Man-At-Arms (Battle Ram Version)…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review

Mattel has given us several versions of Man-At-Arms over the eight years of the line.  The Battle Ram came with one more different version.  How does this version stand up?  Keep reading!

You can see how I unboxed Man-At-Arms if you follow this link.    You can also see the review of the Battle Ram vehicle, and follow the links on that page to all sorts of cool NerdTainment.  To me, this Man-At-Arms is essentially a freeby!

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So here is Man-At-Arms, right out of the package.  Notice that this version has a silver mace, prominently featured.  He has Filmation-inspired shin guards.  He is the same green color, and has practically the same armor as the original Man-At-Arms release.  This time he has double arm-guards, and a helmetless head that features a prominent ponytail.

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The backside features an incredibly well sculpted backpack, which has storage clips for weapons.  In the previous version, Man-At-Arms could have He-Man’s techno-sword attached here.  This time we get to install a gun and the classic mace.From this rear-facing angle, we can see how well sculpted the armor pieces are.

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If you read my review of Rio Blast, then you heard my story of who I always thought he was Man-at-Arms in disguise.  See the resemblance?  Now for a head-swap.

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I knew I was onto something!

Man-At_arms comes with the aforementioned silver mace, the classic mace, and this silver pistol.  Note that the silver mace will not fit on the the clips of Man-At-Arms back.

Why was that even included?  It seems we’ve seen that mace several times in different colors.  So it gets the silver treatment.  Big WHOOP.

It would have been nice to have more paint hits on the classic mace.  Or maybe including that 200x gun in a different color.  (How about silver.  That would have been cool!)

But oh-well.  I don’t dislike the silver mace.  I just think its weird considering the main vintage weapon associated with Duncan is the orange mace.  And so that means he came with two maces.

He looks cool with two guns…not two maces.

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The point of this Man-At-Arms is that now you get maximum options for displaying the figure.  You can take this head and the 200x gun and armor and make the ultimate 200x Man-At-Arms.  (I don’t own the Snake Man At Arms…I don’t own the 200x the gun.  OK.  I actually don’t own either…the SpartanTeen owns the gun and the original Man-At-Arms release!)

You can take the Mustached head and put on the Battle Ram version and make a filmation Duncan.  (Sorry.  I can’t find the mustached head.  The SpartanTeen lost it!)

Here is a crack at the 200x version, using the Battle Ram body.

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Man-At-Arms inclusion with the Battle Ram was a great choice.  I personally needed my own Man-Arms to help me complete the classic team of He-Man, Teela, Man-At-Arms, Orko, and Ram Man (coming from Super7 eventually!)

The only thing stupid about this figure is the silver mace.  It adds something to the figure.  It just isn’t that significant.  But I can’t take any points off for that.  MOC collectors might be annoyed that he is displayed holding that in the box, though.

So I rate the Battle Ram Man-At-Arms 5/5.  This is Mattel’s final Man-At-Arms for the Masters of the Universe Classics line.  They used this opportunity to reward long-time collectors, and help appease those annoyed by Snake Man-At-Arms.  This version allows the widest range of display options, and pulls it together nicely.

For me, it gives me my own personal Man-At-Arms to help me complete my collection of essential good guys.

Do you agree with the SpartanNerd’s rating of 5/5?  Let me know in the comments!

 

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SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Lego Speed Champions

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LEGO SPEED CHAMPIONS!  These caught my eye at Toys ‘r’ Us in early spring as I walked through with the SpartanKid…bored out of my mind.  When I told the SpartanTeen about it, well…he was seriously psyched.

Finally, we had the chance to go together and pick one out.  I chose the Porsche 918 Spyder, and he chose a Ford Mustang GT.

Was all of the anticipation worth it?  Keep reading!  This will be a double review…

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The box for the Porsche looks like this, showcasing the car, driver, and the little flag in the background.  We see the target age of 7-14, and 151 pieces included to build the kit.

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The back of the box gives us some action views, and some specs for the real car.  0-60 in 2.5 seconds….WOW!

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The side of the box shows off the mini figure driver.  Not sure if he is supposed to represent a real person.  He’s cool in his green and black color scheme.

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The Mustang GT has a similar box, showcasing LAP TIME instead of a flag.  I imagine if you collect all of the sets, the little pieces will add a lot of details to your racetrack!  This set is notably 185 pieces…odd, because it was three dollars less expensive than the Porsche.  ($17.99 and 14.99, respectively.)  I theorize it has something to do with the pack-in ratio.

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We get some action poses on the back.  But no spec information like the other model.  And model is the operative word here…

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The driver sports blue and white.

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Both boxes have this easy access feature.  It is a perforated tab and flap to keep the box reusable.  So that’s nice.  If I was a kid, I would be interested in looking at this box over and over.  As a grown-up SpartanNerd, I am keeping the Lego boxes of all of the sets I open for organized storage.  I’m just crazy like that!

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Both sets have the pieces polybagged.  No numbers on these bags, like in the Ninjago Dragon.  Just all-business polybag.

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I won’t chronicle the build of the Mustang so much…The SpartanTeen put it together his own way.  I put mine together my way.  So I patiently organized my parts by color.  (He just free-for-alls with his pieces.)

After I built the car, I had these pieces left over!  Was it difficult to build?  Not at all.  Not the most interesting thing to build…I mean…it’s a car.  My only complaint is that the flag only had a sticker for one side…it clearly should have had two.

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Here is the final build.

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The wrench is a tool for the driver to hold, but it also serves another function as a separator tool for the hubcaps.  You can replace them with those seen above in the extra pieces.

Here are the leftovers from the SpartanTeen’s Mustang GT.  Not as many….He hit a snag in that one of his pieces was missing.  But he went to the spare lego parts and accommodated.

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And here is his final build.  (His driver is inside the car.)

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And the burning question I suppose everyone is asking, which car is faster?  We tested them by rolling them down a flat ramp.  The Mustang GT is fastest by a mile.  It is heavier, having more pieces.

So what do I rate these two Lego cars?  I mentioned that the build was kind of unremarkable.  It’s true.  But It IS just a car.

As a model, it looks like a lego version of the real thing.  BUT, there are a few things that could be improved.  The wheels stay straight.  There are no opening and closing doors.  No lights.  No spring action.  No working motor.  It functions as a push toy…like a big, plain hot wheels.

It is a great looking model.  It comes with exclusive mini-figures.  The extra accessory pieces could come together to make a great play set.  It was pretty affordable…the SpartanWife thought a little too expensive, but really, $15 is about par for the course when talking about basic toys nowadays.

I could see a grandparent buying ten of these for a grandchild at Christmas and keeping them busy for hours.

I have to rate it low because of what it lacks, but high because of how cool it is, and the playability.  Additionally, they are pretty durable, taking a pretty forceful hit against a paneling wall and only losing an exhaust pipe (In the case of the Mustang GT.)

So I am going to rate it 3.5 out of 5.  I don’t usually do decimals, but this is a little better than a 3/5.  I had fun doing something with my teenager, and tons of other adult fathers could have a similar experience with their child

I am catching a bug for building Lego sets…first Nexo Knights, then Chima, then a Ninjago Dragon, and now Speed Champions…What will I do next?  (I’m thinking about the girls oriented Elves!)

SpartanNerd and SpartanTeen Review…Neo Zeon Mobile Suit MSN-06S Sinanju “Ver-Ka” (Titanium Finish)

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Of all of the Gundams we have reviewed, the Sinanju is the most impressive.  In several ways.  This Gundam has a “titanium finish,” basically vac-metal plastic.  It makes it shine!  Combine this effect with the size of the figure at Master Grade 1/100 scale and the many accessories and even an additional stand, and you have an incredible item.  Above is the box.  And longtime readers know that the SpartanNerd really likes his foil!

This item cost $140, and we purchased the stand for an additional $20.  (The stand is usable with most if not all Gundams, but is detailed specifically for Sinanju Ver-Ka.)  This is a special edition, with the vac-metal.  The normal Ver-Ka would cost around $80.

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The box is almost entirely in Japanese.  As well as the instructions.  This is commonplace for basically every Gundam we have built.

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Above is the instructions for the decals and stickers.  The SpartanTeen used the regular sticker decals, rather than the water-slide decals.

I am going to show the Gundam in pieces, sort of.  There is so much here I had to “cull down” the amount of photos.

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The head really shows the small details.  The two “holes” on the side of the mask are meant to be vulcan cannons!  You can see the vac-metal and the plain gray plastic.  The crimson color goes well with the flat gray.  There is an eye detail that can’t really be seen because of the size and impressiveness of the rest of the head.

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Here is the backpack, showing all of its details in 3X faster mode.  (The legs also have details for “3x faster mode.”)  The backpack was the only truly “stupid problem.”  The backpack WOULD NOT attach to the figure as it was supposed to.  It works by a little slot mechanism that seemed to be obstructed by excessive plastic.  We solved the problem with some super-glue.  We checked other reviews of the figure, and found that ours seems to be an exception rather than the rule.

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Here the Sinanju stands, unarmed, and without his backpack.  It is very articulated.  The fingers all move like human fingers.  The arms move like a humans, the legs move like a humans.  It is a “super-articulated” design.  The shoulder armor and knee armor move to accommodate the most articulation.

The stickers are very much a foil item, and the Gundam doesn’t look right without those details.  All of the gold pictured here is a reflection of the flash of my camera!  That is how shiny it is!

The feet are on a rocker joint, and divided into toe and heel sections.

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The cockpit opens, revealing Char Aznable inside.  The cockpit is surrounded by yellow “psycho-frame” components.  The Gundam came with two different pilots.  One to stand beside on display, and one to stay in the cockpit.  The SpartanTeen (nor the SpartanNerd) can paint the tiny details required….We would if we could.  But that is a little out of our skill level at this point.

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Here are most of the accessories.  I say most, because, the Grenade Launcher/Shotgun wasn’t ready at the time of the review.  Notice the “beam-effect” parts.  These are interchangeable with the axe, and with the shield.

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You can see, this opens up an incredible array of display options!  The shield is very large and impressive.  The SpartanTeen doesn’t prefer the axe.  (This is more of a SpartanNerd thing.  See He-Man!)

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The beam saber isn’t a lightsaber at all.  The beam effect is detailed and rippled, rather than being a straight lazer sword.  It did come with two beam effects, we just wanted the readers to see the hilt disarmed as well as armed.

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The gun has expandable options as well.  The scope can move, and you can add parts from the shotgun/grenade launcher.  (Not pictured.)  Notable, the shield has a place to store the shotgun/grenade launcher.

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Here is the Sinanju standing on his own.  The backpack adds a lot of weight, causing some balance issue, but not much.  Notable, it was easy not to have the legs snapped all the way in.  They kept coming off until the SpartanTeen figured out how to fully snap them in.  (Sorry, the lighting system took accidental damage, and so this picture and all the rest are using flash only

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Here is the Sinanju holding the shield an on his custom stand.  The stand is a separate item, and will be reviewed later.  But the stand is the perfect way to display this incredible investment.

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As we have done in the past, we are now going to give this Gundam a grade!

Here is our criteria, each item getting a score.  We would like to say ahead of time, this Gundam is almost perfect!

Each item gets a score…
1 Too wrong
2 not right enough
3 could be better
4 pretty good, but…
5 perfect
Construction
Was it difficult considering the level it is supposed to be?  4
Stupid problems?   3  (cables around the legs, and backpack had to be glued.)
Instructions easy to read?  5
Diagrams clear?   5
Stickers? Paint    5
Articulation
stands easily?    5
moves without falling apart    5
posable/interchangeable hands    5
lots of articulation points     5
Dynamic poses    5
Accessories
Weapons     5
holds weapons/appropriate weapons      4  (some problem holding the gun and shields.)
Stand   5  (available as a separate item.)
expansions    5  (see above)
Weapon storage   5
playability
durable     4
photogenic    5
holds weapons?    5
Reasonable Facimile to media representation    5
Aesthetics    5   (that shiny plastic is incredible!)
Figure-specific features
morph/ transform/ change form    5
action feature    3
LED lights   1
Diarama     5
Pilot included?  Does he fit in the cockpit or is he in scale or not.    5
To tabulate the score, we add up all of the values, and then come up with an average.
The SpartanTeen and SpartanNerd Gundam Evaluation Checklist says that the Sinanju receives a 4.92.  So far the only Gundam coming in higher is Char’s Zaku II-S (2.0), which had a score of 5.2.
What do you think?  Leave us some feedback in the comments!

SpartanNerd and SpartanTeen Review…Master Grade Zaku II MS-06S (Char’s Zaku II-S)

Another Gundam Review and Rating by the New Types, SpartanNerd and SpartanTeen!

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Here’s the box.  As much Japanese as possible!  This was ordered from Amazon, for $30-$40.  (Memory is sketchy)

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Here is the Gundam, fully assembled.

The SpartanNerd would like to go ahead and say, “I am very impressed with the solidness of the figure.  It also has impressive articulation!  This Gundam approaches my gold standard for action figures, Marvel Select Deadpool!”

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Articulation?  The fingers are each independent, and have three joints!  When you turn the head, this eye moves with the head in an awesome robotic way.  He has basically all of the articulation of a human!  You can make virtually any pose with him.

For example, it was the SpartanTeen’s desire to give him this classic bazooka pose…

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He does have a little trouble balancing.  But no problem making this pose.  And he is holding the pilot..”Char Aznable.”

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He came with this classic piece of equipment for the pilot as well…an elevator stand for the pilot.  Just so you know, there is another copy of the pilot in the cockpit.

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He also comes with another gun, and this axe.  Note that the flight stand was meant for a different gundam, but Zaku II S fits fine on it.  The shield is removable, but he generally keeps it on!  It has a hinge so that it is articulated as well.

The SpartanTeen would like to say a few things…

“It wasn’t hard to build.  I am getting more used to building them, so that contributes.”

“He is a little bit “back heavy.”  This contributes to some balance problems.  For instance, he can’t stand on one foot like most other Master Grades I have built.”

“The Heathawk (axe) didn’t come painted in the correct color.”

SpartanNerd and SpartanTeen Rating…(We use this checklist)

Each item gets a score…
1 Too wrong
2 not right enough
3 could be better
4 pretty good, but…
5 perfect
There are five areas that we will score for our models… Construction, Articulation, Accessories, Playability, and Figure-Specific features. Each area has five criteria.
Construction
Was it difficult considering the level it is supposed to be?   5
Stupid problems?   5
Instructions easy to read?    5  (japanese  Benefit of the doubt!)
Diagrams clear?    5
Stickers? Paint?    4   (water slide decals didn’t transfer completely.  Wanted to tear.  Good for battle damage!)
Articulation
stands easily?   5
moves without falling apart      5
posable/interchangeable hands      5
lots of articulation points     5
Dynamic poses     5
Accessories
Weapons      5
holds weapons/appropriate weapons      5
Stand      1
expansions         1
Weapon storage        3
playability
durable     5
photogenic      5
holds weapons?       4
Reasonalbe Facimile to media representation     5
Aesthetics
Figure-specific features       5
morph/ transform/ change form      1
action feature        5
LED lights        1
Diarama
Pilot included? Does he fit in the cockpit or is he in scale or not.      5    (Elevator stand!)

SpartanNerd and SpartanTeen Final Score for Gundam Zaku II-S is 5.2!

Let us know what you think in the comments!

SpartanNerd and SpartanTeen Review…Knight Gundam (SD)

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The second SD Gundam model review ever.  The Knight Gundam.  Does the SpartanNerd think this is worth picking up?  Keep reading!

The Knight Gundam is another of those Gundams that I have zero association with.  I never heard of it.  SpartanTeen saw it on “Gundam Build Fighters”, at least I gather.  The price was $13.99.

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The instructions were in Japanese.  But the Knight Gunam came with a Manga.  No idea what is going on here.  It is a cute little comic strip, though.

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Here is the model assembled.  Highly detailed!  I like the color scheme…mostly gray with blue and red details.  A splash of yellow for the cross on the shield and the headpiece.  It has that oversized head of course.  Tis time there is a barrel inside that allows you to give him two different looks for the eyes.

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This Gundam has an AMAZING amount of accessories.  I removed them all so you can see just how incredible it really is.

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Without the accessories, he feels like a knight without armor should feel.  I applaud the detail that went into this.

But this isn’t all!

It can TRANSFORM!

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That’s right…Knight Gundam transforms into a Centaur!

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I can’t say enough good things about this toy!  Wow!

The SpartanTeen had a few things to say about it:

“The mask part is shiny.  The rest of it is not, and it should be.”

“The sword is hidden in the shield.”

“Knight Gundam and Unicorn Knight Gundam combine, to for a unicorn.  Alone, he is a Centaur”

“This Gundam has relatively few problems compared to other models in this series.”

“It was nothing hard…it took me about ten minutes to build.”

Here is a comparison shot with the Build Burning Gundam SD.

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So what does the SpartanNerd rate Knight Gundam (SD)?

I can’t say anything negative about it.  The SpartanTeen is a little bothered that the mask is vac-metal while the rest of the armor isn’t.  I think it makes the mask pop, though.  Then he informed me that it isn’t just a transformer, but a Combiner as well.

This thing gets a 5/5.  Only $13.99 for basically hours of entertainment.  The amount of things to do here reminds me of playing with “Modulok” from Masters of the Universe Classics.  It is fairly sturdy, and has no stupid problems.

The SpartanNerd rates Knight Gundam (SD) a solid 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree, oh Hub City Geeks?  Let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd and SpartanTeen Review…Gundam Heavyarms XXXG-01H (Model)

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(SpartanTeen is commenting on the model, while the SpartanNerd is taking pictures.)

Heavy arms whole body is a weapon.

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Lots of details need paint, so the details will pop.

I messed up at first, and decided to trick it out with battle damage.

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Painting the joints makes them easy to come apart at the chest doors for the Vulcan cannons.

The hands are a pain.  The interchangeable hands make it easy for Heavyarms to drop his gun.

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Why didn’t the beam saber come with a blade?

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The chain ammunition comes apart easily, and the bullets go everywhere.

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It is very sturdy, and probably could survive three foot falls.

This is my favorite model so far.

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SpartanNerd/SpartanTeen Gundam Evaluation Checklist

1 Too wrong
2 not right enough
3 could be better
4 pretty good, but…
5 perfect
Construction
Was it difficult considering the level it is supposed to be?    5
Stupid problems?   2
Instructions easy to read?   1
Diagrams clear?   5
Stickers? Paint     5
Articulation
stands easily?   5
moves without falling apart    5
posable/interchangeable hands    2
lots of articulation points    5
Dynamic poses    5
Accessories
Weapons   4
holds weapons/appropriate weapons   4
Stand     1
expansions      1
Weapon storage     4
playability
durable     5
photogenic     5
holds weapons?      5
Reasonalbe Facimile to media representation     5
Aesthetics     5
Figure specific features
morph/ transform/ change form      5
action feature    1
LED lights    1
Diarama      1
Pilot included?  Does he fit in the cockpit or is he in scale or not.     5
SpartanNerd/SpartanTeen rate Master Grade Heavyarms XXXG-01H 3.68 out of 5.
(More pictures following.)
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