Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing - Wing Gundam Zero Custom Review

About a decade ago, I was introduced to the world of Gundam mobile suits through Cartoon Network. At the time, it was through the epic 40 or 50 some odd episode Gundam Wing, which was really a science fiction soap opera for kids (if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it). Tons of small figures and snap together model kits were released in various scales, and then the Gundam craze faded. Sure, Cartoon Network kept it up for a while, with MS08th team and another series or two, but none really caught my fancy like Gundam Wing did. Bandai was the main producer of toy products for the shows, and like most of their figures nowadays, they featured plastic cast in colors, ball-jointed articulation, and a very "toyish" look and feel. The one line that swept me away as "collector designed" was the Arch Enemy series (for which only a half dozen or so figures were released). Tonight I'm looking at one of my favorites, Wing Gundam Zero Custom, and it's a gorgeous work of art.
The Arch Enemy series featured attractive window packaging- mine's gotten a bit crushed up top over the years- that shows off the figure nicely. The back has a ton of narrative info about both the pilot and the mobile suit itself, as well as some neat in-action poses of the figure. The figure itself is just about perfect. The sculpt is dead-on, and stands in at about 7" tall, without the wings deployed. The lines are highlighted all around with dark paint to make them pop (back in the day, they actually made Gundam paint pens to color in the detail lines of the model kits for this exact purpose). The colors used are vibrant and appropriately metallic in places, and everything is very nearly perfect. There are even some airbrushed shades in appropriate places all around. If the SDCC version of classic Lion-O was this well done, I guarantee there would have been no complaining! There's tons of articulation to go around, with even the wings having their show-accurate wrap-around ability.
Wing Zero comes with show-accurate accessories. He's got 2 beam swords, which can be stored inside his rear wings (he has 4 fully poseable wings), as well as both halves of his twin buster rifle, which can combine into one really huge gun! There are two machine cannons housed inside his shoulder compartments (which can be popped open for deployment, as well). Bandai's Arch Enemy series was fantastic. The figures are brilliant, and the packaging and accessories provide the complete package. You can still track them down on ebay and such for pretty reasonable prices (I think at the time, that they ran $24.99, and current ending auction prices seem to be just a shade above that at the time of this writing). I'd highly recommend picking one up if given the opportunity- you won't be disappointed. This line makes me realize what Bandai CAN do when they set their minds to it, even amidst the disappointment of the collector series modern version Thundercats line (I'm hoping that the second wave shows more effort in the paint department!).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Halo Reach - Brute Minor Review

It's been a while since I've bought a McFarlane Toys action figure. Where once they got the largest chunk of my toy-spending budget, I've largely forgotten they exist. I have little interest in sports statues, and I'm fairly underwhelmed by the Playmakers, Persia and Walking Dead figures they've turned out. And, though I think they are nicely made, the Halo figures seem to be a lot of the same thing. Not having ever played the game, I don't have much attachment to any of the characters. I have read many of the books and collections, and I even own the animated feature, as well as a dozen or so figures (probably half of them are different incarnations of Master Chief). That said, it's not often that I'm willing to invest in yet another Spartan or Covenant villain. When I saw this guy, though, I had to take the plunge!
This Halo Reach version of the Brute Minor jumped out at me from the shelf. Even though he's reminiscent of the previous Tartarus (another Halo figure that I own), he's got enough of his own look going on to warrant a purchase. He's huge in comparison to the other figures in the line, towering over the Spartan in my final picture below. I absolutely love the sculpt; the head is unique, with deep, sunken eyes and a fearsome non-removable helmet. The musculature and skin are well-developed, with plenty of elephantine cracks and folds (though they sometimes run contrary to one another across mold pieces). The paint work does a great job of providing realism and highlighting the strengths of the sculpt, while the metallic blues create a great contrast with the skin shades.

There's a smattering of "hair" sculpted on the back, which looks a little out of place to me, since there's no difference in the paint work on it. A few leather straps here and there keep his modesty. The articulation is actually pretty good on this guy. Lots of the joints are ratcheted, or are interestingly well-hidden. I especially like the ankles, wrists and knees, which all combine balls and hinges to create some neat movement. The down-side of this is that the ball can sometimes become misaligned- my Brute's left knee doesn't bend forward and back, but more side-to-side because the ball is twisted. Rotating the knee moves the ball as well, so I'll have to get some needle-nose pliers out at some point to try to line things up properly.

The Brute Minor is a good figure. Halo fans would absolutely go for him, but even the casual collector may find him a good addition- I certainly do. I only have 2 major gripes with him: 1) his hands are not well-sculpted to hold his weapon (this seems to be a problem common to nearly all the Halo figures I own), and 2) his weapon is too small. In the pictures I have actually swapped his out with a weapon from a previous Halo Brute release, since it's a bit larger and easier for him to hold. Still, if you see him, I'd certainly recommend the purchase (Toys R Us marks him up to $16, while I found mine at Gamestop for $12).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

In-Pack Peek: ReSaurus Quake II Marine Major Figure

One of my first posts here was for Resaurus's Alien Strogg Tank, from their Quake II line. It's one of my favorite figures in my collection, even over a decade after it was made. At one point, I owned the entire line of Quake II figures, but during one of my "collection downsizing episodes", I made the mistake of selling off everything by my beloved Tank. I've grown to regret it, so I'm slowly re-acquiring those missing figures. I'm starting here, with the hero of the line: Marine Major.

The figures in this line come in attractive enough packages, but I'm afraid mine hasn't held up well over time. The bubble is crushed and the card back is bowed inwards. I prefer the NECA style clamshells, as they withstand the punishment of time better than card backs do. That said, there's a nice narrative on the back, along with pics of all of the figures and their accessories from the entire line. I find the colors attractive and eye-catching, and the pictures on the back are great, though they seem to be of the prototypes and (as a result), are a bit better than the finished versions which we actually get (somewhat disappointing). One other small note, each character's name in the lower right corner is color-coded (Tank is yellow, Major is purple, Athena is green and Iron Maiden is red), which adds to a MOC display. 

Major includes an Alien Strogg Shark, which features a rubbery, bendy tail. The Shark oozes with cybernetic detail, and serves as a cool bonus 2nd figure! Two weapons are included, as well: a rocket launcher with a removable ammo belt and the hyper blaster.

The figure himself stands in a 6" scale, and for the most part, is really well done. His armor is outstanding- loads of textures and surfaces, with an interesting maroonish tint- and it has to be, because this guy is a walking target (I count no less than 13 bullet holes/indents in the armor!). He's got a bloody bandage on his left biceps, which hides the articulation there, and a drop of blood running out of his mouth.

Speaking of articulation, the Marine Major features a cut neck, cuts at the shoulders, biceps swivels, cut wrists, cut waist, T-crotch, and single-peg knees. That's 12 points, but his feet are angled such that he really only has one stance below the waist. The cuts limit the poses, so he's more of a decent, slightly tweak-able statue than anything else.

My only gripes with the figure are relatively slight. His eyes are a little off-center, and his neck (though thick) seems a bit too long. I think it's the way the cut is situated. He's also sporting some ridiculously thick and pronounced veins all over his arms. They look more like vines than anything else. Marine Major may have had a highly detailed muscular sculpt for his time, but now it just seems a bit juvenile in terms of style. Also, without a paint wash to add some dirt and grime, the blood and torn shirt look, well...odd. The weapons have decent washes on them to bring out the "metallic rustiness" of them- he could use the same.

That said, Marine Major is a fine figure to battle your Strogg (or Locust!) army. He's relatively easy to find, and pretty cheap, as well. So if you're considering it- go for it. I think of him as a classic piece of video game figure development. It's thanks to Resaurus and lines like Quake II that we have such awesome modern lines as NECA's Player Select, Gears of War, and McFarlane's Halo. Thank you, Resaurus (again)!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In-Pack Peek: Jazwares Mortal Kombat Johnny Cage

I found this at a local Toys R Us on Friday afternoon. I haven't seen any new shipments of Mortal Kombat figures beyond the initial release over the summer. Those sold out pretty quickly, and haven't been re-stocked...until now. The new release seems to include the same Sub-Zero, Scorpion and Rayden, but there was 1 Johnny Cage on the pegs, as well, so I was fortunate to snag him. The packaging is identical to the previous releases for Johnny. I find it pretty eye-catching and it shows off the figure well, but there are too many bendable edges for a MIP collector to appreciate. There's also a tendency for the package to develop creases in the back. Luckily, this one didn't have any.
There's a pretty detailed bio on the back, and a very cool in-game shot, just like with the other figures. Unfortunately, the great shot of the digital model makes the finished figure look silly in comparison. I tried to figure out exactly where the look went wrong- Jazwares included all of the major and necessary details. The "Johnny" tattoo is crisp and centered. The arms are wrapped, and the "Cage" belt is where it should be, as are the shinguards. The shoes look huge and somewhat "clownish" to me. But I think my major disappointment is with the face. The digital model hasn't got any eyebrows showing, while the figure itself has a VERY pronounced pair. Rather than looking tough, Johnny looks surprised. VERY surprised. If the eyebrows were more hidden under the sunglasses, and if they were more curved, like a wraparound pair, I think he'd look a whole lot better. As it stands, he's ok. The rest of the sculpt is pretty good (shoes notwithstanding), torso-wise, though I just noticed a distinct lack of wrinkles in the pants.
You'll also see in the pics that Johnny's hips are misaligned, with the left SIGNIFICANTLY higher than the right where they plug into the crotch. It may be that there's a weird tilt in the package, making them look "off", and it would even out once opened, but I have my doubts. Johnny will be staying in-package, mostly because, even though he's got 16 POA, like his mates, these figures are hard for me to get a decent pose from. The articulation doesn't work well to get natural fighting stances for me. Johnny comes with 2 alternate, open "karate-chop" hands, and nothing else. Toys R Us sells these figures for $15.99, which is highway robbery. I used a coupon to save about 30%. Your willingness to be ripped off will depend on your passion for the license, I suppose.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Razor & Fighter Ferret Action Figure Review

Here's an absolute gem of an action figure that I'd wager many people don't know about. He was made by a company that no longer exists, over a decade ago, without any kind of media tie-in or support. Yet, he's one of the most impressive and unique figures in my extensive collection. Read on to find out about Razor and his pal, Fighter Ferret, and you may just decide he's worth adding to your own collection!

Razor was made by the now-defunct Resaurus toy company about a decade ago. Resaurus was what NECA now is: a company dedicated to making an awesome looking figure at a reasonable price. They worked with properties no one else looked at, which (at the time) meant lots of video game titles. Yup, these are the guys who made Duke Nukem, Quake, Crash Bandicoot and Street Fighter figures to a 7" scale before NECA took over the gameplan. Resaurus took chances- some worked better than others- but their stuff was almost always top-notch. The only consistent complaint I ever had was that the articulation of their figures was pretty limited to cut joints, but that was part in parcel for the day. I'd love to see what they could do with today's technology! In any event, Razor here is special because of where he comes from.

As the box explains in great detail, Razor was designed by an 11-year-old named Jeff Luttrell, as his Make-A-Wish Foundation "last wish" (Luttrell was fighting Luekemia). Resaurus took on his wish, invited him to their studios and the result is an awesome action figure legacy!

Razor comes packaged in a really nice window box with lots of details about Make-A-Wish on the back, and Jeff's story inside the front flap. The cardboard is super-thick and colorful, and makes note that this was a KB Toys exclusive, and that half of each sale ($5) went to Make-a-Wish Foundation (so Resaurus only made $5 off each sale? No wonder they went under!).

The inner flap tells all about Jeff Luttrell and his "origin story" for Razor. Included his is own artwork, the Resaurus team's design, and concept art for the sidekick. Again, it's really well-done, and gives a nice picture of how Resaurus took the imagination of an 11-year-old and turned it into something amazing.

 So, how did the figure turn out? As you'll (hopefully) see from the pictures, Razor is impressive, even by today's standards. He's a mutated "eagle-man", standing a little over 6" tall. The sculpt is highly detailed, with plenty of feathers, layers, and wrinkles in the jeans. Buckles and ropes provide some neat contrast in textures, and the lighter colors have a slight wash to bring out the highlights. His wings are right up there alongside Hawkman's for breadth and detail.

Razor has a cut-neck joint, cut shoulders, a swivel waist and swivel wrists. That's it above the waistline. Down below, he's got a T-crotch, single-pin knees, and swivel ankles. That's 12 points, in case you are counting, but not the kind that could actually get much in terms of dynamic poses. Add the weight of his wings in there, and I'm sure he'd be stuck standing straight ahead in a vanilla pose, probably in need of some assistance from a display stand. Therefore, he's staying MIB for me- his package is part of what makes him so unique, after all. And he's displayed so well in it, that I don't feel any need to remove him. By the way, I'm going to guess that the wings feature at least one pose-able joint, probably where they meet his back, but without opening I can't be positive. Rounding out the sculpt and look are a cool "R" detail on his right kneecap and wild "bird feet" which are large and should help in the standing department, should I ever opt to remove him.

Razor comes with some pretty nifty accessories, as well. He's got an "R" shield to clip onto his arm/hand. It's sculpted with an eagle-head look, and includes 4 different colors in the paint apps. He's got 2 "throwing stars", as well, and Resaurus certainly didn't cheap out here, either. They've got some thickness to them, and they've got the R to complement their cool design. Finally, and certainly not to be forgotten, is Razor's sideckick, Gizmo the Fighter Ferret. This was apparently part of Jeff's story, in that he's mentioned, but there's no "Jeff-done" artwork for him. The concept are by Resaurus shows him as a ninja-type with a katana sword or something. The final version varies slightly.

Gizmo stands just under 3" tall, and he is not articulated, but he's been given a pretty cute pose, and I like the bomber jacket they've given him. There's some neat paintwork done on him, with excellent shading (hey, Bandai, next time you want to shade a Comic Con exclusive, check this guy out to see how it's done!). Fighter Ferret is a great pack-in that almost certainly wouldn't even get considered nowadays, with prices and costs as they are.

Razor was a solid action figure back in his day, and I personally think he stands up really well even by today's standards. At his original price of $9.99, he was an outstanding deal. Because he's so obscure, you can find him relatively cheap in online auctions. I sold my original, regretted it a couple of years later, and just recently re-added him to my collection for a very reasonable price. My hunch is that you won't be disappointed. Resaurus did a terrific job of bringing an 11-year-old's design to life. It's a great story, put together in a super package and a wonderful figure- a fitting tribute for a last wish.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gears of War 3: Marcus Fenix action figure review

With NECA's announcement that their Gears of War 3 Wave 1 figures are ready to ship, I thought it was time to crack open my Marcus Fenix & Locust Grunt 2-Pack and see how the figures stacked up. This review focuses on Marcus, and I'll do a second one of the Locust Grunt once I've recovered. I say "recovered", because this is probably going to be a very "split" review - some good, and some bad. Read on, and see what I mean.

I generally like the packaging that NECA uses. To me, a figure package is supposed to show off the figure while being sturdy enough to take some punishment. The clamshells generally accomplish both of these functions. That said, it seems to me that NECA has 2 different kind of clamshell plastics that they use- one is thinner and more brittle. I've come across these mostly on their Player Select re-issues (the ones priced at $9.99 at Toys R Us), and I figured it was to save a little money on the figures with a lower price point. The Marcus/Grunt pack use that same plastic, though. And these are heavy figures. As a result, all three packages I saw on the shelf had the same problem: a large crack along the lower corner of the bubble. Not a big deal if you're planning to open the package, but certainly an issue for anyone planning to keep them MIP, and a definite problem with QC.

I love the look and design of the package, but there are a couple of things you may want to know: 1 good, and 1 not so much. First, the good. I originally passed on this pack because I didn't like the look of the "flameburst" weapons, or whatever they are called. Having never played the game, I don't know their history, but to me they look silly and just way too orange. Upon a later examination of the package, I saw that a regular version of the Hammerburst and a regular version of some other kind of Lancer ARE included- they're just shoved way down low in the bubble, and are hidden by the graphics. On to the bad: Marcus's head is shoved way over to the right in my particular package. Looked fine in-pack, but once he was out of the bubble and his head was straightened, I noticed a huge black smudge on the right jawline- must have been that the paint stuck at the shoulder point, so he's going to need some touching up. Oh, if that was my only gripe! Remember my comment about a "split" review? Here it comes.

Let's just get this out of the way: Marcus Fenix looks absolutely incredible. He's flat-out amazing. The detail and paint are simply astounding. I like the face-sculpt much more than on the earlier version, though he seems to have a bit of a pin-head (either that or the last Marcus from Gears 2 had a humongous noggin). The washes and textures are brilliant. His belt is so full of accouterments that it puts anything Batman could boast to shame. The skull designs and tattoos are perfect, he's full of scrapes and scratches, and everything works together in perfect harmony. NECA even used a range of materials to make Marcus work: softer plastic (almost rubbery) in places where the articulation would have been hindered. I say "would have" because, Holy Cow, is this guy articulated! The articulation is brilliant. Not only is there plenty of it, but it is so well hidden and thought-out that I couldn't imagine it being done in any better way. I usually don't bother spending much time on articulation, but Marcus here deserves some coverage.

 The ball-jointed head works pretty well, though the range is a bit limited by Marcus's tree-trunk-like neck. The torso has a ball just under the armor that has some excellent forward and backwards tilt and side-to-side swivel. There's also a swivel joint right at the waist that was initially stuck, then once unstuck became pretty loose. Loose joints are a pet peeve of mine, but as long as it isn't the ankles, I can live with it. Now, here's where things get fun. The shoulder joints feature a ball joint within a sleeve. The sleeve allows some inward motion (kind of like their Street Fighter IV figures, without the unsightly hinges), though not as much as, say, the Crysis Nanosuit figure. Awesome idea, but here's the catch. The swivel is held in by 2 pins, one on top and another at the bottom, which are made of the rubbery plastic. As a result, when the factory worker shoves the sleeve into place, the pin bends and doesn't pop in to the fairly shallow indents that hold it in place. So, needless to say, my Marcus's entire left arm and shoulder came out while posing!

I was able to pop it back into place, precariously, for the time-being, but he's never going to be up to any heavy-duty posing. Ugh. Another strike in the quality control department. And that's really where my beefs with this figure come into play. In theory, he's just about perfect. In terms of the execution, he's good but a little frustrating: brittle packaging, giant paint defect on the face, loose torso joint, left arm that falls out- you get the idea.

Back to the articulation: besides the shoulder joints, Fenix sports double-pin elbows and a ball-jointed wrist with an in-out swivel. The right hand holds the weapon perfectly tightly and the left hand is open in a loose-grip to hold the stock of the rifle (and, no, I can't get the arms across the chest to be able to have a two-handed hold, but I'm also worried about breaking his other arm, so a more daring poser may have better luck).

The legs are full of intriguing articulation, as well. The crotch pieces include swivels for forward/backward as well as side-to-side movement (think Bulletstorm Grayson Hunt figure style). Then the top of the thigh is a case that fits around an inner piece (maybe it's a ball?), which allows it to rotate, a little like a hidden bicep joint would on the arm (why doesn't he have a bicep swivel, I keep wondering? It's like the only joint he's missing!). The knee ball hinge is well-hidden, and he's got a nicely hidden ball-jointed ankle that works well under the soft rubbery shin-guards. Finally, he's got pin-jointed toes to finish out his feet in case you'd like to pose him leaning forward or running or something. The joints are generally tight, and the elbows even seem to feature a little in the way of clicking joints.

Marcus is a little bit of a mixed-bag for me with a heavier lean towards the positive. He looks awesome, and he's got plenty of articulation, but I'm a little nervous to fully test it: the joints seem to loosen pretty quickly with my NECA figures, and I don't want his arms falling out on me any more. As a result, he'll end up in a pretty "vanilla pose" on the shelf, so I may have been better off displaying him in-package. I'll have to wait and see how the Locust Grunt turns out. The giant face smudge is a huge disappointment, as well. I'll definitely be picking up the other Wave 1 figures when they come out: Marcus Fenix, Clayton Carmine and Anya Stroud, in the middle of November, but I'm leaning more towards keeping them MIP for display as a result of the problems I've had with this 2-pack version of Marcus.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ben 10 Ultimate Humungousaur Figure

Ultimate Humungousaur comes from the Bandai 4" line of Ben 10 action figures, and (just like the previously review Rath and Ultimate Spider Monkey) he's a durable, cool-looking creature with vibrant colors and very limited pose-ability. 

Ultimate Humungousaur sports 10 points of articulation, though they are pretty limited in terms of the poses you can get out of them: swivel shoulders, neck, tail and hips, with single pin elbows and knees. That's it- like I said, pretty limited.

He comes with a miniature translucent green version of himself for the Ultramatrix toy, and it's a pretty nifty sculpt, though there isn't much to do with it.

The overall sculpt and look (just like with the other figures in the line), are Humungousaur's strengths. He looks like he just stepped out of the cartoon, and the shiny plastic and deep greens really make him stand out on the display shelf.

His turtle-shell (I know, it's a dinosaur Ankylosaur thingy) looks good from the back, as well.

Ultimate Humungousar is another great-looking Ben 10 figure (ignore the screws in his back), with some nice play value at a decent price. I'm happy with him in my collection, and don't really have much in the way of complaints- with this line, I know what I'm getting for the cost, and I'm willing to accept the limited articulation as the trade-off.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Quick-Shot: Ben 10 Ultimate Spider-Monkey

What I Love: This guy looks awesome! The sculpt is great- especially the face- and the matte black and deep purple work so well with the vibrant greens to make this figure really stand out on the shelf. He's got such a unique look, what with the giant purple spider legs and potbellied gorilla body and all...
What's Not to Love: My only major problem with Ultimate Spider Monkey is the heavily restricted articulation. The large rear spider legs plug in right below his gorilla armpits, making it impossible for him to lower his arms past about 45 degrees.
I can fiddle with the spider legs a little to give the spider arms a tiny bit more mobility, but he doesn't really look right with the spider legs splayed out too far. His tiny gorilla legs are articulated with swivels at the torso, but they don't really do much. So his arms are the only things that give the figure any "life".
 So, in short, he looks terrific but there's not much range in how Ultimate Spider Monkey will be posed. He's built pretty solidly (even the spider legs), so I'm pretty sure he could be well played-with, and his look is really accurate to the show. At the Wal-mart price of $7, he's about right, while the Toys R Us option at $9 is enough to be irritating...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thundercats Classics Mumm-Ra Staction Figure

A "staction figure" is a statue made to resemble an action figure (scale, paint and materials), but without any articulation. McFarlane Toys really began the trend, I think, but weren't savvy enough to admit to it. Later,  NECA made them cool with their Masters of the Universe 200x Stactions, sculpted by the stellar Four Horsemen.

Newcomers Icon Heroes have released their first "staction": Mumm-Ra The Ever-Living (they actually released a Lion-O previously, but that one is a straight-up statue in my mind, as it's made of resin, while Mumm-Ra is fashioned of a more traditional action-figurey plastic).

He's done in a 7" scale, standing a bit over 9" tall and 11" wide from cape-tip to cape-tip.
 The pose is taken directly from the original cartoon, I suppose, though I haven't come across the actual scene yet. There's a moment in the opening where Mumm-Ra becomes the Ever-Living, but his hands are fists, and this version features open claws, so I'm guessing the pose comes from a different moment in the show, though I can't be sure. The pose is an absolute strength of the figure. Mumm-Ra is looming forward menacingly, with a ghastly grimace and whipping ribbons everywhere. Honestly, if he was an action figure, this is the pose I'd keep him in on the shelf, anyway, so I don't mind the lack or articulation at all.
The figure is highlighted and airbrushed beautifully; the shades are subtle enough to suggest shadows and heighten detail, rather than being overdone and messy.

The sculpt is truly terrific. Mumm-Ra features tons of detail, from his superhuman musculature to the ribbons whipping about him. 

His cuffs and shinguards are appropriately metallic, while the ribbons and loincloth are nicely wrinkled. 

With nothing else to rely on but how it looks, a statue needs to be visually stunning and this one certainly is! My only slight complaint is with the length of his arms- they look a little stubby to me. I think a bit of that has to do with the exaggerated musculature, but it is what it is.

My only other major concern is with Mumm-Ra's "lean". It's quite steep- to the point where I'm worried about the constant pressure it's putting on the fairly thin ankles. I've tried a hot-water bath twice to straighten his posture, but he keeps returning to the looming position. Mumm-Ra came with a stand (a simple black oval) and one removable peg (why one? there are two holes, why not include 2 pegs?), which is allowing him to fight gravity a little better than he would without, but I'm constantly worried that he's going to take a dive off the shelf. 
Mumm-Ra comes in a nice window box, sporting some neat features of its own. Mumm-Ra's symbol adorns the box front-and-center, red on black. The 2 front panels open to reveal the window, and Mumm-Ra, along with some stellar art-work.

 I like how the Thundercats Classic logo is consistent even though Bandai, Mezco and Icon Heroes are creating figures independently of one another: the lettering and artwork seems to match across each of the companies' products (Bandai 8" figures, Mezco's 14" Mega-scale Lion-O and Icon Heroes Mumm-Ra). The art-work itself is spectacular- full of dynamic detail.

The interior artwork is no less spectacular, featuring Mumm-Ra's famous saying, spread across all three panels.

"Ancient Spirits of Evil, Transform this Decayed Form To...Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living!"

A nice touch is the included background of the center panel, which shows Mumm-Ra's skull sarcophagus lair. It's advertised as a "diorama insert", but I have no idea what that means- to me it's just a cardboard backing with a fancy name.

The box back shows off the staction along with the previously released Lion-O statue, and a section that shows Mumm-Ra through its stages of development.
 Included are shots of the cartoon pose the figure is based on, the concept art and an in-progress sculpt shot (you can see where the guard detail on the right shin is still incomplete). It's a pretty cool and unique look into the process involved in getting a figure done from concept to production.
I've got to say, I love this figure. I don't have many static figures in my collection, but this one is a gem. I was a little hesitant at first, but the sculpt and paint really won me over once I had Mumm-Ra in hand. In fact, I'm so taken by this figure that I'm planning to buy the future releases in the line (Jaga and Jackalman have been advertised for pre-order on several sights, but I've unfortunately heard that the release of those two figures is being pushed back to early 2012). Mumm-Ra is a great statue figure (if not a bit expensive), one that I'm glad to have as part of my collection!

Here's Icon Heroes Classic Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living alongside the Bandai 6" Modern Version Mumm-Ra for size comparison.