Batman and Robin #34…Robin Rises part 3, SpartanNerd thoughts

I only have one big thing to highlight…

IMG_0310

 

The last page!  Batman flies off into Apokolips wearing the Hellbat suit!   Now we have to wait until OCTOBER to see what happens next!

This book pretty much confirmed that this isn’t the same suit we have been seeing.  It looks awesome!

(It’s not that I’m not excited about the Futures End event, but DC is keeping us in SUSPENSE about Robin!

OK, one more thing to say.  Bruce totally lied to his bat-family AGAIN, when saying he was going to be transparent.  Dick Grayson was alive and well and present at the meeting.  He should have just told them.

SpartanNerd Review…Final Fantasy Trading Arts Mini Yuffy and Aerith

(OK. I’m going to call “Aerith” by her beloved American name, “Aeris”)

 

If you have been following my blog, then you know that SpartanKid got some new figures for his birthday, figures that fell short of our expectations…

He got those because I steered him away from these.  What can I say, I was COMPLETELY WRONG.

The SpartanKid bought these two guys from The Tangled Web, and for $20 a piece, WHAT A VALUE!

1 Aeris box front 2 Aeris box back

 

Here is Aeris in box.  I assure you, Yuffie is basically the same.  All of this packaging is in Japanese, so I have no idea what it says.

3 girls together

Here are both girls, fully assembled, and standing together on their connected stands.  It is nice that the stands that come with them connect together for display purposes.  Yuffy has no problem standing without her stand, but Aeris is too top-heavy in the pink dress,…not so much in the night gown.

7 areis in gown

Both characters come with two outfits.  The pieces fit together by little pegs that mostly work pretty good.  Yuffy has an alternate hand that is too loose.

4 Aeris pieces 5 yuffie pieces

I suppose I should do this right…Sorry for rambling.  Here is a pic of all of the pieces each girl comes with.  Each comes with three faces and a fourth blank face that you can customize.  Neither me nor the SpartanKid are up for that quite yet…

The clear pieces are speech bubbles or parts of the stand.  The stand has pegs and props that attach to the bottom.  The stands are pretty good.

Both characters come with alternate hands as well as outfits.  Yuffie has two different weapons…I should say COLORS of the same weapon.

I mean, all of this for $20…Deep customization, a fairly durable product…I was very pleased with these.  If only I had steered him towards a Cloud or Vincent like this.  He would have been happier probably.

8 aeris speech bubble11 Yuffie Speech bubble

The figures remind me of something made of “Sculpy” clay…I know they are not, but they feel like that.  It isn’t unpleasant…

6 Aeris with staff

My rating for Final Fantasy Trading Arts Mini Aeris and Yuffie…

These figures allow for a lot of customization…you can even swap dresses/shorts, hands, hairpieces, whatever you want.  They come with a nice stand.  They feel nice in your hands…They are true to each character’s “character” in Final Fantasy VII, (Aeris with the staff and flowers, Yuffie with the bandanas and giant throwing stars)

I feel I need to take a point from Yuffie for that loose hand…It fits in the wrist socket fine, but can’t support one of the weapons.

The only other point off is that it is all in Japanese with no English translation.  I wish there was AT LEAST a translation, for us illiterate Americans.

So I give Final Fantasy Trading Arts Mini Aeris and Yuffie a 4/5!

Playing with dress-up dolls sort of makes me cringe a little, but these figures are very nice, and I have been surprised how much fun they have been with playing with the SpartanKid, (a male!)

What would your rating be?  Let me know!

 

 

 

SpartanNerd Review…Play Arts Kai Final Fantasy Advent Children Vincent Valentine

(You should read my review of Cloud Strife from Play Arts Kai if you have the chance, as well as this review to get the whole skinny.)

Final Fantasy VII…The game called “Possibly the greatest game ever made…”  It was for a good reason.  The characters are highly developed, the story is deep, the gameplay is complex, and it is a lengthy game that immerses the player into a fantasy world enough to care about spending hours and hours of time.

Vincent was a “hidden character” in the game…part of an optional side quest.  His story had a good bearing on the whole thing because he could have captured the love of Sephiroth’s mother rather than the scientist she wound up with.  In the game, Vincent is “cursed,” he transforms into various monsters as his limit break.  He has a vampire theme going on…a very gothic type of character.

There is another game featuring Vincent titled “Dirge of Cerberus.”  I haven’t played this game, but evidently it is a first person shooter.  I bring this up because Vincent’s figure features that weapon.  This version here is from Final Fantasy Advent Children, the movie that is the supposed sequel to the game.  (I need to watch that sometime!)

2 vincent second pose

 

 

You can see in the pic that Vincent has a fantastic sculpt!  His pointy boots aren’t necessarily my style.  His cape is appropriately tattered, and he has a cloak that covers his shoulders.

7 vincent face

This is another one of those feminine faces.  This time he appears to be wearing lipstick, too.

6 vincent hand

One of my favorite details is this metal gauntlet on his left hand.  I thought in the past that maybe this was a robotic hand or something.  But this figure clears up the mystery.  It is a weapon, with claws on the tips of the fingers!

Notice the stand.  This figure has a defect…his right leg wants to come loose from its ball joint.  basically anytime you move that leg it lets go.  Vincent has no trouble standing, on or off of the stand.  But you have to mess with that leg every time.

5 vincent back

As great as the front of the figure looks, his back is rather plain…

Vincent comes with two accessories.  One open hand, not pictured here.  What’s the point?  SpartanKid wants him to hold his weapon always…his other accessory is his weapon, the Cerberus.

3 vincent chain thing

The only thing I want to point out about this weapon besides that it is a three-barreled long neck pistol is this unusual key…This must be the key to his coffin.  Since I haven’t played “Dirge,” I can’t say anything more about that.

My Rating for Play Arts Kai Final Fantasy Advent Children Vincent Valentine.

I have to deduct a point because of the leg problem.  When you pay around $50 for a figure, it better be perfect.  Next I would like to say that I wish Vincent came with more stuff.  I am glad that the swappable hand that he came with doesn’t have the same problems that the same version of Cloud Strife had,…no it is a traditional ball joint attached to the hand as part of the sculpt.  I don’t know if Play Arts Kai learned their lesson or what.  But I’m glad at least that part of the figure doesn’t have those problems. However the open hand for holding the gun was so stiff I had to use a hair dryer to get it to budge enough to arm him!  Only one more small thing, Vincent’s cloak prevents you from moving his arms up any higher than his elbows when they are bent.  That is why you don’t see any fancy poses here.  All you can really do is pose him standing with or without his gun.

His sculpt is excellent…and he makes for a great “posable statue.”  But as an action figure along the lines of Marvel Select or Masters of the Universe Classics, he falls short.

My rating for vincent is 2/5.  What’s yours?  Leave a comment and let me know!

 

SpartanNerd Review…Play Arts Kai Final Fantasy Dissidia Cloud Strife

Warning….Depressing news ahead  😦

 

SpartanTeen wanted a new set of “Beats” for his birthday…totalling around $100.  We were OK with that.  But we had to be fair.

So then SpartanKid had to get around $100 to spend (for fairness sake.)

Well he had his eye on these Final Fantasy mini-figures at The Tangled Web.  But I kind of talked him out of them.  They are the mini variety, and one was of Yuffie and the other was of Aeris.   I just though he could have better, since he had more money to spend than was required, and those figures seemed so…humble..?..?..  (I will refer to these words at a later date.)

So I guided him a little.  I said, “Son, you sure you don’t want a larger scaled Final Fantasy Figure?”  Of course he was excited!

I did not know what I was getting into….

 

I scoured the internet, and for the most part there aren’t any Final Fantasy VII figures.  Kotobukyu made some.  And there are some “Trading Arts” types that have limited articulation and low detail.

He really wanted Sephiroth.  The “big S” was definitely out of the picture.  Every figure I saw on the internet was well over $100.  But Vincent kept coming up when I typed Sephiroth, and Vincent was his other choice.  Vincent only costed about $50, and so he naturally said, “How about Cloud?”  I found a comparable cloud figure and KABAAM, his birthday wishes were fulfilled.

 

As Timmy Turner would remind us, that is the power of the internet.  Too bad the internet can burn you, too…

 

These action figures arrived a few weeks ahead of time.  We put them away strategically, and everything like that.  I took pictures of the boxes, anticipating a review, (but I’ve lost the photos.)  When the big day came, he was so excited.  He said “I have an idea. You draw a map, and let me find my presents.”  The SpartanWife did this while I was away.  I can only imagine how this escalated the excitement…

 

I came home to a sad, sad child.  Cloud’s hand was broken in the box, evidently.  Manufacturers defect.  MAJOR BUMMER.  (And Vincent’s leg was loose.  But that will be a different review.)

 

2 cloud bust

 

 

For the price of this thing, this shouldn’t have happened.  Not in a million years.

This is the first figure I’ve seen opened and broken in a long, long time.  It is very unacceptable.  And all of that excitement ramp, YOU KNOW that contributed to a major emotional crash when this was discovered.

(What actually broke was the peg on the ball joint that connects the wrist to the forearm.  In the picture above, I have applied superglue and I decided to photograph the figure as it set.

Here is my review of the rest of the figure.  Let me say, though.  my anger might have “cloud”ed my judgement.

Cloud has an excellent sculpt.  I can’t complain at all about the sculpting except for the head.  I will point out that Cloud looks a little feminine.  Sometimes anime type characters do, however.  But this time he really does have a girly face.  His hair looks good, but on closer examination there is some slop right at the hairline.  I don’t know if that is the sculptors trying to sculpt a shadow or some kind of detail.  But it looks to me like sloppy glue.

1 cloud handless

3 cloud back

Cloud doesn’t have any trouble standing while he isn’t holding anything…

5 cloud hands and sword

Cloud Strife wouldn’t be who he is without this item.  The buster sword was essential to the figure.  And it is rendered perfectly here.  It has a little bit of weight to it too.  I love how it is beautifully captured, right from the game!  The three hands here are Cloud’s two alternate hands, and the hand that broke off.  Cloud’s open hands are pretty good.  I wish they had a tighter grip so they could hold the sword better, but they are good enough.  The other two hands are a puzzle…They are the closed fist type with a hole through the middle so you can insert an accessory.  But what accessory can fit in that hole?  Not the buster sword.  (The handle is too fat.)

4 cloud alternate hands

I decided to get brave.  I put the hand on the broken peg, (it set for about 15 minutes), and swapped out the closed hand for an open hand on his left side, and then propped him with the sword on the ground.  This is kind of a classic pose for cloud, except for the goofy hand in the air.

6 cloud hand glued on standing with sword

 

You can see, he looks fantastic with his sword and his complete hand.

 

Feeling braver still, I put the sword in the raised hand.  Sadly, the weight of the sword caused the glue to give way, and I had to start over  😦

 

Here is my rating for Final Fantasy Dissidia Cloud Strife.

I was able to repair the hand with superglue.  But the hand is not posable, much less swappable as intended.  This is a major mark off of my rating.  I will add that his hair has some sloppy glue on it, at least that’s what it looks like to me anyways.

I read other reviews of this figure on the internet, and there were a few people who mentioned that theirs was broken in the box.  Not many, but one or two.  Most everyone said that they couldn’t pose Cloud standing with the buster sword.  But my superglued version of Cloud does hold the sword, and holds it however I want!  Behind the head, in front as if in battle, to the side like a shield.  Whatever.

 

But my overall impression of this figure is that it isn’t for playing.  It is for poking at every once in a while.  Maybe posed, but then left alone.  Certainly no rough play.  So it’s more of a “posable statue” than an action figure.  I am personally used to the Masters of the Universe Classics and Marvel Select figures,…,these are figures that rarely give me any big problems, with the occasional loose ankle or something being as bad as it gets.  But hand broken off…no way.  Never.  And I will point out the average cost of figures in both lines are cheaper than this figure was.  Let’s keep in mind, though, that I bought this for a child.  He wants to play with it, too rough I’m sure.

 

I am not too familiar with the game called “Dissidia.”  The version of Cloud bouncing around in my head is the low rez version from Final Fantasy VII.  Back then when Square decided to render him as high as they could, it didn’t seem that he appeared feminine.  But maybe the Dissidia version is.  I won’t judge on that.  This cloud doesn’t speak to me like that version does, though.

I rate FInal Fantasy Dissidia Cloud Strife 2/5.  Cloud earned the points he has because of the awesome rendition of the buster sword, and because the sculpt is generally good.  Points were taken off because there is glue slop at his hairline, the alternate hands are seemingly useless, and then the whole ordeal with it being broken before coming out of the box.

 

Anyone out there disagree?  Let me know.  I will be sending a copy of this review to Play Arts Kai.  I felt confident that it was going to be a good product when I ordered it due to past experience with Mega Man X.  But I was mistaken.  I will let the world know what Play Arts Kai has to say if they say or do anything at all.

 

SpartanNerd Blog…AMAZING NEWS! He-Man: The Eternity War

Of course I could’t let this go without comment!

Details about the picture…

The Snake-Men appear to continue to be aligned with the good guys.

She-Ra is the central hero(ine) in this cover photo!

Orko is back to normal!

The only masters that remain alive, as far as we know in the current comic, are He-Man,  Moss Man, Man-At-Arms, and Stratos.  Teela has of course ascended to Green Goddess status as the new sorceress.

Skeletor is back with his regular skull face…(This might be related to Orko being normal again.)

Does Skeletor now have a power sword?  We notice that the Havoc Staff is missing.  In the story, Dark Orko fused Skeletor with his staff after He-Man broke his jaw and defeated him.  The Havoc Staff’s power apparently made him a huge hulk of a skeleton warrior.

Also, we haven’t seen too much of Panthor lately.

Hordak doesn’t appear as a god.  It has been established that he cannot go to Eternia because of his curse in banishment to Despondos.

It’s good to see Scorpia (is that her name?)

Skeletor seems to have all of his main bad guys, except for Whiplash.  Has he even made an appearance in the current comics?

Castle Grayskull is back intact!

Last of all…Is that Loo-Kee?  (I don’t even care.)

We all know that the comic book cover might not even matter.  But still, it is fun to speculate!

This event is apparently a continuation of the comic rather than a re-boot.  I think they want to have a “#1” on the shelves again.  I will be sure to get all of the variant covers I can!

SpartanNerd Comics Review…Detective Comics Annual #3

This will be a brief review…Not doing pics and stuff.

This story relates to the “Icarus” storyline…a storyline sort of disconnected from the rest of the bat-verse.  (At least in the sense that it is its OWN story…It has little to do with Robin Rises or Batman: Eternal.)

 

So far the story has focused on Batman’s struggle against a dangerous drug called “Icarus,” which is threatening to hit the street.  It focuses more on Bruce Wayne’s social fight and Batman’s fight against gangsters.

 

D.C. Annual #3 is a pulpy prelude to the story.  It is told out of order, giving you clues of the times and dates that different things happen.

 

But the most striking thing here is how Batman “adopts” a new son, temporarily, but he does…and acts as his protector.  The surprise icing on the cake…the kids real father is Julian Day, aka. to us Bat-fans as “Calendar Man.”  In this issue, Batman created a villain as well as protected that villain’s child.  He took out the gun-runners would be Ick-dealing gangsters with his Bat-armor…(maybe something echoing in the recent “Hellbat” details,) dressed as “Matches Malone,” and really fought gritty.  And this issue provided some background into Batman’s relationship with Elena Aguilla’s work.

 

This book was a nail biter.  Rarely does a comic completely consume me, and invoke an emotional response.  This one had me cheering!  The NEW 52 comics should ALL be shining stars like this one.  And I’m left wanting to know more…What will happen to the kid?  When will we see a crazy Calendar Man?

 

I rate this comic 5/5.  How about you?  Leave a comment and let me know!