It's been over eight months since Hasbro launched the Xevoz line. While some, myself included,
were leery of this line at first. It seemed like a poor imitation of the Sikfas line upon
which they were based. But time time, and Hasbro, have proven me wrong. The first series gave us seven characters that manage to be unique and maintain
some of the featureless, generic style of the Stikfas line. Well the second wave of Xevoz figures
has been out for some time. I finally anaged to find a set of them locally, so now its review
Packaging - 8/10The Xevoz line has some of the most unique and interesting packaging that I have seen in quite a while. The basic and deluxe figures come packaged in a combination blister card and box. The front of the card is dominated by the blister which takes up over eighty percent of the card. Hasbro left just enough room at the top for a hook to hang the figure from the pegs. The blister has a large insert in the front with the Xevoz logo, character name and species and an image of the completed figure. Inside the blister, an assortment of the parts is arranged and displayed. The back of the card has a description of the character and species on the left and a breakdown of some of the various parts on the right. The bottom of the card is actually a box that contains the majority of the pieces and the decals/instructions. The exterior of the box has information about the game aspect of the Xevoz line. I deffenitely like this packaging but it has a few drawbacks. The first is that with both a blister on the front and the box on the back, these are rather deep. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but it means that fewer figures can fit on a peg in the store which in turn means less stock. It also seems that this packaging is proving to be too expensive for Hasbro. Where as the first series had a translucent insert infront of the parts in the blister, the newer figures substitute regular cardboard. The change may not seem very noticable from a casualy glance, but it does make it almost impossible to see the parts that are displayed in the blister, thus makeing the entire blister somewhat pointless.
Sculpting - Hemo Goblin 3/10, Shock Berserker & Dune Stinger, Sky Grinder & Moon Stalker 7/10The Xevoz line is a rather unusual mix of simplisity and featureless details. For some people, the style is going to be an immediate turn off. But those people aren't likely to be buying these figures, or reading this review. For fans of the line, it is part of the appeal.
Hemo Goblin is a disappointment for me. While each individual piece is nicely done, they don't seem to come together as well as the other figures in the line. In my mind, I envision three different types of vampire designs: the monsterous bat, extremely old human or younger human. This figure seems to have pieces based on all three designs but they don't come together well. The forearms in particular are sculpted so that the wrist move the opposite way of the elbow. They don't work well with the human head, which is sculpted to be fairly young. The wings seem disproportionately small for a bat. And there are no regular legs of feet for a more humanoid look.
The Dune Stinger and Shock Berserker both have good sculpts, but each has some design issues. Dune Stinger's shoulders are angled too far downward. As a result, the arms hit the front set of legs. The problem can be reduced by elevating the front legs, but that position doesn't look very natural. Shock Berserker has a unusal sculpt due to its asymetry which matches the concept of a creature made of living electricity. But the figure has extremely long limbs. With the guards and bolts on each arm and the arms streatched outward, the figure can reach more than a foot across and stands almost eight inches high. But the sculpt doesn't compensate for its size to insure stability. It comes close with the larger feet, but there is still room for improvement.
Sky Grinder and Moon Stalker both score higher for doing a better job of creating a more complete overall figure. For Sky Grinder, that means a pretty simple design of a teen in black pants and a t-shirt. The forearms and calves are sculpted as oversized elbow and knee pads. Moon Stalker combines wolf parts for the head, torso, arms and lower legs with clothed legs and forearms. The sculpt allows for either an upright, human-like pose or a more feral, hunched over pose.
Paint & Decals - Hemo Goblin 3/10, Dune Stinger & Sky Grinder 5/10, Shock Berserker & Moon Stalker 7/10Hemo Goblin loses points once again in this catagory due to the chaotic design. The purple and red of the body and legs clashes with the white of the forearms, feet and the back of the lower legs. And they missed areas that probably should have been painted like the fangs. And the black for the wings doesn't match up to anything else on the figure causing them to look like added on parts rather than an extension of the figure itself.
Sky Grinder has a simple but effective paint scheme: black for the pants, white and blue for the shirt, and translucent blue and silver for the pads. It won't win many awards, but it certainly does the job and looks pretty good. Dune stinger on the otherhand, has a more elaborate design that is well executed. But for some reason Hasbro made all of Dune Stinger's extremities bright red, including the stinger, feet, claws and hands. It works for the stinger in my opinion. Even the claws, which don't blend in to the upper arms very well, would be acceptable. But the feet look like they belong to a completely different figure. There is no transition at all from the feet to the lower leg sections.
Shock Berserker scores well not for the quality of the paint applications, but for knowing not to over paint the figure. The majority of the figure derives it's color from the translucent plastic which varies from a bright yellow to green in color. The guards on the various joints, armor and the head are painted with a metallic flake gunmetal gray. Not paiting the rest of the figure helps to convey the image of a character whose body is comprised of pure energy.
Moon Stalker has one of the more complex paint schemes with multiple shades for the fur as well as paint for the various bits of clothing. In general, the result is terrific. The one drawback is the areas around the peg holes in the chest and calves. The paint goes up to the holes but not into them. The result is that the peg holes stand out even more than they normally would.
Articulation - Hemo Goblin 8/10, Dune Stinger 9/10, others 7/10The basic Xevoz design such as Sky Grinder or Shock Berserker has fourteen ball joints: ankles, knees, hips, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck. Moon Stalker adds a joint for the tail and another joint for the jaw on one of the heads. Hemo Goblin has a hinged jaw for the bat head as well as hinged toes. Dune Stinger Naturally scores a little higher here since the extra pair of legs add another six points of articulation. And the tail adds another two to five joints depending on which one is used. Dune Stinger comes close to getting a ten, but the shoulders hold it back. It has the same ball jointed shoulders as the other figures, but the joints are not able to compensate for the downward angle of the shoulders which causes the arms to hit the legs. It should also be noted that the articulation for all of the Xevoz figures is designed to pop apart easily as part of the game. But what helps for the game can be a drawback for the toy when limbs pop off while they are being moved and posed.
Accessories - Hemo Goblin 4/10, Moon Stalker 9/10, others 7/10Hemo Goblin comes with two heads, a spare set of hands, a lance, forearm and chest armor, a small set of wings and a larger articulated set of wings. The human head has an articulated ponytail while the bat head has a moving jaw. The two sets of hands are grasping hands and open handed claws. The chest armor is nice, but the forearm guards don't fit very well. The lance is huge and designed to either be held in the figure's hand or attached to any of the peg holes. I like it, but a smaller scale weapon would have been nice. The wings are a real let down. The small set are so small, they can barely be seen. And the large wings are underscaled too for the size of the bat figure. I would like to have gotten some sort of cape for the figure and the lack of any sort of whimsical parts is a noteable fault.
Moon Stalker has a great assortment of accessories. The figure has two heads: one with goggles sculpted on and one with a hinged jaw and no goggles. There are armor pieces for the chest, forearms and biceps as well as a matching belt. Moon Stalker also has a blue cape that attaches to the chest armor over the right shoulder. For weapons, Moon Stalker has a crossbow, sword, a lance with two lengths of chain that can attach to it or the trap, the trap and the same weird hand blade that has come with every Xevoz figure so far. (What is that thing Hasbro?) The crossbow is nice but has a very long handle on it for some reason. The trap is an interesting accessory. It is made up of two halves that can be joined by either a ball and socket connection or a hinge. But the design has an odd effect. The ball and socket connection that allows it to be positioned in a completely position as if the trap was set doesn't allow it to close. The trap can be positioned in a closed position using the hinge, but then it can't be opened completely. The trap has two other cool features. The first is that the same chain that attaches to the lance can connect to the ball on the trap. And the socket allows the trap to be used as a third alternate head. Very cool.
Sky Grinder takes the prize for sheer number of accessories, unfortunately numbers are the best thing they have going for them. There are a total of three heads: one with a stocking cap, one with a jester hat and one with spiked red hair. There are two pack packs. One is a plain sculpted backpack. The other is a large backpack with spring loaded wings which flip out when a button is pressed. There is a board. Though to be honest, I don't know if it is intended to be a surfboard, snowboard or skateboard. It has the length of a surfboard, but it is quite thin and narrow. There are four square holes in the bottom of the back of the board and two in the front into which the various rockets can be plugged. There are also five pegs on the top of the board to attach the figure in various stances. There are two roller blades that can attach to the figures feet. They also have a hole on the side for a rocket to be attached. As for the rockets themselves, there are eight: four small football shaped ones, two medium sized ones and two long missiles. They are simple, unpainted and quite dull. The figure also comes with four weapons. There is of course the obligatory hand blade thing. (You know, it looks a little like a potato masher. Maybe it is to defend them from the bands of evil roaming Mr. Potatoheads?!?) There are a pair of what appear to be steel plated knuckles. Sky Grinder has also has a piece of pipe. Finally, there are two swords that can be connected together using a black cable. It is certainly an impressive number of accessories. But there really isn't any standout pieces in the entire lot. I also miss the usual comical accessory.
Dune stinger comes up a bit short on accessories in terms of numbers. But the ones that are included are excellent. First off is the three heads. There are two styles of insect style heads and the Sombrero of Death. (ok, it is just a sombrero, but Sombrero of Death sounds better.) There are two sets of forearms and hands. One set are two large claws with moveable pincers. The other set is regular arms and hands. There are two tails included: one two segment tail shaped like a centiped and one five segmented one. The only true weapon included is another handheld potato masher, because on the planet Xevoz, the potato people have infested even the deserts. I can accept the lack of accessories, but I wish they would have given the spare body parts a paint job that would have allowed them to match the rest of the figure better.
Shock Berserker has a decent selection of accessories. There are two heads, one translucent yellow one and a mechanical one. There are two sets of hands: regular grasping hands and a set with articulated fingers like those of Inferno Fury from the first series. Shock Berserker also has a horseshoe magnet that I believe is supposed to be an alternative hand. There are three pieces of armor: a chest guard and two large guards that can attach to either the forearms or knees but really don't look that great in either position. There are also three weapons. Shock Berserker has a sword with a blade of translucent yellow plastic. There is also a staff/club. And of course, there is the standard issue potato masher. Let no spud go unmashed. Finally there are six electric bolts that can be attached t the mechanical head, club and two on each arm guard. The guards don't work all that well, but all of the other accessories are terrific.
Value - 7/10The Xevoz figures come in three types: basic figures, deluxe figures and two packs. Dune Stinger and Shock Berserker are the two basic figures in this wave and should retail for between $7 and $8. The fact that these are the basic figures is ironic given that they happen to be the most complex and largest figures of the wave respectively. Sky Grinder is a deluxe figure and retails for $10 to $11. While his design doesn't appeal to me as much as some of the other figures, the fact that he is the best normal human so far and the large number of accessories will likely make it a popular figure for most people. Hemo Goblin and Moon Stalker come in a two pack and retail for $15. As a basic figure, Moon Stalker would be a steal. Even as a deluxe figure, this figure would be a decent value. But unfortunately is seems like you are being forced to buy a mediocre Hemo Goblin figure in order to get Moon Stalker.
Happy Hunting:Well, this is a good news bad news sort of thing. For many areas of the country, the Xevoz line is rapidly making its way into more and more mainstream toy stores. However, there are still quite a few areas, like mine, where these are quite scarse. Toys R Us is probably your best bet. They have been carring the line since late December. But there are quite a few areas where Toys R us seems to have missed series two completely. Depending on your area, you may also be able to find Xevoz figures at the various discount chains such as Kmart and Target. I found Sky Grinder, Dune Stinger and Shock Berserker at Shopko here in Madison, WI. You can also try the online option. Big Bad Toy Store has been restocking the Xevoz figures with some regularity as has Entertainment Earth.