Matrix series 2
Morpheus, Niobe, Trinity

Tonight I'm FINALLY covering the second series of Matrix figures, three here at MROTW and three over at Poop Shoot.  The three here are Morpheus, Trinity and Niobe.  Over at Poop Shoot, I'm covering the Smith/Neo pair, along with spoiler head Neo.

These have been out for weeks, and you really shouldn't have much trouble finding any of them, even the shortpacked Niobe and Morpheus.  I've seen them at plenty of Media Play, Meijer, Gamestops, Electronics Boutiques and Toys R Us stores, for around $10.

If you're looking for great info on any of the Mcfarlane lines, check out their web site.  They also have a terrific message board with lots of traffic.

Packaging - ***
I love the clamshells, but these Matrix inserts leave me cold.  Some of these could use some instructions as well - at least a couple basic assembly photos - but none are in the package.

Sculpting - Morpheus ****; Trinity ***1/2; Niobe **1/2
The sculpting on this entire series is a mixed bag, but these three figures represent the best and worst.

Morpheus looks fantastic, like he just stepped off the celluloid.  Of course, since he's sitting, he really couldn't step...but you get my point.  He's leaning back in his comfy recliner, phone on the table at his side.  The Fishburne head sculpt is dead on, and this is McToys sculpting and design at it's best.

Niobe is on the opposite end of the spectrum.  Her sculpt itself isn't terrible - there's lots of realistic detail - but a combination of a dopey pose and a far too similar look to the Terminatrix makes her less than ideal.

Trinity falls in the middle.  The head sculpt is world's above the previous Trinity, and looks quite a bit like the actress.  The grimace and expression works great for this pose, and while the pose isn't perfect, they get points for trying something really unique and interesting.

Paint - Morpheus ****; Trinity ***1/2; Niobe ***
Since these are really just statues, the sculpt and paint are crucial to their overall appearance.  They've done a fine job for the most part in this category as well.

Morpheus is again excellent.  The colors are bright and clean, and the detail work on the chair and table adds to the overall realism.  The colors are consistent, and there's enough variety to make him visually appealing and stand out from the crowd.

Niobe is very basic, and the color of her leather outfit is subdued further by the dark wash.  While most of the paint application is clean and neat, the eyes are off a tad, and there really isn't a whole lot of paint work here to judge.

Trinity suffers from that back in black syndrome, but at least it's a nice shiny black, and looks very much like leather.  Her face work is extremely good, with the battle damage to her skin looking particularly realistic.  The matted hair doesn't work quite as well, although that's a combination of a soft sculpt and lack of detail in the paint.

Articulation - **
Sure, there's a few points, but nothing that has a whole lot of value.  Morpheus can move his neck, wrists and shoulders, although only his neck has any real use.

Trinity can move her shoulders, wrists and neck, but again, once you get her in the 'pose', you won't do much more.

And Niobe, crippled with the weakest pose, only the most artictulation - neck, shoulders, wrists, waist, ankles and one cut elbow.

Accessories - Morpheus ***1/2; Trinity ***; Niobe **1/2
See a trend here?  Morpheus on top, Niobe on the bottom.  Hmmm.

Morphues has his chair, and what a fine chair it is.  It looks pretty damn comfortable, and he sits in it perfectly.  He also has an end table and phone, but neither of these is quite as nice as the Laz-E-Boy.  The top of the table doesn't fit particularly well on the tripod base, and the phone has a straight phone cord (rather than twisty), with a really long, unnecessary phone cord that would go to the wall.  The phone isn't bad, but if you're looking for the perfect version in this scale, check out the one that came with the Muppets Newsman.

Niobe has her base, two guns and her sunglasses.  The sunglasses should have been sculpted on, as these are flimsy, and look too big on her even though they are practically microscopic.  The guns fit in her hands fine, but overall this is a fairly meh design.

Trinity has two guns with slo-mo blasts, and her unique perspective base.  At least she's supposed to have two guns.  Mine only had one, so pay particularly close attention to the figure you get.

I really do like what they tried to do with Trinity's base.  It doesn't work perfectly, but it shows some creativity that's sorely lacking in the Niobe design.

Value - ***
At ten bucks, these are priced just about right.  I wouldn't pay that for Niobe, but in general it's a solid value.

Overall - Morpheus ***1/2; Trinity ***; Niobe **1/2
Of the entire series of six figures, Morpheus is the clear winner.  Trinity (and Neo) fall in the middle, while the Smith/Neo pair and Niobe are bringing up the rear.  When McToys does great work, they really do great work.  When they get lazy, it shows.

Where to Buy - 
You can find these at just about any retailer.  On-line options include:

Aisle Sniper has the full set of 6 for $65.94 plus shipping.

- Killer Toys has the individually for $9.95 each plus shipping.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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