me, and is pretty much in keeping with my other Diaclone repaint figures.

The only other Diaclone repaint I'm still shocked they haven't released is the Black Ironhide version. No idea why they haven't done that, and after all these years I doubt they'll do it now. Hopefully a Hound repaint for Detritus comes out soon though!

In bot mode, you can clearly see it's an MP-54 repaint. The paint on the arms and thighs is nicely done, and it also has the nice painted highlights in the hips and lower legs. The accents bring out the detail in the mold, which is better in figures like this with an aesthetic that is more similar to the figures from the 2012 to 2015 era such as Prowl and Wheeljack.

This Honda City mold is definitely not one that suits the cartoon aesthetic of more recent figures, but still looks fantastic in amongst the whole Masterpiece collection. Now that Takara have just recently announced Trailbreaker, I am hoping Hoist is announced soon too. Then if only they would announce a Jazz and Mirage, I'd pretty much be able to die a happy Transformers collector 😂

Storm Collectibles Ultra Street Fighter 2 Zangief

It takes Storm Collectibles seemingly ages to release any figures from their Ultra Street Fighter 2 series, so any eventual release is an absolute must-buy for me. They teases both Zangief and Balrog together perhaps almost 2 years ago now, and Zangief finally released earlier this year. There's still no sight of a Balrog prototype, let alone an actual release, so fans like me will just have to keep waiting.

But as always, the wait is typically worth it. This Zangief release is fantastic! Click the link below to watch my full review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Remember to subscribe to stay tuned for upcoming reviews! 😀 

For those collecting the USF2 series, the contents will be familiar. I love the classic backdrop, which does seem to use a slightly sturdier card stock this time which avoids the creases. The special move accessories are also nicely done, in either the transluscent orange for his Double Lariat, or the green for his Banishing Flat.

I typically don't use those accessories in my display cabinet, but luckily they include a raft of swap out hands and head sculpts to give plenty of posing options. Unique to the USF2 series is the loser head sculpt, which I love. The various snarling and screaming sculpts also bring out the real character in Zangief too.

The figure itself is nicely made. Mine did not have too many paint blemishes, and the overall skin tone is pretty consistent across all aspects of the figure. The use of softer plastic in the torso is similar to the previous figures, and allows for great articulation in the shoulders too.

The waist and hip joints are a little squeaky, but not so tight that I thought something was going to be damaged. The softer plastic in the underwear does get caught a little at the leg join, but that can be futzed to either remove the folds or hide gaps.

All the other points of articulation work as well as they always have in this series. So there are plenty of options to get him into his iconic wrestling and super moves. Posed up with the other characters from the series (barring E.Honda who is from SF5), he complements the cast very well. The scale is great, being of the right bulkiness and a height just a bit shorter than Sagat. And that classic gaming style and paint app just gives me all that arcade gaming nostalgic goodness!

As I mentioned before, the USF2 series does great with the loser head sculpts. I realised I'd never actually posed all of them beaten up that way, so here they all are after a beating from Chun-Li! 😂

This series so far has been fantastic, and I really do hope Storm gives a bit of focus to at least get Chun-Li a variant in this series, as well as Balrog and M.Bison. In fact, it would be so great if they could just do the original core cast! But in the mean time, we'll all just have to wait and enjoy what we have so far.

8 May 2022

Lego Mandalorian Helmet set

Here's my quick look at the new Lego Mandalorian Helmet set. A much-improved version over the original Boba Fett set, with better proportions.