Kool Kollectibles content

30 Apr 2023

Tweeterhead Masters of the Universe Mer-Man Exclusive

The Masters of the Universe 1/5th scale statue series from Sideshow and now Tweeterhead has been a fantastic series for fans. They have released some mature, detailed, and beautiful interpretations of the classic characters from the old 80s cartoon show.

This new Mer-Man from Tweeterhead is no exception, and is a gorgeous addition to the series. Click through below to watch my full review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! It would be great if you could give the video a like, and also subscribe to stay tuned for more video content!

The packaging follows similar styled art to previous releases, with a couple of nice shots on the front and back. The contents are fairly well protected within the foam and plastic wrap packaging. With this Exclusive version via Sideshow, the statue comes with the extra trident, which looks fantastic. Both the regular version and the Exclusive come with both head sculpts.

It seems this Mer-Man will be the last Exclusive in the series from Tweeterhead. Their upcoming Trap Jaw and Skeletor only have one version that includes all swap out parts. This is OK for me, as it's definitely cheaper to buy locally in Australia without needing to order an Exclusive version from overseas.

Once setup, this Mer-Man simply looks fantastic from every angle. The sculpted detail on this one is particularly great with all the horns and spikes across the yellow/orangey armour. The shading differences in the yellow, orange, and browns really bring out the sculpted detail, and makes the armour really pop.

From early photos, I was a little concerned that the base and the snake-like scales were too greyish, as opposed to the slight purple hue from the previous Skeletor and Evil-Lyn bases. But in person, the purplish hue does come through and is noticeable. I love the shiny hue of the acid-like fluid from which he's standing from, and the join that hides part of his left foot is nicely done.

It would've been even better if they had included some more gloss on the tentacle that also comes from the fluid. The finish is a bit too matte, and some extra gloss would give it a nice slimey appearance similar to what they did with the Teela statue. But overall I think the base is fantastic.

The body itself has a great shade of green that not too cartoonish, but quite an attractive, realistic shade. There's enough black shading in all the right places to really bring out the scales and other detail in the skin sculpting too.

It all comes together really nicely with the yellowish armour, and makes for a mature interpretation of the character that suits the aesthetic of the previous releases perfectly. I like the stance too, that conveys just enough action in a static piece to be visually appealing.

It's great that the paint application and sculpting of the swap out head sculpts matches that of the body itself. One sculpt seems to be more an homage to the original 80s toy, with the ears more flared up vertically above the eyes. The other seems to be more an homage to the original 80s cartoon version, with the ears more flared horizontally out to the sides.

I prefer the latter, since the horizontally flared sculpt has the illusion of being larger and seems to be more in proportion with the body, at least to my eyes. But both sculpts have some incredible detail in the eyes, ears, mouth and teeth, so either option looks pretty awesome.

The swap out sword or trident also gives different options for display. Neither seem to be made of metal, which is fine since the sculpted detail and paint application are top notch. Both have quite sharp tips to their horns or spikes, so be careful in not chipping any of those. For me, I love the large style of the trident.

A feature that would've been incredible would have been if they had designed the sword to sit within the armour sheath on his back. But unfortunately it's sculpted into the swap out hand, and is not removable. That would've been an amazing detail that allowed both the Exclusive trident and the sword to be displayed together. That's essentially the design that Sideshow did with the original He-Man, where the Exclusive Battle Axe could be held whilst the Power Sword was placed on He-Man's back.

Setup and displayed with the other bad guys, the series of statues really does come alive. It's fantastic that Tweeterhead have taken over the series from Sideshow, yet maintained the mature aesthetic whilst adding their own beautiful touches.

Mer-Man adds a great bit of colour to the gang, and the upcoming Trap Jaw is going to add even more awesomeness to the series. I simply cannot wait for Tweeterhead to show us a coloured or painted prototype of Beastman. The digital sculpted image of that looks incredible!

Tweeterhead are also releasing a new Skeletor and He-Man it seems, which is fine for collectors who missed the original releases. I'm just glad that they're also doing some other characters too. Sorceress seems to be on their list too, and if they announce a Man-At-Arms and Tri Klops, I may well die happy that I have my favourite core cast members in this incredible series! Here's to hoping Tweeterhead all the best to keep this series going for many years to come.

25 Apr 2023

Storm Collectibles Ultra Street Fighter 2 Balrog

Storm Collectibles continues to release some pretty awesome figures across several source media, from more recent games to classic arcades, manga, and cartoons. For me, I love their Ultra Street Fighter 2 series of figures, as that's the game that I grew up playing in the 90s through high school and university.

Storm are pretty slow at releasing figures in any particular series since they seem to now be invested in so many licences. Each time an USF2 character is announced and released, it's always a great day for me. They have done another fantastic job with this new Balrog.

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

The set comes with a decent array of accessories, similar to what was included in previous USF2 figures. This time, they did include not just the swap out head sculpts, but also a complete swap out torso without the shirt.

This was actually a great way for me to become more familiar with their body design, as taking out the arms and torso revealed aspects of the internal body that I would not typically see or worry about. The joints are very tight, so I won't be swapping them much at all, and will likely just stick with his iconic torn white shirt and blue singlet style.

The topless torso has great muscle detail, and has the same functions with the butterfly joints, soft upper torso for rotation and flex, and the lower abdomen area that rotates atop a tight ball joint. Either style looks fantastic, and coupled with the awesome head sculpts, the figure simply excudes charisma and shelf presence.

The paint application is a stand out for me, with a beautiful matte finish that reallys matches the classic arcade aesthetic. There's very little shiny plastic that makes the figure look too toyish, and this looks and feels like a high end toy.

Articulation has all the great points similar to other Storm figures, and the use of softer plastic where needed makes getting into action poses quite easy. The beefy arms can come forward enough to mimic the boxer stances, and you can replicate his moves from the game very well.

The gloves have a software plastic towards the wrist area, so be careful when rotating them there where they meet the forearm in case you get any splitting or cracking. The thighs have a bit of rotation where they meet the shorts, but it's tight and minimal so it's probably best to just use the hip rotation.

I love the use of the foot toe flex to help get into more boxing action, and using the dust accessory gives some nice photo opportunities to replicate the gaming special moves. He balances well too, and does not feel like he needs a stand to remain safe on the display shelf.

I love the unique aspect of the USF2 series of characters with their loser portraits. Storm have done a great job in replicating those portrait screens from the arcade. They make for a fun photo opportunity altogether, or with other figures from Storm.

I love the figures that have been released so far, and they give an awesome burst of collection into my otherwise pretty bland collection. I smile each time I look at them, and remember the endless hours I spent playing the Street Fighter games at arcades.

The new Balrog scales well with the others, fitting in nicely between the biggest with Sagat and Zangief, and the smallest with Ken and Ryu. That pretty much matches nicely with the game from my memory.

Here's to hoping Storm announce more characters in the series soon. I think we've seen teasers for Blanka and Fei Long which would be very interesting. But I'm also still holding out hope for Chun-Li and Cammy that they've made in the Street Fighter 5 series. Having these characters in the SF2 series would be fantastic.

BigBoysToysHK Street Fighter TNC-10 Sagat

After about 4 years since their previous character, BigBoysToysHK have finally released the next Street Fighter in their TNC series with TNC-10 Sagat. It has been an exceedingly frustrating wait for so long, but fortunately the sculpting and paint application quality is as high as it was over 4 years ago.

Now I just hope they don't wait another 4 years to complete the original cast, and announce Balrog and M.Bison soon!

Click through below for the full review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!

Lego Star Wars Helmets - Commander Cody and Captain Rex

Here's my review of the Lego Star Wars Clone Trooper helmets for Commander Cody and Captain Rex.

Pix Brix Street Fighter Pixel Fighters

Hope you can check out my review of these awesome little sets over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!