Boss Fight Studio Vitruvian HACKS Lacuna

Pre-Orders Available at BossFightShop.com!

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This is one bad ass looking fairy.  Though it looks like the proper terminology here is faerie.  I’m not sure of the difference from my perspective (to be honest, when I started GeneralsJoes.com I don’t think I ever envisioned myself reviewing an action figure of a fairy or faerie or anything in between) but I know a great action figure when I see it.

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As a Cavern Faerie, Lacuna’s obvious trademark are her wings, looking much more bat-like than the insect wings what I’m familiar with when it comes to faeries, but honestly, that’s totally cool with me.  It makes perfect sense as well, with Lacuna being a “cavern” faerie that her wings should be more adaptable to creatures who live in caves.

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Lacuna is the first figure to feature this new rear torso piece for the HACKS line which has twin ports for her wings (and additional arms!).  That’s right, the plugs for the wings are the same as the plugs for the female arms, so not only can you tweak Lacuna to have four arms, but you can also make her more like a “harpy” by giving her wings instead of arms.  As one would expect with the HACKS line, they are always pushing their limits.

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The majority of the figure uses the familiar female blank template (except for the back of to the torso) and that suits me just fine.  In all of our experience with female figures throughout Series 1, it’s certainly clear that the base figure there is pretty great and can be used for countless different figures, apparently even including cavern faeries.

Lacuna’s head sculpt is pretty fascinating, with a huge, meandering hair style and a pair of goggles (apparently developed by dwarves to help filter her vision in sunlight).  Apparently driven from her caves by a mysterious skeleton attack, Lacuna now finds herself up among the other denizens of this fantasy world, and she doesn’t seem especially pleased about that fact.

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As I mentioned, she has ports in her back for wings, and she comes with two different sets of wings, one closed and one open, which is a nice touch.  Each wing has a nice multi-joint peg as well, so they can be posed in either formation, making for a wealth of opportunities for cool displays.  Lacuna’s skin color is a nice gray/blue which seems to fit with her cavern lifestyle in great ways.  She is an intriguing looking figure and even as a faerie doesn’t follow many of the traditional call outs, definitely going her own way as so many Boss Fight designs tend to do.

Accessories

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The first thing you’ll notice about both Lacuna and Aiyana is that neither of them come with as many accessories as the Knight or Orc, but honestly, I don’t feel like they have to.  Lacuna’s wings are large enough to make up for it, and as a faerie she travels pretty light anyway.  Along with the wings, she comes with a fantastic looking scythe made from what looks like a tree branch and some kind of cave grown crystals that are cast in translucent colors that look spectacular.  Her other weapon is a scepter, a magic device that enables her to be a “lightcaster” which is a really awesome story element added to the character.  She can hold the weapons very well and their designs are exceptional.

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Lacuna is a great figure built around an increasingly interesting character.  I don’t know a whole lot about the whole faerie race from fantasy stories, but Lacuna seems like an interesting evolution to the typical narrative and fits the concept perfectly.

Pre-Orders available at BossFightShop.com!

Boss Fight Studio Vitruvian HACKS Aiyana

Pre-Orders available at BossFightShop.com!

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So I did it again.  Back when Vitruvian HACKS Series 1 was first in its Kickstarter phases, I looked at the offerings and while I fell in love with many of them, there were a few that didn’t especially tickle my fancy, most notably Eurayle.  I mean, she seemed neat, but was basically a female blank with some accessories and not much more.

Then I got her in hand and was promptly blown away.

History has repeated itself.  While I love the idea of elves, and they’re one of the few fantasy concepts that I feel like I have some exposure to, Aiyana wasn’t knocking my socks off.  She didn’t have as much gear as the knight or the orc and she didn’t have the awesome wings of Lacuna.  I mean, she looked great, as all of the HACKS figures do, but I wasn’t enthralled.

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I am now.

Like Eurayle, the simplicity of Aiyana is one of her strengths.  With a simple grass top and grass skirt (plus the gauntlets and leg coverings) you can truly appreciate the impressive sculpting and articulation of the base figure, which is the same as the female base figure we’ve gotten countless times before, but that doesn’t detract from the amazing articulation, balance and poseability that exists within it.  Aiyana’s joints are smooth and pose well, and I really love the way her rocker ankles work.  I keep hoping that perhaps somewhere along the way, the male figures will get the same treatment.

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The sculpting and material of the secondaries for Aiyana help sell the figure as well.  They are soft and malleable, easily moving with the limbs and maintaining an awesome look.  They fit snugly, yet are easily removable, the perfect combination of aesthetics and function.

Aiyana’s head sculpt is great as well.  Her understated pointed ears are complimented by the nicely sculpted and decoed hair, which gives her a ton of character.

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But at the end of the day, as usual with these simpler figures, it’s the accessories that really take the figures to the next level.

If I have any complaint with this figure or with Lacuna it’s that the female feet still have a real issue fitting on the Boss Fight display stands.  It’s an issue that Boss Fight is aware of, I know, but it would be nice to have that little issue resolved.  It’s tough to do with how small the feet are, though, I’m sure, and in the meantime, the rubber clamps that come with the dozens of skeletons you bought can work just fine.

Accessories

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Aiyana comes with a nicely sculpted bow and set of six arrows, which gives you just enough arrows to fit in the quiver with one extra to be fired by the bow itself.  Speaking of the quiver, it’s a great look, definitely capturing that wilderness feel, but with some impressive functionality.  Along with a chamber to hold five arrows, there are also twin sheaths that hold both of Aiyana’s knives.

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And her knives are awesome.  The deco and rigid nature of the material makes them look and feel as if they’re sculpted stone.  She can hold both knives very well and they fit perfectly into the quiver as well.  The design of all of these accessories makes them look as if they were crafted by nature, which suits the story of the elves to perfection, yet the gear is all functional and looks great as well.  Aiyana can hold the arrow perfectly between her fingers and can be posed firing the bow better than any 1:18 figure I’ve ever seen.

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Yes, Aiyana is a great figure that I didn’t give enough credit to when they were all first revealed.  As an Autumn Archer, I’m looking forward to seeing what else evolves from the elf story, especially the Withered Branch and the potential for spring elves down the line.

Pre-Orders available at BossFightShop.com!

Boss Fight Studio Vitruvian HACKS Orc Conqueror

Pre-Orders Available at BossFightShop.com!

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Although I’m not a diehard fantasy fan or anything, I’m still very familiar with Orcs and the basic background of their monstrous race.  Including them as part of the Vitruvian HACKS fantasy series makes a lot of sense and I anticipate some pretty cool stories evolving from these creatures.

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As with the majority of Series 1, Boss Fight Studio manages to take some existing tooling with some interesting new additions to really evolve the figure and character.  The Orc Conqueror’s torso is all new tooling and they did a great job with it, making it look worn and beaten.  As with the Knight, the magic really happens when you start layering on the additional secondaries, however.  The Orc suspenders cover the armor well and add some great detail with the cross-strapping and the circular emblem in the center, and the fur covered belt does the same, managing to cover a chunk of the armor, but not reduce articulation at all.

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The same fur texture is used in gauntlets and boot covers which, again give the figure some nice bulk and great design (not to mention the potential for customizers) while underneath it all is the familiar bare arms and HACKS construction system we’re all used to.

Also like the knight, the Orc Conqueror comes with removable shoulder pads that are more narrow than the knight and sculpted with a nasty trio of spikes that give the figure a great, menacing look.

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The Orc Conqueror’s legs are sculpted in baggy, bulky pants which add to the menace, with some great spiked thigh armor that is removable.  It stays in fairly well, but if you’re serious in keeping the thigh armor in place permanently, you may want to consider a little glue.  I didn’t have huge problems with them, but if you pose them frequently, you could jar them loose for sure.  A recurring theme so far with the Fantasy figures are additional heads, and the Orc comes with a pair of them as well, one bearded and one clean-shaven and they both look fantastic.  The sharp fangs, the furrowed brow, and the menacing scowl all combine together to give us a great 1:18 scale version of everyone’s favorite fantasy bad guy.

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So, there you have it.  As one of the main enemies of Series 2, the Orc Conqueror is a great base figure with some nice new tooling.  Now, what about the accessories?

Accessories

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Yeah, the accessories rock, as expected.  I already mentioned the various fur sculpted compliments, but didn’t even mention the fur cape, which hooks into the pegs of the shoulder pads, and is then held in place there when the pads hook to the figure.  The Orc Conqueror comes with the same helmet system as the knight, which accommodates two separate skull-themed helmets, one bearded and one not.  The face plates are really awesome and give a nice look to any Orc trooper variants you manage to assemble.  The primary Orc helmet is somewhat similar to the knight’s, with the wing ornamentation, but the Orc’s looks much more devilish and evil than the knights, providing an excellent contrast while maintaining a similar look.

Along with the secondary pieces, the Orc Conqueror also comes with a massive hammer (which separates into two pieces and as evident in Blasted Land Orc images, can be customized into different weapons) and a sword that looks as if it were carved from solid stone.  The sculpting and design work on the sword is absolutely incredible.  It’s one of my favorite edged weapons in the line, without hesitation.

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This figure makes for a perfect cannon fodder foil against the knights, faerie’s and elves that are already making their way into the Series 2 ranks.  He’s mean, he’s nasty, and he comes with a brutal assortment of forged weaponry that carries with it a ton of character.  This is one nasty looking bad guy.

Pre-Orders available at BossFightShop.com!

Boss Fight Studio Vitruvian HACKS Knights of Accord

Pre-Orders Available at BossFightShop.com!

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I won’t lie, it’s been a challenge to try and figure out how to frame this review.  One of the inherent issues with reviewing action figures is that you can only frame your opinion around what has been in existence at the time that you do your review.  If you’d asked me to review A Real American Hero Hit & Run in 1988, I probably would have given it 5 stars.  Looking back through the reverse-rose colored glasses, that kind of score seems laughable compared to the quality, ingenuity and technical improvements of action figures these days.

I ran into these issues with G.I. Joe from 2009 – 2012 all the time.  In 2009 I gave City Strike Snake Eyes a 5 Star Review because it was one of the finest examples of the G.I. Joe Commando released to date (in my opinion of course).  Little did I know two years later the Pursuit of COBRA version would be released, not to mention the G.I. Joe: Retaliation version which manages to do great new things for the figure as well.  So, stepping back, both City Strike and PoC Snake Eyes received 5 star ratings… are both figures equal?  No, I’d say definitely not.  But I can only review figures based on my impressions at that time.

Which brings me to my current conundrum.

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Yes, the Vitruvian HACKS Knights of Accord action figures are some of the finest 1:18 scale action figures I have ever seen.  Coming from someone with only a passing interest in medieval history and fantasy, this figure is perfect in nearly every single way.

Thing is, I said the same thing about the Spartan Warrior a couple of years ago.  At the time, the Spartan Warrior is a nearly perfect action figure (and still is) but the Knight eclipses it in almost every way.  If they end up with the same score, are they “equal”?

I’m spending way too much time thinking about this.

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Anyway…  putting aside any comparisons to past reviews, looking at the Knights of Accord, this figure does pretty much everything right you would want an action figure to do.  The sculpting of the layered armor on the torso, the nearly seamless integration of armor and cloth garments underneath (truthfully, I didn’t even know the gauntlets were removable until I stumbled upon it by accident) all comes together to give us a terrific, bulky, yet supremely well articulated action figure.

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Some folks have pointed out that the huge shoulder pads could conceivably limit the arm motion of the Knight, and in truth, yes they do.  The new plug system which enables these shoulder pads to fit perfectly into the shoulders (and be swapped with others) allows for the pads to be removed if you want your knight to be more mobile, and come on, let’s face it, I’m pretty sure guys walking around in bulky suits of armor back in the day had some issues lifting their arms above their heads, too.

The Knight is 100% new tooling for the first time since the Spartan Warrior was first released (well, except maybe for the neck barbell) with new parts from neck to toe, and he is terrific.  Range of motion throughout all joints is fluid, yet rigid meaning they move easily, yet hold their pose well.  Underneath the removable thigh armor and shin armor is some pretty normal looking cloth pants which could work well for other future customs as well.

On his torso is some great angular armor with a great design aesthetic that maintains its range of motion even being bulky and imposing.  What really brings the figure to life, though, is the layered secondary accessories.  A removable belt and cloth add some nice flair to the figure, as does the thigh armor, shoulder armor and gauntlets, adding thick layers of armor while not greatly restricting articulation.

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Knights of Accord are many in number, and Boss Fight gives this figure three separate heads so you can build you armies and maintain a sense of individuality among your ranks.  Just looking at the base figure itself, it’s clear that there’s a level of playability and customizability here that is more or less unparalleled.  And I haven’t even touched on the accessories yet.

Accessories

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Yes, along with the impressive base figure, the Knights of Accord come with a veritable armory of great looking weaponry.  Two different helmets combine with three different face plates (that works with one of the helmets)  and provide a number of different looks and different combinations.  The helmet that doesn’t work with the face plates is an ornately designed and sculpted helmet with great wings flaring out on each side of the face that looks really gorgeous.

Along with the helmets he has a sheath that plugs in nicely to a port on the right hip of his belt (though it takes some pressure to get it hooked in there).  There’s another port system on the other side that doesn’t appear to work for anything included in this figure, but I’d imagine there are some things still to come.  His sword fits in the sheath perfectly, and he also comes with a great two-bladed axe just in case the sword doesn’t do the job.

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His angled shield is nicely designed with a much improved grip system (though it would have been cool if the grip could be reversed so left-handed knights could use it as well).  The leather straps are soft and pliable and easily moved to wrap around the forearm and the hand fits the handle well.  In fact most of the parts feel a bit softer and more malleable than those same parts in the first series, just one of the many different improvements from two years ago.

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This knight is spectacular.  I love the different head sculpts, I really enjoy the combination of bulky, layered armor with impressive articulation and the customizability of removable parts and pieces.  Even with these first four figures I’m starting to see a wealth of different options of the first figures (not to mention Series 1) really bringing this whole Vitruvian HACKS theme to life.  I can only imagine how things will continue to improve and evolve as Series 02 continues and stuff like the mini-kits start getting released.  These figures manage to be the perfect blend between fantastic action figures and an entire system of figure build pieces that can keep collectors happy and excited for years to come.

Pre-Orders available at BossFightShop.com!

Dream Concept Studios Zombie Labs Kickstarter is LIVE

…and it’s looking like a juggernaut!

In just around two hours, the initial funding goal has been 50% reached and shows no sign of slowing down.  Featuring parts sculpted by Boss Fight Studio with full-blown HACKS compatibility, this great assortment of zombie and civilian action figures is looking pretty great.

With an $80,000 initial goal and some very manageable stretch goals in play, this could be a great bargain for fans of HACKS or zombie action figures.  Lots of stuff to love here.

Check out the Kickstarter right here and support the next great 1:18 scale action figure line to come!

The Full Force Series 4 Episode 2 mega episode is online

The Full Force has launched their latest episode, and it’s a big ‘un!

Nearly four action-packed hours of G.I. Joe talk post JoeCon with the latest news and intel, as well as an interview with Boss Fight Studio’s own Andrew and Erik to talk about Bucky O’Hare and all sorts of other awesome stuff.

But wait…  there’s another pretty massive surprise…  Hasbro Vice President, Global Brand Management Derryl DePriest himself also joins the show!  What did I tell you?  It’s a big one!

Check it out over on the Full Force Podbean Page as well as embedded below.

Series 02 of Vitruvian HACKS gets a great unboxing

We are neck deep in the summer season which means the release of Vitruvian HACKS Series 02 is almost imminent!

Good friend of GeneralsJoes Chris McLeod has been fortunate enough to get his British mitts on Wave 1 of the second Series of figures and has posted an amazing unboxing video on his YouTube channel.

Full blown diorama action, exciting unboxing and a very first look at these fantasy figures in hand and in action, this should get us all a lot more pumped up for their release.  Check out the embedded video below, keep visiting BossFightStudio.com and hit up the pre-orders on BossFightShop.com.  Good stuff coming!

Dream Concept’s Zombie Lab Kickstarter is closer than you think…

To say I’m excited for the upcoming Zombie Lab Kickstarter would be a dramatic understatement.  Civilian figures, mutated undead, and fully compatible with the HACKS articulation system?

Uhhh… SOLD.

Over on their Facebook page, Dream Concept has begun posting fantastic images of the upcoming figures in the first  few waves, and they look mind blowing.  It certainly seems as if there will be something here for everyone, even if you’re not a fan of the walking dead.

Keep watching Dream Concept on Facebook as well as the Zombie Lab Facebook group, and here are some of those images below.

EDIT – If you want to know the story behind this new Zombie Lab action figure series, be sure to check out DreamConceptStudio.com where they are posting some terrific artwork and prose giving some background to this exciting looking line.

Thanks to John for the link!

Boss Fight Studio and Toy Ark announce fantastic NJCC Exclusive Orc

In the immortal words of Keanu Reeves…  Woah.

Over at ToyArk they’ve revealed the exclusive Vitruvian HACKS figure for the upcoming New Jersey Collectors Con and it is gorgeous!  Entitled the “Blasted Land Orc” it’s an Orc Warrior from the upcoming Series 2 Fantasy series in a spectacularly gorgeous red skin tone with awesome gold accessories.  Seriously.  This thing looks terrific.

Check out all of the great images at ToyArk.com and make sure you’ve got August 12th – 13th freed up for the Boss Fight Launch Party where they’ll be launching Series 2 with a full two-day celebration of action figures and all things Boss Fight Studio!

Join me in Cherry Hill, NJ that weekend to celebrate alongside Boss Fight and a ton of toy and action figure fans.  This is something you do NOT want to miss.

Don’t forget, too, you can pre-order Series 02 at BossFightShop.com RIGHT NOW to ensure you get yours.  There are several figures from Series 01 that sold out, so don’t miss your shot.

I’ve mirrored a couple of the Blasted Land Orc images below, but hit up ToyArk.com for the rest.

When and Where Is The Next New Jersey Collectors Con?
Holiday Inn Cherry Hill – New Jersey
2175 West Marlton Pike (Rt. 70), Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Saturday and Sunday, August 12th and 13th 2017!

New Jersey Collectors Con Summer Launch Party with Boss Fight Studio!

This isn’t just another NJCC…  teaming up with the fine folks from Boss Fight Studio, the New Jersey Collectors Con will be featuring a fantastic two-day toy extravaganza on August 12th and 13th in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Boss Fight will be front and center with many awesome activities for convention goers and rumor has it their Series 02 Fantasy figures from Vitruvian HACKS will be available for sale at the show.

NJCC will also have a Series 02 exclusive figure available there as well.  Should be a great time, put those dates on your calendar, and I’ll see you there!

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For all of the latest info, check out NewJerseyCollectorsCon.com or visit them on Facebook.