The background on these is as
follows - Tyr (the sorta human dude) is a
Dragon Rider, and must stop a cabal of dark forces from acquiring the
Runeblades. He must gather a fellowship...uh, group of adventurers to
work together to stop the ring...uh, runeblades from being used to
'usher in a new age of destruction'.
You should be able to pick these
up at Toys R Us and your
LCS, but your online options are listed at the end of the review as
well. It's possible to get these as cheap as $10 each, but you can end
up paying quite a bit more depending on the retailer.
Packaging - ***1/2
Clamshells of course, and
these are the smaller sized new style. The inserts are very attractive
and have a nice old world/fantasy feel to the design. On the interior
is information on the specific characters in the wave, which is always
a nice touch, particularly when the characters are unknown. Some
background information makes these all the more interesting.
Sculpting - Basilisk
***1/2; Windgard, Ogre, Tyr ***
Windgard is the name of the Eternal Dragon. He just so happens to be
Tyr's dragon, although with the dragon being so much smaller than the
figures, there's no way Tyr is going to be riding this version any time
Out of this set of four, I think my favorite is the Basilisk. The fact
that he's not huge - he's about 6 1/2" tall on the base, but about 16"
long if he were stretched out straight - isn't as much of an issue for
him as it is for Windgard. How big is he supposed to be? Here, he's
human sized, and there's nothing to say that in the world of the Blade
Hunters, Basilisk's are human sized.
has an excellent detailed sculpt, with a nice skin texturing, and some
extreme detail in the face and mouth. The pose is very dynamic, and the
use of a soft rubber for several of the fins allows you to use light
heat to reposition them to your preference. While he doesn't stand on
his own (although you could probably bend the tail into some form that
would at least approximate it), he does work perfectly with the
included display stand. If he wouldn't end up covered in algae, I'd
suggest putting him in your fish tank.
Windgard has an amazing technical sculpt, with tremendous detailing in
the texture of the wings and scaly/leathery looking skin. If you're
looking at this purely as a stand alone figure, he really is quite
impressive, with a dynamic appearance and a high degree of realism. His
only issue as a single figure is that he tends to tilt backward, even
using the included display stand.
If you're adding him in to the rest of the Dragons line up, he fits
pretty well too. He fits in pretty well with them, standing at about 6
1/2" tall at the top edge of his wings. He's still a little smaller
than many of the other Dragons, but it's not as major of an
However, he's not a
stand alone figure, he's part of the Blade Hunters line up. And he is
simply too small to be displayed with them. That might not matter to
you though, and if it didn't matter to me, I would have upped his score
in this category by a 1/2 star. I'm betting the deluxe boxed dragon is
in slightly better scale...or at least I hope so.
posed in a walking stance, and cannot stand without his display base.
That seems a little odd to me, since a) there's nothing particularly
dynamic about the pose that would throw off his center of gravity and
b) he feet are certainly large enough and flat enough to support him.
But you'll need to attach them to the small stand to keep him upright.
Even then, he tends to lean forward, making his one major issue an even
The hands can hold the accessories just fine, and from the neck down
you certainly can't find a thing to complain about. There's a ton of
great detailing, and the proportions are excellent. The armor,
particularly the chain mail sections, looks outstanding, and they even
gave a nice realism to the harry goat legs. Tyr is clearly Aries first
So what's that major issue I speak of? It's the head sculpt, or more
importantly, how the head is sculpted in relation to the body. The
sculpt itself in terms of proportion, style and expression is great,
but poor Tyr is designed so that he's staring at the ground in front of
his feet. No, his head isn't just tilted forward a little - he's
looking down. In fact, his head is tilted so far forward that he has
almost no chin, his unusual Van Dyke practically laying on his neck.
The neck is sculpted very thickly as well, and this huge neck/no chin
look is not very appealing. It's too bad too, because with just a
little better design, he would have rocked. The way he turned
out, you're better off leaving the skull mask in place.
That leaves the Ogre for last. While these were all still in the
package, I thought I'd like Ogre the best. As is often the case though,
my impressions of something encased in plastic was not the same once it
was set free.
The sculpt is not as interesting, and doesn't seem nearly as detailed
as the rest of the wave. The work on the armor is decent, especially
the cool tortoise shell gauntlet on his left arm. Some of the body
detail is good too, in particular the toenails and horns. But the
texturing on the skin seems a bit plainer and less realistic than the
work on the others, and some of the details (like the straps on his
back) tend to blend in with the rest of the sculpt, having a less well
defined edge. There's also a weird visual 'flatness' to the belly, and
the hidden Ogre head sculpt wasn't as visually interesting as I'd hoped.
And while it doesn't go against his score, there's also one aspect of
this figure that I really don't ever need to see again. Two words -
Paint - Basilisk,
Tyr ***1/2; Windgard, Ogre ***
The paint work on this series isn't the overall perfect example of
Mcfarlane work that you might anticipate. I found that surprising, but
there is some stand out features.
Tyr has the best overall paint job, with
some truly amazing detailing. The armor is again the stand out, with
the gold and gray approximating the look of metal extremely well. He
does have a few issues - I'm not keen on the dirt brown color they used
on the lower arms and upper legs to look like lighter hair, and this
same brown is heavily washed on the neck and face. I think the straight
skin tone - which you can see on the upper arms - would have looked
fine for the face and neck, and you would have gotten more appreciation
for the detailing there.
The Basilisk has the best all around work. There isn't anything as
fancy or detailed as Tyr's clothing, but there also isn't any issues
with the general quality or application. They did a nice job with the
transition colors on the fins, and the detailing on the face and mouth
Windgard has a very bright color scheme, with a heavy use of red and
cream colors. Teh wing has a cool light blue tat, and the range of
colors used in the overall palette is broad enough to give him plenty
of visual pop. But then there's this wash, which is quite heavy on the
front of the figure. It is right up in your face unavoidable, and
detracts quite a bit from the overall appearance for me. The black that
runs down the back and along the tail is high gloss and inconsistent,
which also brings the score down a smidge.
Finally, there's the old Ogre again. He has the dullest paint job of
the bunch, relying on a very basic color scheme for both the body and
all the armor. It's a bit more realistic perhaps than going with
anything wild, but he needed something to pop out from the greens and
browns. Add to this a few application quality issues, like the green
body paint riding up the sides of the various dark brown straps, and
you end up with a slightly lower score.
Basilisk, Ogre, Wingard **; Tyr *1/2;
None of these will win any articulation awards, but that's probably not
going to surprise you.
Windgard has cut joints at each shoulder, at the neck, and at the base
of the tail. The tail is also bendy, and that feature works pretty well.
The Basilisk also has a bendy tail, and his really does add to the
poses because he is supported up in the air off his base (as though
he's swimming in the water). There's also the cut joint at the base of
the tail, the shoulders and the neck.
The Ogre has the cut neck and shoulders, as well as wrists and thighs.
None of these joints are going to give you a tremendous potential for
alternate poses, but they do allow him to stand well on his own and
hold on to his accessories in menacing ways.
Finally, there's Tyr. He has the cut neck, but it does nothing to
improve his permanent stare at the ground. The rest of his articulation
mirrors Ogre, with cut shoulders, cut forearms at the gloves, and cut
hips. His articulation doesn't help him stand though, and you'll need
the included display stand to keep him upright.
Accessories - Tyr
***1/2; Ogre ***; Basilisk, Windgard *1/2
There's a huge difference in accessories across this initial line.
On the short end, there's Windgard and Basilisk, who only come with
their small stands. Windgard's is REALLY small, just a few rocks for
one foot to stand on with a sculpted peg. The Basilisk gets a slightly
larger pile of rocks and water with a longer metal peg to hold him
(her?) up in the air. Both stands work fine, but that's a bit light for
accessories at this price point.
On the opposite end, Tyr makes up for it. He has his very cool animal
skull mask that fits well and looks terrific, a huge bladed weapon that
comes apart to fit in his hand, and two smaller weapons that attach to
his body - and axe that goes in a spot on the back of his belt, and his
knife that fits in a sheath on his leg. Both of these weapons seem a
tad small, but they fit nicely in his sculpted hands.
In the middle is the Ogre. He als comes with a mask, but his is made
from what appears to be the skin of something. I had a very hard time
getting it off his face, and in fact had to pop one of his horns loose
(which I don't think was supposed to happen) to do it. There's also an
axe and a mace type weapon, both of which can be held in his hands.
Again, the axe seems a tad tiny, but Ogres are supposed to be big guys.
The sculpt and paint work is top notch on all the various extras.
Fun Factor - ***
While these aren't really designed for kids, you could certainly use
most of them for general fantasy play. In particularly, kids would
enjoy the Basilisk and the Ogre, both of which can actually go nicely
with other six inch lines as villains.
Value - **1/2
You can pick these up for $10 each, particularly if you're buying the
full set. I'm grading at that price, hoping that stores like Meijers or
Toys R Us will keep them down around $10 as well. At that price, you're
getting a solid average value. If you end up paying $12 - $15 each, you
can knock off another half star here.
Things to Watch Out For
Not much. As I said, I had a real hard time with the Ogre's mask, and
it forced the left horn right off his head. It looked glued to me, so I
don't think that was supposed to happen, but don't be surprised if
you're forced to remove it if you want to get the mask off.
Overall - Basilisk
***1/2; Ogre, Tyr, Windgard ***
I've reviewed two very similar lines from Mcfarlane this week: The
Warriors of the Zodiac and The Legend of the Blade Hunters. While I
knew I'd have particular favorites, I was surprised that I liked the
Zodiac line overall much better than the Blade Hunters line.
Don't get me wrong - these guys aren't awful. They just aren't up to my
expectations of the usual Mcfarlane designs, and I was particularly
disappointed in the no chin Tyr. Fans of the Dragons line will want to
pick up Windgard to add to their display (as well as the Basilisk), and
the Ogre and Tyr might fit in alright with some of the Dark Ages stuff.
Just like the Zodiac line, we didn't get any of the usual McToys recipe
- no half nekkid females, no dwarf beasts, no big boots...well, we did
get one fat, disgusting character, but that was really the only
'normal' formula figure. They go back to formula a little with the
Series 2 Goblins, but the line has more potential in that wave with the
Griffin, Knight and Necromancer.
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - Basilisk ***1/2; Windgard, Ogre, Tyr ***
Paint - Basilisk, Tyr ***1/2; Windgard, Ogre ***
Articulation - Basilisk, Ogre, Wingard **; Tyr *1/2;
Accessories - Tyr ***1/2; Ogre ***; Basilisk, Windgard *1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - Basilisk ***1/2; Ogre, Tyr, Windgard ***
Where to Buy -
These are scheduled to hit some big retailers like Toys R Us, but your
current online options include:
- The best price around is at
where the full set of four is just $40, or the singles are $12 each.
The boxed set is only $20, and they already have pre-orders set up for
the next two waves!
- Amazing Toyz
has a great price - the single figures for $11 - $13 each (depending on
the character), the set of four for $44, or the deluxe Dragon for just
YouBuyNow has the preorders up for $17 each for the singles.
Collector has a case of 12 for $130, and the deluxe boxed
Dragon for $22.
Related Links -
This is obviously the
first in the new Fantasy line, but you should check my review of the
Warriors of the Zodiac if you like these, as well as the
deluxe boxed Hydra Dragon,
and Berserker Dragon.
- I did the full set of wave 4, along with the wave 4
- I also reviewed the deluxe figure from wave 1, and had a guest
review of the rest of wave 1.
- and if you like cool dragons, then you should check out the Hungarian Horntail Dragon
from Gentle Giant, based on the Harry Potter film.