SpartanNerd Matchup and Review…Dual Deck Matchup “Divine vs. Demonic”

Happy New Year!


Reviewing the Magic the Gathering Dual Decks Anthology has been a labor of love.  From requesting a free sample (and being ignored), to managing to get my copy at the Tangled Web, to opening it at midnight, making unboxing videos to save time, to finally making the decision to do Divine vs. Demonic last.

Here are links to all of my past reviews on the unboxing and matchup.  (I suggest you read the following before reading the review of Divine Vs. Demonic first…)

Link to the original unboxing

Link to Garruk vs. Liliana

Link to Jace Vs. Chandra

Link to Elves vs. Goblins.

First I would like to share my reasoning for doing Divine vs. Demonic last.


“Divine vs. Demonic” has the money cards.  There is an alternate art “Demonic Tutor,” which was apparently only printed in this set the first go around.  You get a foil “Akroma, Angel of Wrath,” which has been a $20 card.  You also get some other pricey angels.  Basically, leading up to getting this set, when I was reading about the anticipation, etc, I came across the fact that the original sealed “Divine vs. Demonic” set was selling for around $130.  And the Anthology was $100, so…

I don’t collect Magic cards for their value.  I like to play the game.  And I like collecting them, managing them, and building neat decks.  But I couldn’t ignore the financial issue here.  This is one reason I have consistently seen people excited about the Anthology.


My color is black.  And my secondary color is white.  I have collected my share of Angels and Demons since I began playing the game.

With the Dual Decks Anthology, I have THE collection of angels and demons ready to play.  I even let the SpartanKid play the angel deck at the last Modern tournament.  (we had to make a few substitutions…the deck is legacy legal.  Incidentally, it also isn’t competitive at a tournament.)

All this said, the first matchups at the SpartanNerd household were of these decks.  And the Angels were winning consistently.  Almost no matter what I did to try and beat them with the Demonic deck.  And this became a problem for me, and prompted me to delay this review until last.  A nine year old was consistently beating someone who had STUDIED the deck ahead of time.  I had to figure it out.  (I did eventually.)


We started playing this game around three and a half years ago.  At first I was unaware of Demon cards.  But when I caught wind of them, I decided to keep it quiet and think about it for awhile.  We are a Christian family.  Angels and Demons both have a special significance to us.

We had read Harry Potter books, watched lots of Masters of the Universe, seen Star Wars, etc.  And in this stuff, there is sometimes a hint of larger evil behind the fantasy.  I wanted to be sure that my children could separate fantasy from reality.  In reality, I have taught them that Demons are definitely something not to mess with.  And Angels are something to think about and not forget.  I have taught them that there IS a larger spiritual war going on around us, and that no less than Satan desires to tear us down.  Everything from movies, to music, video games, and yes card games can be an outlet of influence if we are not guarded.

After awhile, I talked them more and more about this, and slowly introduced the angels and demons as fantasy creatures…not the real thing.  And it has stuck!  My children are very level headed, thankfully.  And they had less trouble thinking on the Theros block with its “God” cards.  There was no need at all really to have a Sunday School lesson about it.


I got a new iPhone 6!  Time to test out the camera!  What better product to photograph.  This time I am not doing a little video.  The product has long since been opened.


On with the show.

The “Divine” Deck


Akroma IS a win condition.  The Demon deck has basically only two answers to Akroma.  Because she is Pro-Black, she can’t even be killed by anything in the Demon deck.  Basically, if the person piloting the angel deck gets this card on the battlefield, it probably spells GG.

Akroma isn’t the only “boss” in this deck.  There are three others.

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Reya is a white re-animator.  OUCH!  Luminous Angel gets out a bunch of flying tokens.  And Twilight Shepherd is ANNOYING.  Flying Vigilance.  AND PERSIST.

These four cards are unfair.  Especially Akroma, though.

The rest of the creatures aren’t anything to sniff at, either.


This card has “a big butt” whenever it blocks.


OK, TAP ME! I want to give someone a hand.


You’ll notice that I have switched the regular printing to this foil I had in my binder. I have so far been pretty good about not making substitutions in these decks. In this case, the Serra Angel actually has a good use, besides just looking pretty in my binder. If I’m not mistaken, Serra Angel is the original angel in MTG, right?


Here is one of the things that makes this deck unfair. The Divine deck has life GAIN. The black deck, more like life loss.

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You get more pump with these two.

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And I suppose the angels are protecting these humans.  These six cards tip the scale.  The Angel deck is also THE MONO WHITE deck.

And the SpartanNerd can say something that he has heard mis-spoken several times by other people who have reviewed this deck.  Icatian Priest is pronounced like this.  I (like in “is”)   KAY  SHUN.  It is a Schwa, people.

Creatures alone could win this matchup.  But of course there are OTHER SPELLS!


This amounts to an “escape hatch” for an Angel in trouble.


A pacifism with life gain. Which incidentally could be put on a Planeswalker, if needed. (It isn’t needed for this matchup.)


This is the worst card in the whole deck. Why not just put two more plains in here? There is no land destruction. Cards like this are the worst kind of card except for in two cases usually, Draft and Commander. Why it is in the Divine deck is beyond me.


Now this is a useful artifact.


I like cards like this! It can be either offensive or defensive.


Another good card. This one sort of reminds me of a charm.


I think I might order more of these. The art on this Pacifism is FAR BETTER than the modern version. The modern version is so annoying/disturbing/ugly…my children have consistently avoided playing it.


This is a good card. It has exalted and suppresses the opponent. Nice!


Besides protect, what is that other thing that Angels do…oh yeah. Make you feel bad for doing bad stuff.

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And finally, the other stuff.


The cycling lands are cool. That is what they should have given us more of, instead of “Marble Diamond” The spirit tokens here aren’t my favorite.

I think above all else, the Divine deck is very flavorful.  Elves and Goblins were flavorful.  But the Angels definitely are too in every way.

The Demonic Deck


The counterpart of Akroma…Lord of the Pit.  A 7/7 flyer that hurts you if you can’t sacrifice someone every turn.  Lord of the Pit sets the tone for the rest of this deck pretty much.  The demons can help you…for a price….

Assuming you are Liliana…(the SpartanNerd is TOTALLY Liliana.  Ask the people I play with.)

Luckily, LotP has only appeared ONCE in all the times I have played this deck.  It seems that Kuro, Pit Lord shows up more often, thankfully.  And I’d rather have him anyways.


Being BLACK is great.  I don’t even mind paying the life to kill off target angels.

But TARGET angels is the problem, isn’t it.  When Akroma has Hexproof and is PRO-BLACK (shudder).

Luckily, there is this guy.  But unfortunately, he is about it.


The Demonic deck has these three bosses.  That’s it.  Remember that the Divine deck had four?  Not fair, right!

OK, I’ll continue with the chumps creatures in this deck.  Almost everything has flying, thankfully.


Aren’t all Demons fallen angels? (So says the Bible. Not in MTG.)


Fallen Angel and Souldrinker are the only two creatures in this deck that aren’t Demons or Imps.


Usually, you don’t get to activate the Hellbent ability operating this deck, if you are playing it correctly.


Oops. There is a Specter in here too. Good thing, too. Specter’s are usually good. In this case, the Angels have to discard a card.


This one’s a puzzle. The Demonic deck has ZERO re-animation. Why you would Dredge 5 is beyond me. Otherwise, he is a perfectly good death-toucher

After these notable guys, there are lots of other “chumps”.  Mostly flying imps with varying abilities.

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When playing this deck, you DON”T WANT any bosses in your opening hand.  Look for these guys first.  This is what I have learned about playing the Demonic Deck and standing a chance against the angels!  The bosses are a useless card in hand, generally.  While you can play the chumps and have some utility, usually.  (with the exception Daggerclaw Imp.  If I ever fire someone, he will be the first to go!)

The Divine Deck can win with its creatures alone.  Unfortunately, the Demonic Deck can’t.  You will have to play dirty!  Luckily, there are lots of ways to get something over on you opponent!  First of all, the card that is one of the draws to buy this set.


SAVE THIS CARD!  When you open the game with it in your hand.  Hang on to it!  Use it to summon River Demon in case Akroma hits the board.

What else dirty and rotten is going down?


Don’t burn this card at the wrong time.  It will cost you the game.  Burning Dark Ritual early will net you a loss.  And it is an instant, so you will be tempted.

Other pieces of this dark puzzle…


You need this card to make some useless Thrull chumps to sacrifice to Lord of the Pit and others. Too bad they don’t block angels, though. The problem with this card is the upkeep cost. Every upkeep you have to decide “Hmmm.. keep this around? The deck is Mana Hungry. So…


This guy with the creepy art appears in the Ob Nixilis Commander deck as well. You can entwine it, and get two big effect in one card. Too bad it costs 10 mana to make all of that happen. (Easier in Commander than here in the Dual Deck)


Isn’t Doom Blade better? The angels can’t regenerate anyways.


This is a good card to put on a flyer. Unfortunately, it is going to take more than this one card to save your creature from dying, as most of the angels can kill things with as much as 4 toughness.


This amounts to removal for an angel. A boost for a demon.


The other way of dealing with Akroma. Besides sweeping the board with Riever Demon, you can force your opponent to sacrifice someone. And that lone angel might be Akroma.  Barter in Blood is also in the deck…somehow I didn’t get that photo?


What Mono Black deck doesn’t run this?


A bad Thoughtsieze. You can’t get a creature 😦


This is sort of like Corrupt. Not as good, though.


And a lone artifact. The Demon’s Horn is like the Angel’s Feather.

FInally, everything else.


Barren Moor is best when cycled.  Yes.  You need mana.  But probably more than that you need the right cards.

As for the tokens, there is a big classical style Demon.  This is the same token that came with Ob Nixilis.  And you get some Thrulls.  I wish they had included as many as they had elves and goblins.  You don’t need that many spirits for the angel deck.  But the demons like sacrificial chumps.


I have finally figured out how to take the Divine Deck out with the Demonic Deck.  It took me awhile.  The Angels seem an impossible matchup.  Sometimes they get all the way up to 30+ life before the Demons can start doing their thing.  You just have to work the early game with the imps and smaller creatures.  You bide your time until finally you can drop Kuro Pitlord or Lord of the Pit.  As for Riever Demon, save him for Akroma.  Lord of the Pit can be bad for YOU if you don’t have enough life, or if you don’t have anyone to sacrifice.  And then there’s Unholy Strength.  It is cheap enough to build a voltron in early game if you happen to be able to pile two onto Foul Imp or someone.  You just have to be ready to scrap it up in the early game, then power out a big guy in the mid game.  Unfortunately, most of the cards are a one-of…Demonic Tutor, for instance, so you can’t ever count on getting someone.

Most games with these two decks start pretty slow.  But the Angels gain early advantage, just by enter-the-battlefield abilities that gain the pilot life and make it harder on the opponent.  The Angel deck also slows down the demonic deck with Righteous Cause.  This usually makes an appearance.  And Demonic cannot remove enchantments.

The Divine deck is a winner out of the box.  Most everything flies, is hard to kill, or gains you life.  With the downside of being expensive to get things going.  I think the Angels might be a good enhancement to the White Weenie strategy, say, the Modern Event Deck, for instance.


My Rating of Magic the Gathering Dual Decks Anthology “Divine vs. Demonic” is a cautious 5/5.  Everything is the same about these decks as with the others, as far as aesthetics.  The decks DO have the older school art, and that feel of the old days of Magic.  (Days I never experienced.  But know of.)  They are boxed the same way in beautiful deck boxes, and have the modern card frames.

The Demonic deck has been an entertaining challenge to learn, and the Angels have been strong opponents.

I rate Dual Decks Anthology “Divine vs. Demonic” 5/5.  Do you agree?  Let me know in the comments!

I will continue playing all of these decks against one another.  Hopefully will have a big match one day pitting them all together at the same time!

SpartanNerd Review…Dual Decks Anthology “Elves vs. Goblins”


So far, I have reviewed Garruk vs. Liliana and Jace vs. Chandra.  I thought I would save Divine vs Demonic for last, because that is the one that has the “money cards” in it that people were hotly interested in, and besides that, I have other reasons…(I will reveal them in time!)

So for now, you get my review of Elves vs. Goblins.  If I’m not mistaken, this was the first ever Dual Decks product from the Wizards of the Coast.


I prefer unboxing these decks on video, rather than taking pictures of the cards.  This is a true unboxing…what you will see when you open the package.

Both decks come with a beautiful foil deckbox, that unfortunately has the cardboard catch that tears up after about the third opening.  I vow to put velcro on these!

And the tokens were boxed in the Elves deckbox.  (The goblin tokens are with the elf tokens.)  I will say that the Elf Tokens are a little disturbing…

Other than this, the cards have an “old school” aesthetic.  Sure, they are reprinted in modern frames.  But the art is of that older style you find when you open old packs or look through piles of bulk cards.



As before, featured rare cards are on the top.

Siege Gang Commander gets you three 1/1 goblin chumps on the battlefield.

Clickslither is one of the few cards in the deck that isn’t a Goblin.  Just the same, it’s ability…Sacrifice a Goblin to give him +2/+2…makes this THE CARD to fear in this deck when things are going well for you.

Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician can be insane.  Block something big with little chump goblins, and then sacrifice them on the way to the graveyard to burn whatever was blocked for four damage.  You can remove most anything this way!  But that’s not all…Ib lets you get more chumps if you sacrifice mountains.  Late game, when you don’t need all that Mana…(this deck isn’t a mana hungry deck), you can just outright win.  And there is a lot of synergy with Siege Gang and Clickslither

Then there’s Skirk Fire Marshall.  My issue with Skirk is that you sacrifice so many goblins all the time, you might not have five goblins to tap and burn the opponent for 10 damage.  He’s a fun threat, though, if the circumstances are right.

The rest of the cards are variations on the theme of “Sacrifice me, or somebody else…do something bad to the opponent.”  But the cards are carefully chosen so that they balance well against the elf deck.  For instance, Gempalm Incinerator has a cycle ability.  There is a gempalm card in the elf deck.  There is a “goblin lord.”  (You folks who don’t know, “lords” in magic are cards that give other similar cards +1/+1.  Lords usually have some other upside as well.)  In this case, Goblin Warchief give your goblins haste.  This is the kind of card you want in your opening hand.

The only thing I am sort of unclear on in this deck, and the other is “tribal instant” or “tribal enchantment.”  Are there special “tribal” rules for these cards?  Sure, these are tribal decks.  But what do these special spells do that they can’t do in a non-tribal deck.  I guess I will look that up sometime.  The only thing I can figure is a card or two says “whenever you cast a Goblin spell this turn,” or something like that.  There would be synergy.

As a rule, I haven’t modified any of these decks.  Who would I “fire” from the goblin deck?  Skirk Drill Sergeant.  Usually, when I try and trigger his ability, which is costly, I might add, I get what I don’t want.  Clickslither winds up in the graveyard, or something else.  And there is almost no re-animation in this red deck.


As before, first the rares.

Ambush Commander is a little odd, because it is a sac outlet for elves.  Still, it is a way of suddenly finding the tribal power the deck needs by making all of the forests into elves.

Allosaurus Rider is the card I fear.  It is the kind of card we ALL should fear.  What should be every bit of a seven drop, can be had as early as turn 1, and be a 2/2!  And then grows bigger the more forests you play.  It is actually harder to flip a Delver of Secrets!  I would say that this card is the matchup for Clickslither in the other deck.  But you know they won’t be out at the same time…

Remember Skirk Fire Marshall?  Well Voice of the Woods is the elf version.  You tap five elves, and you get a 7/7 Elemental.

The rest of the elves are all chumps, with some kind of ability that enhances other elves, or uses them as a resource, or what have you.  “The elf lord” to look for in the early game is Imperious Perfect.  And what elf deck would be complete without Llannowar Elves?

Literally, in just about every way, the elf deck matches the goblin deck.  The Wizards made their entry Dual Deck a real statement.  The only thing the Elves have that the Goblins don’t have counterparts to are the artifact cards.


By now, I have had tons of experience with both decks.  I have only played Divine vs. Demonic more.  These decks are VERY EVENLY MATCHED.  I can’t stress that enough.  I have been playing Magic for awhile now, and could count on one hand how many “ties” happened where both teams killed each other simultaneously.  When you play these, it is almost like playing a speedy game of Commander, Not because of the singletons, but because each side plays offense or defense, and there are lots of card interactions.

Both decks are very tribal, but also exemplify the philosophy of their color.  The goblins sacrifice themselves or others to burn  the opponent out.  The Elves do things to make big creatures, or a swarm of creatures that over-runs the opponent.

So I am going to call this a tie.  It is what it is.  And it is always fun. If you want a good lengthy game of MTG, that uses lots of card synergy, then you should play Elves vs. Goblins.


I have to give both decks a 5/5.  The only complaint I have about the decks are the tokens.  Both sets look kind of creepy.  In an oddly sexually specific way.  Your mind doesn’t even have to be in the gutter to think so.  My oldest child noticed what I am talking about, but the younger one doesn’t see anything odd.

Still, it’s just art.  And tokens aren’t the main product.

So I rate the Elves vs. Goblins Dual Deck from the Dual Decks Anthology 5/5.

Do you agree?  Let me know in the comments!

I rate both decks 5/5.

Spoiler Free SpartanNerd

DC Comics made me REALLY MAD.  (again)

I have thoroughly enjoyed “The New 52.”  Many people are down on it.  But I like it because it is accessible to me.  Moreso than the old continuity of nearly 1000 issues of Detective and Action comics.  And “Crisis” after “infinite crisis” after “crisis on Earth 27” or whatever ridiculous intimidating thing they could throw out there.  No wonder I liked Marvel better.

When I jumped into the New 52, when it really WAS NEW, I was surprised how easily I took to Damien being Robin.  I didn’t even know there was a Batgirl other than Barbara Gordon, and was fine just seeing the familiar redhead.  Superman was reset, as was Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, the Justice League.  And so on.  Wonder Woman was even cool to me.  And all of these guys continue to keep me entertained.

But DC has burned me, too.  A subscriber.

For instance, I reported how mad I was that they killed off Damien Wayne suddenly.  Pretty much at the end of “Death of the Family.”  I had every issue I could get my hands on.  Even the side titles I wouldn’t normally have read.  But they killed him off in “Batman Incorporated.”  A book I wasn’t reading, because the art wasn’t that good and it was kind of an “old 52” I could focus on the Joker.  One reason why I subscribed was so I wouldn’t MISS ANYTHING.

Another reason for subscribing though, was to have something fresh and new to read, to look forward to. To think about.  To predict.

DC blew it.  Longtime Hub City Geeks know that I have written extensively about who was going to take over as Robin.  What was going to happen.  Etc.  I REVEL in not knowing.  I like to be surprised.  I don’t read spoiler sites.  I avoid blogs and commentary.  (Odd.  Isn’t that what The SpartanNerd Blog is all about?)  But I do that because I want to be surprised.  I don’t want stuff spoiled.

But it is hard.  So hard.  Especially when DC Comics puts THIS IMAGE AND ARTICLE in the back of every comic.



No more conjecture required.  Damien DOES LIVE AGAIN.  And he has super powers too.  No more wondering if Stephanie Brown from Batman Eternal will replace him.  Or if Carrie Kelly will.  Or if maybe Red Robin comes back.  Or Jason.  Sure, we knew the Robin from a few years in the future is a new different guy.  No more wondering about Collin Rowe, or Harper Rowe.  No more mystery.  I know, the series was called “Robin Rises.”  But that still could have had a mystery ending.  Instead, we see Damien busting Kalibak upside the head.  No Hellbat suit required.  No Justice League required.  He might be Superman level, from the looks of it.

I am just disappointed that DC decided to go ahead and spoil this.  Why not do like Marvel did with AGE OF ULTRON, and black bag the cover?  Why not do what they did leading up to the death of Damien, and spoil out fake covers?

They make an excuse for themselves.  They say something like “You’ve read “the internets.”  Or something.  NOPE.  I DIDN’T.  How many others out there are like me?

So thanks a lot for taking some of the fun out of it, DC.

Batman and Robin has been the best written Bat book consistently.  I have to say, I am looking forward to seeing Damien back.  I like the little guy.  I was sad to see him go.  I think it would have been cool to have Carrie Kelly or Stephanie Brown.  But we didn’t get that.  I’m cool with that.  I just am not cool with the spoilers.

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Funko POP! Magic “Nicol Bolas”!

The pop vinyl bug isn’t one that has ever hit me.  Not that I am against it.  It just hasn’t been my thing.  Logically, to me, what is the appeal?  Super deformed figures with very little articulation and cartoony details.  Vinyl pop is kind of the opposite of something like Masters of the Universe Classics or Transformers Masterpiece figures.

I was very surprised to open this gift from the SpartanKid…Funko POP! Magic Nicol Bolas.  Read on to see if I have changed my opinion!

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Clearly the people who make this believe their product should be highly displayable in package.  The packaging is beautiful.  I’m sure the number “12” in the black circle means that Bolas is the twelfth figure in the Magic the Gathering series.  (Confirmed by studying the back some more, which shows off Gideon, Tezzeret, Elspeth, and Sarkahn as well).  The SpartanKid said that they didn’t have a Liliana, and thought I wouldn’t want a glow in the dark Chandra.  (That would have been cool!)  The word “PoP! MAGIC!” is all over the place.  I almost forgot the name of the company was “Funko.”  The package has a nice window where you can see Bolas inside, and you can see him from one of the sides as well.  The other side has an illustration of the figure, as well as the top, which has an illustration of his eyes and above, prominently featuring his horns and the “Gem of Becoming” in between them.

You know, the SpartanNerd just tosses all of the boxes.  Still, I want people to know that this is indeed some of the most beautiful toy packaging.  You’d think someone from Apple Computers might be involved in their marketing or something!

The Figure

Really, I think of this as more of a statue.  It has one articulation point.  Its head.

So I decided I would photograph it with different colored backdrops.  I will be displaying Bolas in my classroom or my office. I expect many other adults who are into Magic the Gathering will do the same.  Maybe different colors might show off how he might look in different display situations.

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First off, red.  Bolas is quite shiny.  Very gold.  He is a gold Magic card, after all!  (Blue, Red, and Black).  His head is big.  As big as the rest of his body, measuring from bottom of the goatee to the tips of his horns.  His head features a cute toothy grin and black vacant eyes.  But these are ALSO cute.  He has a cute nose and goblin-esque ears.  The other pictures show his side views off a tad more.  His wings are not movable, nor his tail.  His hands either.


Bolas is considered by many to be THE BAD GUY in the Magic the Gathering universe.  So is it wrong to show him in white? I like how the tail curls around the outside of his right wing.  Here I will note that the “vest” that he wears is of a softer plastic than the rest of him.  Not sure what that is all about.


In blue, he feels extra shiny.  Like some kind of brass idol or something.  Indiana Jones could easily be after this baddy!

As much as I think of this as a statue, it is actually fun to chase around the Spartan-family and pets with Nicol Bolas, and saying something absurd like “Tweet Tweet!” or singing “Cruel Ultimatum…”  I know my students are going to get a kick out of this thing.  Even if they don’t know Magic the Gathering.  And he looks good on my Nerd closet shelf beside Skeletor, the Griffin, Spikor, Modulok, Thanos, or whoever, really.

This is my first ever review of a product like this.  As pop vinyl goes, I think my mind is changed by this guy.  I don’t mind him being the most evil creature in fiction, transformed into something from “PowerPuff Girls.”  I think it is really cute.  Even cool. Maybe I even want some more of these guys.

SpartanNerd’s rating of Funko PoP! MAGIC “Nicol Bolas”

So I am going to give him a 5/5.  My mind is changed.  There is something light-hearted and different about it.  It isn’t as “serious” as MOTUC.  Maybe there is a part of me that like that reaction I am feeling.  Remember my review of the Mixo He-Man?  How about the stuffed Battle-Cat?

The SpartanNerd rates Funko Pop Nicol Bolas a 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…D-Arts Mega-Man X “Black Zero”

It is GREAT to be a SpartanNerd.  And I am so proud to have offspring following in my footsteps.  As great of a Masters of the Universe fan as I am, the SpartanKid is every bit as much of a Mega-Man fan!  (I’d say he is a “mega-fan!”)

Last year for Christmas, he got “D-Arts Mega-Man X.”  I predicted that he would lose the pieces, etc.  Nope.  He kept up with EVERY ONE.  Great!  So he asked for another toy like it, “Black Zero.”  His aunt got it for him.  I didn’t review Mega-Man X, (th blog was just getting on its feet), but Black Zero is every bit the quality of Mega-Man X.  While I don’t know as much about Mega-Man as he does, I am not entirely ignorant.  (I have made it to the end of Mega-Man 2, but never beaten it.)  On the other hand, I know very little about Mega-Man X and related stuff.  It is apparently its own thing.


The SpartanKid couldn’t wait to open it, so I quickly snapped pictures of the packaging.  Sorry for the blurriness.

1 box front 2 box back

The front and the back of the box is entirely in Japanese, pretty much, except for the titles.  (That warning is probably required to be in English.  Ages 15 and up…The SpartanKid is only 9!)

3 box side 1 4 box side 2

The sides of the box also feature great art.

Call me old fashioned, but with that pony tail, I tend to think this figure represents a female.  (It also has circles on it’s chest, you know where…)  But the SpartanKid insists that Black Zero is a male.  Cool.  Whatever.  It’s the modern age…

Figure Review

5 basic pose

Like I said, he played with it for awhile before I got to take review pictures.  But all the pieces are still here.  Here is Black Zero in his regular pose, showing off his buster cannon.  Black Zero’s main weapon is evidently swords, however.  (CORRECTION: Z-Saber)

7 accessories

Here are all of the accessories…(that weren’t currently on the figure.)  It is notable that there are three faces, another forearm with attachable buster cannon end, four extra hands of various grip, and two swords, one pointy and the other more blunt.  (more of a lightsaber, I suppose.)

6 motion saber

Then there is this thing. Which I thought of as a scimitar.  But it isn’t.  It is a beam saber in motion!  (Don’t I know anything?)

The SpartanKid also got the MegaMan X collection of video games for the PS2.  When I saw him playing this, I realized that he was right.  Whenever a character in that game uses a sword, you get this look.

10 sharp sword

Here is a different hand, holding the pointy sword.

9 mega buster shots

You can also take the parts from Mega-Man X, and apply them to Black Zero.  Here he is using the Buster shots from D-Arts Mega-Man X.

Black zero looks cool with different faces.  And it isn’t too hard to switch them out.

11 wink

I only have one complaint about this figure.  It seems like Mega-Man X also had the same problem at first.  But it is important for me to mention for this review.

8 hand issue

Notice the little peg where the hand attaches to the figure.  This is a peg with two ball-joint ends.  This peg should stay in the forearm…but it doesn’t.  Do you know how hard it is to get into the hand?  How about back into the forearm?  And once it fired out like a bullet across the room.  We were lucky to find it.  If we HAD lost it, how difficult would it be to replace?

SpartanNerd’s rating of D-Arts Black Zero

The sculpt is all you would expect from a $60+ adult collectible figure.  The interchangeable parts are very nice.  He is a great representation of what is in the game.  The SpartanKid has had a ton of fun with him so far.  He goes nice with the other D-Arts Mega-Man figure.

There is an issue with the peg on his left arm.  A potentially nasty issue if that peg gets lost.  So I have to take a point off for that.

So the SpartanNerd gives D-Arts Mega-Man X “Black Zero” a 4/5.

Do you agree?  Let me know in the comments!

12 yell

SpartanNerd Vintage Toy Review…Masters of the Universe Miniatures!

Darkness descends on the darkest day of the year…My Birthday!

So what did I get?  The perfect thing for a SpartanNerd!  Of course, I already opened the MOTUC Modulok, so anything else I got was icing on the cake!

The SpartanWife found these guys on e-bay!  I have no idea what she paid for them, and am hesitant to ask.  I love this gift no matter what it cost-ed.

Here is my Unboxing and Review!

IMG_0382These are the 200x versions of the figures, sculpted in that creepy Todd MacFarlane Four Horseman style!  It has a large window box where you can see all four figures: Stratos, Beast Man, He-Man, and Skeletor.  The Beast Man was evidently exclusive to this particular gift-set!


The back of the box shows off these and other figures in this miniature line.    (I researched.  There weren’t that many of these figures.  Maybe around 12?  So collecting them all should be do-able!)  It also shows the only action feature and articulation point, a waist swivel

Each Figure is very detailed.  There are lots of intricacies the more you stare at them.  It is notable that some of the paint is a little sloppy…we are talking about mini-statues.  I,m sure it is all handpainted.

So we get two good guys and two bad guys.  Fun!


He-man looks vicious, with his 200x techno-sword raised overhead, and shield in hand, ready to bash something.  I like that it has the cross detail on the chest, but looking close, it looks like they might have tried to distort that a little bit to resemble that stylized H that became the dominant He-Man symbol for the time.


Stratos is appropriately poised on a cloud.  It looks like he is blasting off!


Beast Man has the whip up and ready to crack.  This time, the whip is glued to him at the shoulder, and unfortuanately, you can see that glop of glue….


And then Skeletor.  the 200x version of Skeletor as a toy never looked much like he looked on the cartoon.  It is far more evil looking.  This version has skeleton sort of mirroring He-Man, raising his sword, this time the two-piece weapon favored during the 200x days.  His other hand has the Havoc Staff.  Unfortunately, the staff is made of soft plastic that stays bent.  I’m afraid there is no helping that when you are talking about the minimal materials used for this product.  Still, it looks very menacing, maybe that bent-ness adds to the evil look of the whole mini-statue.


I am going to grade these figures based on quality, artistic licence, and the intangible happiness level they gave me when opening.

What the heck.  I am so happy, they all get a 5/5!

I got one more unexpected item on this 21st of December…A Vintage Mini-Comic.  Not just any mini comic either…the English/French version…probably Canadian.  “King of the Snake Men!”

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