Friday, November 24, 2017

MAFEX Spider-Man Homecoming Toy Review

I don't often find myself choosing favorites in my toy collection. All of them are awesome in their own right (as they should be...I have good taste!), but sometimes I'm blessed to come across a toy that ticks every box in your feel-good checklist, and that time is now. Join me as I go over Medicom's MAFEX Spider-Man: Homecoming ver. action figure today!

The box is your standard MAFEX big box, the size needed to hold all the stuff the figure comes with...and it comes with a lot. Loads of alternate hands, webs out the wazoo, and alternate heads!

The first thing I liked after taking Spidey out of the box is his size. MAFEX action figures are known to be considerably larger than most 1:12 scale toys, and I was afraid that I would have an off-sized Spider-Man for my Infinity War collection. But thankfully MAFEX Spider-Man: Homecoming is appropriately teenager-sized, and looks great even beside a figure like the Marvel Legends Civil War wave Captain America, one of the smaller figures from that line!

The sculpt and detail are just spectacular. The lines and textures in the suit are sharp, the colors are vibrant and screen-accurate, and his proportions are more human-like than any other Spider-Man: Homecoming toy out there *cough Marvel Legends cough*. MAFEX's strengths as an action figure manufacturer are in full display here.

MAFEX Spider-Man: Homecoming boasts of an impressive array of articulation with extreme ranges of motion. An ab crunch you have to see to believe, double knees and elbows, shoulder hinges that can bring his arms straight forward or back in a realistic way...this figure has all the articulation that befits a name like Spider-Man! I've been warned about MAFEX and their floppy, loose-limbed figures, and my recent MAFEX purchase (Iron Man Mk. 45) proved them right. But it looks like Medicom got their shit together with this figure, because every joint is surprisingly tight so posing him is really fun!

Spidey ain't Spidey if he ain't spinning webs, and MAFEX Spider-Man Homecoming is packaged with a generous amount of them! Two short and two long "web shots" can be attached to Spider-Man's wrists, while "web strings" can be held in his hands to make him look like he's swinging through the city. There's also a web string with a large "web connector" on one end as if it's attached to something, for when you want to pose him hanging by a (web) thread.

You can pick and choose from those options for your display, but be careful as they're flimsy,  translucent plastic, and you don't want those disappearing!

The thing that blew geeks' minds when Spider-Man first appeared in the Civil War trailer was his expressive eyes, and the people at Medicom heard that fangasm loud and clear. So what do they do? They include an alternate "squinting" head! As much as I like how Figuarts did it, I'm fine with swapping heads instead of swapping microscopic eye pieces, thank you very much.

And now we come to the reason why I chose MAFEX over any other toyline: the unmasked head of Peter Parker as portrayed by Tom Holland on the big screen! It's a pretty passable likeness for something so small, but it could use some highlighting or a wash to make the features pop. I don't know how Medicom could include so much in their figures while still being priced competitively against similar lines (like Bandai's S.H. Figuarts), but however it is, I hope they don't stop!

And how cool is this: there are alternate hands and feet included with the figure that has magnets embedded in them! What does that mean? That means you can display MAFEX Spider-Man: Homecoming climbing walls! Provided they're metal, of course. But WALLS! I haven't gotten around to testing if they do work, since I'm having a hard time removing the non-magnet feet from its peg to swap with the magnet-ed one.

And therein lies my single peeve with this figure: swapping hands and feet are goddamn scary. The wrist pegs look very fragile, with only micrometers of plastic connecting the peg to the hinge. It feels like it only takes a few ham-handed attempts at hand-swapping to stress that tiny bit of plastic to the point of breaking, and a 70USD++ figure like this is not the kind you want breaking. Not to mention to this day I still haven't pulled its feet off the peg (and yes, I've read the instructions). Maybe it's just this particular figure, but definitely something to watch out for.

But they're minor gripes in the overall scheme of things, because the MAFEX Spider-Man Homecoming ver. action figure is simply amazing and represents the high point of MAFEX action figure engineering. I just found my favorite action figure this year, and I couldn't be happier!

It retails for around 70USD here in the Philippines, but it should be cheaper everywhere else. Shout out to the good folks at XPlay Collectibles for hooking me up with this toy!

I hope this review was useful to you! What's your favorite Spider-Man figure? What did you think of Homecoming? Leave a comment below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Justice League Movie Review

Justice League tries its best to escape the black hole that is BvS, but its weighed down by all the things it's trying to achieve. From introducing new characters, course-correcting the DC cinematic universe, to making a movie that will bring them out of Rotten Tomatoes hell and into the critically-acclaimed limelight, Justice League has its hands full and you can tell it's juggling them as best it can.

The new heroes Barry Allen/The Flash (played with infectious fanboy glee by Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) are pulled into the story seamlessly enough, and though you can see the seeds of future DC movies being sown, thankfully they're just there to advance the plot and aren't needed to fully understand the new guys nor the rest of the film. See, it wasn't that hard, DC!

Surprisingly, Justice League does its best to be *gasp* fun! Gone is the somber mood that gets more dour as the movie goes on...Justice League finally admits it's a goddamn comic book movie and adjusts accordingly. Batman gets to be witty and relatable, and even Momoa as Aquaman is a hoot to watch. There's also a lot of bombastic superheroic set pieces now that they've decided to fight bad guys instead of each other. The action is flashy and intense, as Justice League gives you no doubt that these colorfully-costumed do-gooders can bench-press apartment complexes or stop every single bullet from an automatic rifle. Watch Flash race through the screen in a burst of lightning and energy and tell me it didn't put a smile on your face.

The one thing that did put a smile on my face was the gloriousness that is Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot is an absolute beast here, a beautiful enigma that smiles to put children at ease one moment, then goes toe-to-toe with the movie's villain Steppenwolf the next, all without breaking a sweat.

Speaking of villains, it's unfortunate then (or should I say appropriate?) that Justice League's weakness lay in its main bad guy. Steppenwolf may be imposing and even downright scary (thanks to CiarĂ¡n Hinds' absolutely diabolical voice performance), but then Plot-Induced Stupidity kicks in during the third act and he turns into the typical raving villain who fights the Justice League 1 v 6, conveniently forgetting he has the entire force of Apokolips at his command. Stupid, yes, but then again seeing the entire Justice League work as a team on the big screen has been a dream for most of us, and at this point I'll take what I can get.

See, all DC had to do was try. To make a competent movie, to make us believe in heroes again. It's safe to say that Justice League is a fun time at the movies with one of the first and biggest superhero teams of all time, even if it didn't wow me like Wonder Woman did. A win is a win, and by god I'll take that over another shitty DC movie any day.

If you haven't read a single Justice League or DC comic book in your life, you'll probably enjoy this one. If you're a fanboy like me, I'll ask you to bring seat belts and a fresh pair of're in for a bumpy yet fun ride.

Oh, and it feels damn good to see you back, Superman!

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