Marvel Legends Series: Xialing

A sister with flying fists!

I don’t know very much about Xialing or how exactly she will impact the story in the upcoming Marvel release, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but I do look forward to seeing her come to life on the big screen. She’s Shang-Chi’s sister and will be portrayed by Meng’er Zhang in the film. Her action figure was released as part of the Marvel Legends series and she’s also a figure in the Mister Hyde Build-A-Figure line.

Much like other figures in the Legends series, Xialing is highly articulated and thanks to her character design, she’s one of the few figures that has almost complete articulation functionality. She isn’t hindered by any long robes or excessive armor. She can be posed in pretty much any fashion. That’s the best thing about this figure other than her overall look, which is also excellent.

The figure comes with two pairs of hands, one additional hand, and a rope weapon as accessories. The weapon hangs loosely in her hands and really doesn’t look that great in my opinion. I would have rather received an extended version of the weapon or, I don’t know, maybe another hand so that the figure would have an even number of hands to swap out but Hasbro decided against that apparently.

Xialing also comes with the largest Build-A-Figure piece, Mr. Hyde’s torso, which takes up a rather large portion of the box. Thankfully Xialing doesn’t take up too much space herself. She’s a rather slender figure and was definitely the best option for Hasbro to package Hyde’s meaty torso with as far as convenience and real estate are concerned.

Along with Shang-Chi, Xialing is one of the best figures in this particular line. She’s simple, highly articulated, and not hindered in any way when it comes to posing. I do wish that she came with better accessories, but she’s definitely a must-buy figure for fans of either the comics or the upcoming movie.

Thanks for checking out my post. I hope to write reviews of the last two figures in this particular Build-A-Figure set very soon. I’m also going to take a look at the completed Mister Hyde figure. Stay tuned, true believers!

NECA Defenders Of The Earth: Ming The Merciless

“You are doomed!”

NECA has outdone themselves. Long known for making beautiful action figures, NECA’s Defenders of the Earth line has been visually brilliant so far. There’s no better example of their beautiful work than this wonderful Ming The Merciless figure.

This figure is bursting with details and vivid coloring. My phone photos cannot do it justice. You have to see this figure in person to really appreciate how much attention to detail was given to it. This is possibly one of the best action figures that I’ve ever managed to get my hands on since I’ve been a collector.

Ming comes with his staff, a sword, a blaster (included with all three figures in the line so far), two “blast pulses,” and one additional right hand. The one hand accessory appears to be a trend in this line, as the Phantom figure also came with only one additional hand instead of two hands. This is one of my very few gripes with this figure. I’ll get to the other ones later in this post.

The figure comes with a cloth cape that has wiring in it to allow the collector to pose the cape. I enjoy it posed as I have it above, whipping in the wind while Ming pontificates about something evil. It should be noted that the base in these photos is not included. It’s a NECA base, but was purchased separately. The cape can be easily manipulated and adjusted and looks great.

The figure features over twenty points of articulation, all of which are pretty stiff. This seems par for the course when it comes to NECA figures and is my primary complaint about this figure in particular and the line as a whole. My other complaint is that Ming’s hand was difficult to open wide enough to get his staff in place. I was worried that I might damage the figure.

Those small gripes aside, this is an awesome figure. Once I get my home situated (we’re still recovering from Hurricane Laura), Ming is going to be displayed prominently on my desk. Don’t worry, though, the Phantom will be there to keep him in line. Hopefully I’ll be able to snag the Flash Gordon figure in this line as well. He’s the only one that I’m missing so far.

Thanks for checking out my review. I have three more figure reviews lined up and an extra special review featuring the my first Build-A-Figure. I plan to have these posted within the next two weeks. I also have a couple of film reviews that I need to knock out and some information on upcoming conventions. Stay tuned!

Marvel Legends Tony Stark A.I. and Gamer Verse Civil Warrior

The Brain and the Heart

I decided to do a twofer review of the Marvel Legends Iron Man Tony Stark (A.I.) and the Gamer Verse Civil Warrior for a couple of reasons. For starters, Civil Warrior creates his armor with the wreckage of a fallen Tony Stark in an alternate reality where the two faced off against one another and, secondly, the two figures are part of the Mr. Hyde Build-A-Figure line.

The Tony Stark figure is a relatively solid figure. The translucent blue head on the figure reveals the red knob that holds the head in place, but it still looks fairly nice. I actually prefer the A.I. Stark with his helmet on, but what’s the point of buying an A.I. Tony Stark if you can’t show off his blue noggin?

The figure comes with five accessories and Mr. Hyde’s right leg. The accessories are two pulses fired from Iron Man’s hands, two open firing hands, and a helmet. The pulses look pretty nice when attached to the firing hands. The hands don’t look so great without the pulses as they simply have a hole in the middle of them. The helmet looks great but, as I stated before, it defeats the purpose of showing off an A.I. Tony Stark.

The Civil Warrior figure looks great. I love the attention to detail given to the figure and his shield. The contrasting red, white, blue, and silver paint applications are clean and pop with color. I’m especially fond of the figure’s faceless Steve Rogers look.

The only thing lacking about Civil Warrior is the fact that he comes with only one accessory, the Arc Shield, and Mr. Hyde’s head. There are no additional accessories, not even a second set of hands. The shield is awesome and as I already mentioned, the paint apps look amazing. I just wish that at least one other set of hands would have been provided to give collectors more posing options with the figure.

Both figures feature the same amount of articulation as other figures in this line. There are multiple POAs at the head, shoulders, hands, upper torso, waist, hips, thighs, knees, calves, and feet. For some odd reason, my Civil Warrior figure was terribly stiff and both of Tony Stark’s shoulders were very loose right out of the box. Despite these shortcomings, however, I still like both of these figures.

I recommend grabbing both of these figures. If you’re an Iron Man fan (which I’m really not), definitely get this version of Tony Stark. If you love Cap (which I do), this Civil Warrior figure is a no-brainer. If you’re a completionist at times like myself and/or have finally decided to complete at least one Marvel Build-A-Figure, grab both of these figures to finish Mr. Hyde.

Thanks for checking out my dual figure review. I appreciate each and every person that checks out my blog. Feel free to share this and any other of my posts that you like and be sure to look me up on social media and say hello!

Throwback Thursday: Krull (1983)

“The Black Fortress…where does it rise?

My relationship with the 1983 film Krull is an odd one. I didn’t actually see the film when it was first released in theaters but my parents bought me the Atari 2600 game that tied into the film because I was enthralled with the movie. I also had a cousin who saw every single fantasy and science fiction film that hit theaters during those days and she bought me the Parker Brothers Krull card game because she knew that I would love it. Thanks to the video game, I had a basic understanding of the film’s plot. The card game featured some amazing artwork and made me long to see the film. For whatever reason, my parents didn’t take me to see the movie and when it was eventually released on VHS, I didn’t get to see it until I spent a summer at my sister’s old apartment in Alexandria in 1993. The local Blockbuster had a copy of the movie so I rented it and watched it over and over again.

I love this movie. Yes, I know that it isn’t necessarily the greatest film to ever hit celluloid, but there is something extremely appealing about this movie. It basically takes Star Wars, a film that fuses fantasy with science fiction elements, and leans harder on the fantasy aspects. There’s a battle in a swamp, an oppressive army of soldiers known as Slayers who have laser firing weapons, a Cyclops, a massive spider web, fire mares (more on this later), and a cast loaded with characters that all deserve their own action figure in my opinion.

In the film, Prince Colwyn (Ken Marshall) is about to marry the beautiful Princess Lyssa (Lysette Anthony) in order to unite their respective kingdoms in order to battle the invading Beast and his Slayer army (Slayerrrrrrrrrr!). Instead, the wedding is interrupted by the Slayers who kill Colwyn and Lyssa’s fathers, kidnap Lyssa, and cause general disarray. Colwyn manages to survive the attack and is aided by Ynyr (Freddie Jones). Ynyr tells Colwyn that the Beast can only be defeated by using the Glaive, an ancient and powerful weapon. Colwyn rounds up a few less than respectable outlaws to aid him on his quest, and the film plays out as a traditional fantasy questing film with a slight twist at the end. I won’t say what that twist is, but I will say that it sort of dismisses the necessity of the Glaive.

In any case, I love this film. It’s clunky but the music and special effects are very well done. The cast is loaded with popular British actors, some already established and others that would go on to bigger and better things. American Ken Marshall portrayed Colwyn and he has had a prolific career on television in guest starring roles. He also portrayed Marco Polo in the 1982 miniseries of the same name and guest starred on shows such as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Baywatch. Much like Marshall, English actress Lysette Anthony has had a long and successful career that saw her in many supporting and guest roles. Alun Armstrong portrayed the bandit named Torquil. His career includes roles in major films such as Sleepy Hollow, The Mummy Returns, Eragon, and Van Helsing. He has also had a very successful career on television. Bernard Bresslaw, who portrayed the Rell the Cyclops, was already well known as a member of the Carry On comedy team in Britain. He was no stranger to science fiction or fantasy, however, as he had already worked on Doctor Who.

The two actors that most viewers these days would recognize are Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane. Both of these actors had relatively small roles in Krull, but they would both go on to have massive careers, especially Neeson. Coltrane is probably best known for his work in the Harry Potter films as Hagrid and his work in James Bond films. Neeson has done everything from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace to the Taken franchise to cult films like Darkman and Disney films such as the Chronicles of Narnia series.

Like I said earlier, I loved this film entirely based on how much I loved the Parker Brothers card game and the Atari 2600 video game that I was given by family. The cards were amazing and the video game hooked me with the fire mares, horses that ran so fast that they would actually catch on fire and leave a trail of flames behind them. The Beast’s castle, which doubled as a dematerializing spaceship, would randomly appear across the surface of the planet and the only way that Colwyn and his friends could get to the castle before it moved again was by riding the insanely fast fire mares.

So is Krull worth a look? It is in my opinion. It’s not a brilliant film but it is a fun adventure to watch. Plus, it’s pretty cool to see Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane in two of their earliest roles. Give it a shot. I don’t think that you’ll regret it.

I want to give props to the Pop Ninja Podcast for their most recent episode that brought up Krull. That episode triggered so many memories for me that I had to blog about it. Be sure to check out their podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts. Thanks for reading my post. See you again real soon!

Hasbro Marvel Legends Series: Shang-Chi

Somewhere right now, Umma is asking Janet why she doesn’t have an action figure like Jung.

I love Kim’s Convenience. I love the characters and their stories and see parts of myself in some of the characters, especially Mr. Kim. When I heard that Simu Liu, who portrays Jung on the series, would be taking on the role of Shang-Chi in Marvel’s upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, I knew right away that I would be buying at least one of his action figures.

Well, I finally picked up Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Shang-Chi 6″ figure today and all I can say is that I love it. I don’t normally purchase many Marvel Legends figures because I’m more of a DC fan, but in the case of Shang-Chi, I decided to make an exception. The figure features the standard multi-point articulation of most of the other figures in the Legends line and comes with a Marvel’s Mr. Hyde Build-A-Figure piece (leg). He comes with three pairs of hands that are swappable and a bo staff.

The likeness to Simu Liu is wonderful. The articulation is somewhat stiff, but this actually comes in handy because you can pose the figure in a number of ways without the necessity of a base. The figure’s look is based upon Shang-Chi’s suit as seen in the film’s trailer. I’m curious to see if any other suits or variants will be released after the film hits theaters.

Other figures in the line include Wenwu, Xialing, Civil Warrior, Iron Man, and the Death Dealer. If you collect all of them, you’ll be able to build the aforementioned Mr. Hyde figure. Of the bunch that remain, I’ll probably cough up the money for the Shang-Chi film figures, especially the Death Dealer, who looks awesome on the screen and in figure form.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the first Marvel film that I’ve been excited about in a long time. I’ll be sure to review it once it comes out in theaters. Until then, thank you for reading my post. I’ll see all of you again real soon!

Marvel Sizzle Reel 2021

“We’re All Part Of One Big Family.”

With Stan Lee’s voice discussing how we are all one big family setting the tone, Marvel’s newest sizzle reel takes a look back at the films that have made the MCU so extremely popular, visits the defining “Avengers assemble” moment in Endgame in a crowded theater, and then goes into full promotional mode with a litany of upcoming films into May of 2023. Some of the films listed include the Black Widow solo film, long held prisoner by COVID-19, finally releasing in July, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. There’s also a teaser of what looks to be the Fantastic Four logo.

You can see the video for yourself here:

It will be interesting to see how Marvel’s film success holds up considering the fact that the more mainstream and popular characters such as Captain America (Steve Rogers), Hulk, and Iron Man are out of the picture and more lesser known characters are having to carry the load. Sure, Black Widow, Spider-Man, Thor, and the Guardians of the Galaxy are still around, but can they keep the MCU on a successful path? I’m fully aware that Iron Man was a gamble before and that the GOTG have become much more popular since they arrived on the big screen, but will mainstream audiences pile into theaters in order to see the Eternals, a Black Panther film without Chadwick Boseman, and Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi?

I’m absolutely glad that Marvel is digging deeper with their films as we finally get to see if the writers can build up these lesser known characters without the opportunity to throw an Iron Man or a Thor into the film to drive ticket sales. I want characters like Shang-Chi and Shuri to flourish and become mainstream, but I want them to do so in excellent films with fresh stories. I know that fans of these characters from the written page will show up to support them, but will general audiences turn out for them?

I am well aware of the fact that my opinion of Marvel’s films so far isn’t a popular one. I’ve always held the belief that most of the MCU flicks are cookie-cutter films meant to set up the big payoff in the Avengers movies. As the years have passed and the wonder has worn off, I’ve come to the realization that of the four Avengers movies, only Infinity War stands out as a solid film. Age of Ultron was abysmal, The Avengers was only as good as it was because of the performance of Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Endgame, despite all of the “shocking” moments, was nothing more than a few high points laced together to tug at hyped up emotions.

As far as the other films in the MCU so far are concerned, some of the best ones in my opinion were Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, and Ant-Man. Some of the weakest of the bunch were Thor: Ragnarok, Captain America: Civil War, Thor: The Dark World, Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Yep, I’m pretty sure that more than half of the folks reading this right now disagree with me and that’s okay. One day I hope to compile a list of all of the MCU films and rank them from best to worst. That’s going to take a bit of time because I plan on watching each and every one of them again.

In any case, the sizzle reel is available above and I really hope that Marvel does a good job with the upcoming films. Are you excited for the new movies? Which films are you looking forward to seeing? Let me know in the comments. Also let me know just how right or wrong my opinion of the MCU is in the comments. Oh, and “You’re a DC fanboy” is not a constructive argument.

Thanks for checking out my post. I’ll be posting again real soon!