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Customize It! Toy Reviews

[ Alpha Flight: Sasquatch/Vindicator | Alpha Flight: Northstar/Aurora | Batman Night Force Ninjas: Azrael | Batman: TAS Creeper | Beast Wars: Quickstrike | Fantastic Four: Wizard | Metal Gear Solid: The Whole Line | Silver Surfer: Silver Surfer | Spider-Man: Spider Force Beetle | Spider-Man: Web Wars Daredevil | X-Files: Fox Mulder | X-Men: Battle Brigade Archangel | X-Men: Battle Blasters Jean Grey ]

 Alpha Flight: Northstar/Aurora, review by Wesley

Northstar- The male half of the Twin duo.  Well, let's start with the head.  It's absolutely useless except for maybe a man in drag, so I'm using it for Zan or whoever it is from the Wonder Twins (thanks to the list for giving me this recipe).  In fact, that's about all this figure is good for base wise.  I guess you could use his body as a small and not too muscular person with nothing to sand off.

Aurora- The female half of this Wonder Twin Duo.  Her hair seems to be a new whig, and the body is a good base, but it needs to be more articulated.  Umm... ain't got much more to say, 'cept for what's up with this high heels thing that Marvel is pulling on all their lady figs?  Well, one final thought: these two are definitely going to become my Wonder Twins.

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 Alpha Flight: Sasquatch/Vindicator, review by Baldwyn

When I first found the new Alpha Flight figures on the pegs, the Vindicator and Sasquatch two-pack out of all three screamed "Buy me!" the loudest.  Perhaps it's the patriotism of being a Canucklehead in Captain America's country that fed my desire to own an action figure with the good old Maple Leaf on it.  In any case, the likenesses of both the Vindicator and Sasquatch are true John Byrne's vision.  The pose in the package of Vindicator makes you think of her in midflight and her remarkable 12 points of articulation (neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, thigh, knees, ankles) makes her capable of all sorts of poses.  The articulation, coupled with a smooth body unencumbered by sculpted details, makes a her wonderful new 6" scale base female figure.  Her pose is unassuming, yet still heroic, and well-endowed as she is, she doesn't look wildly exaggerated.  Her goggles come off easily with some gentle prying at the sides, and twisting them off, and her rooted hair with some coaxing with pliers comes out without a hitch.  The hair implant plug will need some Dremelling, unless you plan on sculpting over it.  Her head looks a bit on the small side without the goggles, but might be fine with some sculpted hair.  Plus, I believe you may find her head good for Animated style customs given her Bruce Timm-esque mouth.  One shortcoming, however, is that her legs are not of equal length.  This can be disguised by posing, but she will end up being tilted with a straight legged pose.  Another thing I noticed is that you have to be careful with heat on the plastic.  Her joints became loose with my usual dose of heat, but if you ease back a bit, you shouldn't have a problem.  I've gotten tired of seeing AOA Jean Grey used over and over again, so I'm happy to see her as an alternative base.  At $7.99 a pop, she's not cheap even though it is a two-pack, since to be honest, I don't know what the heck to do with these Sasquatches.

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 Batman Night Force Ninjas: Azrael, review by Recurve333

Overall, I'd say Kenner did a pretty good job on the Batman Night Force Ninja Azrael.  It's a character that deserved to have a figure made of it.  Straight out of the package it looks great but there are a few things you can do to make it look even better.  The armband and blade should be painted gold and then you could dry brush the flames with a little orange to make it look more realistic.  The sword's hilt needs to be painted gold also and it's flame blade given the same dry brushing of orange.  Another option with the sword is to simply replace it with the flame sword from Light Up Nightcrawler.  If you want to give the figure a darker, grittier look you can use antiquing gel to bring out the muscle definition in the arms and legs.  This makes it look more like the comic.  As for use in making other figures the head and cape might work for a Moon Knight or Taskmaster.  The scale is fairly close to the LODK scale so one might want to think about suing the Az parts for something to fit in with that line.

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 BTAS: Creeper, review by Phil

Well, I just picked this guy up a couple of days ago and boy is it nifty. He's got striped underoos, hair all over the place, and those veins! I really like this guy. As for custom possibilities, and there were ideas for a Flash passing around, I don't think this would be the ideal base. It would require too much shaving, and you'd probually be better off with Nightwing with Superman legs. But hey, that's what I would do, but what do I know?

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 Beast Wars: Quickstrike, review by Wesley

This "bugger" is my first (and only) Beast Wars figure.  All I have to say is that it's pretty good: easy to transform, but also easy to take apart.  He look's just like he does on the show.&nsbp; Sorry, no real customizing opportunities, unless you take off the snake head and replace with a scorpion's stinger, you could make a new Scropionot, wait, what is his name?

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 Fantastic Four: Wizard, review by Wesley

Big head, large gloves, and one of those agry looks you find on the good guy action figures (I'm thinking that's 'cause they have their underwear outside their pants making them really uncomfortable).  Well anyways I really like this villian coming from the cancelled Fantastic Four Line.  His scuplt is pretty good for a no name villian.  His stance makes you aware of 2 things: 1) he's a villian, you can tell in the way he looks as if he's standing back; and 2) he's not one for fighting, but more of leading a group of robots or henchmen.  Also, if you lift the right hand up as far as it goes (which ain't too far because of the pads on his shoulders), it gives him that classic villain appearance.  As for a custom base, he isn't the best, but I think I'll use his head for the head of a Starling.  Also, you can use it for someone with a large head, it's up in the air as to who, though.

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 Metal Gear Solid: the Whole Line, a review by Recurve333

I have to admit I've never played the game or even watched someone else play it.  I'm not into games, I'm into figures and these figure some bad mo-fos.  Once again, McFarlane has showed who rules when it comes to sculpts and paint jobs.  These figs are awesome to behold.  You can find lots of pictures of these online but you have to see them in person to truly appreciate them.  However, if you're reading this, you're probably into customizing and want to know if these are worth tearing up.  Answer: Hell Yeah! Here's a little breakdown of things:

  • Scale: the Big Six
  • Heads- 2 new female heads Meryl Silverburgh and Sniper Wolf
    • 2 good Male heads, Revolver Ocelot (slick backed hair and mustache) and Liquid Snake (tough guy with longish hair)
    • And here's the best part -- None of the above mentioned heads have masks or horns!  What a novel idea!
  • Bodies- 2 figs Revolver and Liquid come in trench coats (hmm, Commish Gordon?)
    • 2 female bodies Snipers got the cleavage and Meryl has the laid back pose.
    • Gotta mention Revolver Ocelot's body -- He's in a western outfit and it looks damn good.  I'm thinking Jonah Hex or Clint Eastwood.
    • There's also Vulcan Raven which I think would make a great base for Bane.
  • Accessories- Great looking guns(9's, Bullpups, six-shooters) and knives that got their share of sculpting attention as well as functioning holsters and sheathes to go with them.  These will boil and pop off.

The one figure I would not mess with is Psycho Mantis.  This is one disturbing looking piece of plastic; it's so creepy cool that I couldn't bring myself to tear it apart (at least not until they go on clearance.  So, is there anything bad in this line?  Yep, the line's namesake, Solid Snake.  What an ugly hunk of dog crap!  He looks like the lead singer of that 80's band, Loverboy.  I was so repulsed by his head, that I can't comment on the rest of him.  However, I'd be willing to bet that his accessories are as cool as his head is sucky.  Todd McFarlane, give your sculptors and painters a raise instead of buying frigging baseballs, ya goof! 

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 Silver Surfer: Silver Surfer, review by Wesley

Everyone's favorite outer space surfing super hero.  As a base SS is a great choice.  He can be used for your average super hero like Green Lantern. I used my for a character called Vance Astro leader of the super hero team Guardians of the Galaxy.  Mr. Surfer is great for several reasons 1) He's about the average height of most heroes 2) he doesn't have anything I mean nothing to sand dremel or take off and finally 3) SS can be positioned in any way and each time he looks different. 

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 Spider-Man: Spider Force Beetle, review by Wesley

What??  You ain't got Beetle???  What's wrong with you?  This guy is great, perfect likeness to the character ('cept for the wings, the only thing I dislike about him).  And how about a base?  Well, this guy is perfect: nothing to sand off, except for those circles, with a simple head swap, and maybe some paint there's no end to the guys that he can be turned into.  Not to mention, he's not the hardest figure to find. 

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 Spider-Man: Web Wars Daredevil, review by Wesley

Well, he's back in the Swamp line or whatever it was.  Anyway, I enjoy this figure, mainly because it looks like the guy to the 'D'!  Sorry about the bad joke, now moving on...  As for a base (apparently, you are not on the mailing list if you haven't seen the use for this base; not to mention the talk about him).  One word: great.  This guy is cheap, not much to sand (oh, two little horns ain't too much, now is it?), and a great base, and might I add, very easy to find.

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 X-Files: Fox Mulder, review by Wesley

After a long time of seeing this figure on the shelves, I bought it because of its suit & tie thing.  Well, this figure is pretty good: nice sculpting and not too beefy, good for your common man (Commision Gordon and that Covac or whoever that guy was that Kapoo did).  I think I might use him for a David Letterman or Jay Leno figure.  There are a few problems, though.  First off, the legs don't move in any way, shape or form, not to mention his only accessory is a flashlight, leaving everyone to ask, "Where's the gun?"  I mean, how is a man who chases down aliens and monsters going to do anything without a gun? Then, he can't even run cause he doesn't have any articulation in his legs, so he's basically a sitting goose in my room.  So, I ended up looking around for a gun that would fit Mulder.  Good gosh!  His hand is even sculpted to hold a gun!!!  Poor Mulder can't run and can't shoot.  Oh yeah, this is the Mulder with the little medical cart and sticky, ugly guy under the cloth (haven't seen the movie).

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 X-Men: Battle Brigade Archangel, review by DarkMonkE

One of the most popular bases of its time, this body has been used over and over again both it's creators and customizers.  The possibilities are almost endless as to who can be made with this figure as a base.  His muscle structure is perfect for almost any regular comic character such as Havok, Superman, Captain America, and more.  The head that comes with this body is another great reason to buy this figure.  His head is that of the generic, comic based, lady-killers; the head, like the body, can also be used for almost endless customs.  I myself have used it once and plan to use it at least 3 or 4 more times.  Another great thing is that it requires no sanding, dremelling, or filling; however, you might want to remove those wings in his back.  Like so many other great figures, you just need to pop, sculpt, prime, and paint! 

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 X-Men: Battle Blasters Jean Grey, review by DarkMonkE

The first thing that should be said about this figure is that it's almost too perfect.  Created from a Monster Armor Mystique figure from 1997, this figure has been used for an incredible number of customs ranging from the most popular characters to the people on 2 or 3 know about.  The pose itself is one of the main reasons to buy this figure, even if you don't want to customize it.  She gives you that sassy, "come-get-some" attitude with her fist clenched and hips swayed.  A simple head swap and you can turn here into any heroine you can think of.  There's no sanding, filling, or dremelling required; just pop, sculpt, prime, paint, and seal.  It should also be noted that despite this figures diversity of uses, a new figure from the Alpha Flight Line may take her place as ToyBiz's reigning "Queen of Base Figures" (review coming soon)! 

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Do you have a toy review that you think is suitable for this page?  If you think so, contact Wesley,
All opinions here are expressed by the authors only.  I [Phil] usually ramble when I'm bored, and boy is this the perfect outlet!  Remember, no one cares about my [Phil's] stupid opinions.  Deal not valid in California, but wait, I [Phil] live in California..... There I go again.

DO NOT ADJUST YOUR MONITORS!!!  The link color is different on this page so that you can read it against the red background in the tables.