Hundreds of people have read my review of the second wave of Xevoz figures and I seem to get a lot of hits from people searching for
Xevoz so I guess that means there is some interest in Hasbro's unique little line. That's good, because up for review this time is
the third, and sadly, quite possibly the last offerings from the Xevoz line. The third wave of figures includes four basic figures
(Storm Wing, Shield Breaker, Quick Slinger and Tomb Wrath), Crypt Curse as a deluxe figure and a two pack with Cryo Katana and Preda
Crawler. But since I've been behind on my reviews, I've got a few extra Xevoz items to toss into the mix as well: the Transcorcher/
Street Punk two pack, Iron Spectre with carrying case and the only wave four product to be released so far, the deluxe Thunder Shaman.
Granted, Most of these figures have been out for quite a while, but it's taken me months to track down at least one of the set. (More
on that at the end.)
Packaging - 5/10Series three marks a significant change in the Xevoz packaging. The two part cards with the blister on the front and box on the back has been dropped for a more traditional card with a single large blister on the front. They did retain the tapered style of bubble from the first two series. Unfortunately the space constraints created by losing the box on the back have forced some serious compromises within the blister. Where the previous releases had a variety of the parts from the kit displayed in the bubble, now almost all of the parts are tossed in a baggie and hidden behind the insert with just a sparse few parts still visible along the sides. The inserts have all been changed from the translucent plastic to plain tag board continuing the trend started with series two and now needed in order to cover up the parts in the baggie behind the insert. The back of the cards hasn't changed graphically. Hasbro even retained the look of the box section on the back by still having the smaller section on the bottom surrounded by angled panels on the sides and top. The look is rather strange; they basically created the optical illusion of a box. The two boxed sets (Cryo Katana/Preda Crawler and Transcorcher/Street Punk) follow a similar design. The boxes are slanted like the bubbles of the carded figures. The fronts of the boxes have the Xevoz logo across the top with a photo of the completed figures in the center. Windows on either side have a few parts for each figure displayed while the rest of the parts are bagged and stored behind the center section. The back of the boxes have photos of the figures at the bottom with the various parts and their corresponding game info pointed out. The Cryo Katana/Preda Crawler pack has a photo of the two figures being used in the game while the Transcorcher/Street Punk set has three photos of the various vehicles that can be created from the set. Iron Spectre comes packaged in a carrying case/game table with a cardboard cover wrapped around it. The figure isn't visible at all. The front of the insert has a photo of Iron Spectre displayed on the inside of the carrying case/game table. The back shows the figure with its various parts pointed out as well as the case being used as a gaming surface.
I can understand why these changes to the packaging had to be made. I'm sure simplifying the packaging saved quite a bit in production costs. And I know that eliminating the box section for the basic and deluxe figures allows a lot more product to fit on the shelves. But the changes also cost the packaging a lot of its originality. The change also hurts the appearance of the packaging on a more basic level. The Xevoz packaging layout is quite complex. That worked when the physical packaging matched, now it seems a bit crowded.
Sculpting -Shield Breaker 3/10, Thunder Shamen, Pred Crawler 4/10, Cryo Katana, Quick Slinger & Storm Wing 5/10, Tomb Wrath, Crypt Curse 6/10, Street Punk & Transcorcher 7/10, Iron Spector 8/10Tomb Wrath is the same skeleton sculpt that has been used twice before for Skull Jack and Grim Skull with a few new goodies thrown in. First off is the pair of translucent orange bat style wings. Also new is a new set of flaming forearms/hands with moving thumbs. Finally the gag part is a flaming jack-o-lantern head. I'm sure some will be disappointed to see the sculpt yet again, but it is a great body and the new flame pieces add enough variation to keep things interesting.
Shield Breaker is one of two Neo-Sapiens (humans) in the third wave of figures. Unfortunately, like the Alpha Ranger from the first wave, Shield Breaker is rather plain. The basic body is bulkier than that of the Alpha Ranger with a combination of regular clothing and armored areas. Two heads are included, one wearing a beret and the other a full helmet. No other extra body pieces are included. The figure doesn't offer much in terms of different options.
The second Neo-Sapien of the wave and one of the most anticipated figures is Quick Slinger. QS's basic body is a western style shirt with flared pants. Three options for the head are included: an uncovered head, one wearing a wide brim hat and the third wearing a similar hat and bandana over the face. An extra pair of forearms that can be used as shackles are included as well. I know a lot of people were thrilled when images of Quick Slinger were first released and the final product doesn't disappoint.
The final basic figure of the wave is Storm Wing, a Meta-Beast eagle warrior. The figure itself is considerably more complex than the Neo-Sapian figures. Storm Wing adds a rear talon for each foot, tail feathers, a seperate neck and of course the large wings. But that is not to say that SW is ill-equipped. There are three heads: open beaked, closed beak and a rooster head (Storm Wing's gag part). There isn't a lot of options for variations in the kit, but Storm Wing is still a solid figure.
Crypt Curse is the deluxe figure for wave three and a pretty convincing mummy sculpt. The limbs are appropriately lanky to create a convincingly decrepit look for the figure. The hands and feet are a bit too large for my tastes, but that seems to have been done to keep them in proportion to the rest of the figure when the armor and accessories are attached. There are two sets of hands included, a pair of fists and a second pair with the fingers and thumbs sticking straight out. The second set of hands look great for traditional mummy poses yet still allow the figure to hold accessories reasonably well.
Thunder Shamen is another deluxe figure. This time a giant ape/monkey. The sculpt for the body, legs and biceps turned out quite well. The sculpt is suitably primal looking while the grass anklets and wrist bands and the chest straps lend a bit of civility. Three heads are included: a standard ape, a mandrill with a moveable jaw and a monkey wearing a fez hat. The problem comes with the forearms and hands. They're huge! I mean, his hand is as large as his entire chest, and he has a large chest to begin with. The giant size is needed for the forearms to allow for the action feature which in turn, doesn't work due to the sheer weight of the hands that were made huge to match the arms.
Cryo Katana's basic sculpt leaves me a bit flat. The mix of thick and thin areas can work in some cases, but the flow just isn't there in this case, particularly at the waist. And for a creature that is basically made of water (frozen or not) the flow is important. Several optional body parts are included. There are three heads: the basic head that is some sort of angular block of ice, a more monstrous, hunched over, cyclops head and a smiling snowman head (CK's gag part). The forearms have two claws on them. A third claw thumb can be added to complete the hand or a full hand can be added and the forearm claws become blades ala Wolverine. There is a pair of longer talons and another piece that can be fit over the figure's chest. The talons don't work with the rest of the sculpt very well. Neither does the other piece, which looks like a giant lower jaw and quite out of place without a corresponding upper jaw. But it at least it covers up the waist area.
Preda Crawler is the second Biomecha Xevoz figure after the Sledge Trooper deluxe figure from the first series. But where that figure was primarily mechanical in design with very limited organic parts, Preda Crawler makes the organic components much more prominent. PC's left arm and torso are humanoid, except for the right shoulder. There is also a matching humanoid head as well as a purely mechanical one with working jaw and the gag part for Preda Crawler, an old teddy bear head. The right shoulder and arm are a welcome bit of originality. The rather than connecting the arm directly to the shoulder, it attaches to a hub with connections for up to four arms. Sadly only the one is provided, but it is a good one, a giant claw with a spot to attach additional parts inside. The lower half of the figure does away with the traditional, humanoid biped design in favor of four mechanical legs attached to a saucer shaped pelvis. I like the design, but the legs are a bit plain, especially the lower sections. The end in a round nub with an unused socket as if there was supposed to be an additional part connected but wasn't included. True, the nature of Xevoz figures means that you could add something, but coming up with four matching pieces for all of the legs would be difficult. Preda Crawler is a case of a great deal of potential that isn't quite realized. I would love to have seen this figure done as a deluxe figure so that Hasbro could throw in a bigger variety of additional parts.
Street Punk is one of the nicest and most visually interesting sculpts of the Xevoz line, surprising since most of the Neo Sapiens in the line have been quite dull. Street Punk is based heavily on the Alpha Ranger sculpt. In fact, all of the pieces needed to make an alpha ranger body are included. An additional, bare chested torso, new forearms and feet are included to form the Street Punk. The parts do a great job of breaking up the sleek streamlined look of the Alpha Ranger body. Four heads are included: a regular human head, a helmeted head with hinged visor, a mohawk wearing punk head and the small ponytail head from the Alpha Ranger set. Despite the amount of reused pieces, the new pieces are more than enough to give the figure a very different and unique look.
Transcorcher is the third Biomecha. Like the Sledge Trooper, Transcorcher has a decidedly mechanical look. In fact, the only organic part included is the brain in a jar that serves as one of the three possible heads. The other two are both streamlined, more or less flat with a single visor type eye. A bit more variety for one of the heads would have been nice. Transcorcher is unique in that he has two forms, a vehicle and a humanoid form. Both forms turned out very well.
Finally we come to the Iron Spectre, who pretty much immediately became my favorite Xevoz figure. Iron Spectre's basic form is that of a ghost like apparition. Most of the parts have a fairly spiked, almost flame like quality to them. There are couple of things I don't care for on the figure, the feet and chest in particular. The feet and left leg are sculpted with black chunks on them, presumably to give the impression of a spirit coming from the ground, but to me it just looks like he stepped in something. The chest seems too concave to me, almost as if someone sucker punched Iron Spectre in the gut. The effect is actually created to accommodate the armor pieces and create an opening chest, but without those pieces you are just missing the front half of your figure's torso. Fortunately one of the three sets of hands is an open set of claws with the socket for a separate thumb (though no thumbs are included) which can be attached to for a rib cage. The other two sets of hands are a set of normal grasping fists and a set with the fingers reaching out. The latter set cannot actually hold any weapons so a hole is molded into the palms so that a weapon can be pegged to them. There are three heads included: an ethereal flame, one with a mask to serve as a regular face and a helmeted one. There are also several additional pieces of armored parts: a set of feet, a thigh, an upper arm, an oversized fist and two armor panels to form the front of the chest. With just these replacement pieces, the figure's armored form has a very incomplete look, but that is quickly taken care of once the accessories are added.
Paint & Decals - Shield Breaker 3/10, Tomb Wrath, Preda Crawler, Thunder Shamen & Crypt Curse 4/10, Storm Wing, Cryo Katana, Quick Slinger 5/10, Transcorcher, Iron Spectre & Street Punk 6/10The Xevoz line is supposed to have a fairly generic look to it, so the paint applications have never been very elaborate and these are no different. But some are worse than others. Shield Breaker, Tomb Wrath and Preda Crawler in particular all have very dull paint jobs. Each figure includes a sheet of decals to decorate but I've never been very impressed with them. Fortunately, several of the figures have paint jobs that are done well enough that they don't need the stickers. Overall the paint work, irregardless of how simplistic or elaborate it may be, is clean and well done on all of the figures.
Articulation - 8/10A basic humanoid Xevoz figure has fourteen points of articulation: ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist and neck. Obviously that number goes up for figures for extra limbs such as Storm Wing and Preda Crawler. In purely numerical terms, fourteen points of articulation doesn't seem like much compared to a lot of the figures on the market today. But since each one of those is a ball joint, Xevoz figures have quite an impressive range of motion. The ball joints make all of the pieces interchangeable but they do result in joints that pop apart if pressure is applied in the wrong way. Of course they pop right back together as well.
Accessories - Preda Crawler 3/10, Tomb Wrath, Shield Breaker & Street Punk 4/10, Storm Wing & Cryo Katana 5/10, Quick Slinger 6/10, Crypt Curse, Thunder Shamen & Transcorcher 8/10, Iron Spectre 10/10Tomb Wrath comes with all of the armor pieces from the Skull Jack and Grim Skull figures as well as a flaming sword, Skull Jack's back pack and the tentacle. The series three figures also add pieces for something called their drain attack. Each figure has a piece with three slashes in a spiral shape that is used in the Xevoz game. For Tomb Wrath, the drain attack piece is a translucent flame. The flame and sword are both nice. But the back pack is rather pointless. It can't be used will the wings are attached and there is nothing to attach to it any ways. Of course there are the usual parts for the game as well; the basic figures come with seven power glyphs and the end pieces to form a die for playing the Xevoz game.
The lion's share of the parts for Shield Breaker are the armor and weapon pieces. SB's basic armor consists of a chest cover with two racks of 'missiles' on the sides. There are two additional pieces that serve as covers for the missile bays. There are also eight pieces of translucent green armor. There is a face plate, waist protector, two shin guards, a pair of wings for a backpack, two large pieces or armor for the arm and a small square shield that serves as SB's drain attack piece. There are also three weapons included. SB's main weapon is a large rifle formed from four pieces. The rifle can be taken apart into a hand gun and hand blade with two remaining parts. Shield Breaker also has a sword cast in green plastic, a goalie style hockey stick for a gag part and the gaming parts as well. While that is a lot of parts, they don't lend themselves to a lot of variety.
Quick Slinger's additional parts include a sleeveless duster, an ammo belt and two knee guards. Quick Slinger comes with five weapons; a pair of small six shooter, a pair of giant six shooters and a large lasso. Finally there is Quick Slinger's drain attack/gag part, a "kick me" sign that can be placed on the figure's back. The parts don't lend themselves too much variety but they are fun.
Storm Wing has three pieces of armor: a chest plate and two shoulder pads. For weapons, there is a spear, a pair of large hand axes and small crossbow with a removable arrow that serves as SW's drain attack piece. That's a pretty solid selection of armaments that complement the figure quite well.
When it comes to accessories, Crypt Curse has hit the jackpot. There are the game pieces of course, eight power glyphs and a pair of end caps which mean very little to it as a figure. But then there are nine pieces of armor and six different weapons, a hunk of meat and finally, there is a neck piece and a matching Anubus head. The armor includes pieces to cover the shins, forearms, biceps, chest and groin plus a small pair of wings to serve as a backpack. Together the armor is more than enough to create a very different looking figure. The weapons include two curvy blades made of snakes, a double ended axe, a staff, a scarab medallion with bandages hanging off of it as a drain attack piece and a small shield. Crypt Curse is definitely well equipped.
As another deluxe figure, Thunder Shamen packs a might punch in the accessory department with five weapons, seven pieces of armor and the prerequisite Xevoz game pieces. The armor includes tribal style arm and wrist bands, a loin cloth, a backpack that serves as a weapon rack and a huge tiki mask. The armor doesn't have the same impact on the figure as Crypt Curse's does due to the fact that there are already matching bands sculpted onto Thunder Shamen's ankles and left wrist. The tiki mask makes up for it some what by sheer size, being almost four and a half inches tall. The backpack isn't much to look at, but the ability to store the accessories with the figure is a welcome change. The weapons include a spear, boomerang, huge knife, a staff and a banana peel that serves as both the gag and drain piece. For the most part, the weapons' size plays well with the figure and their large handles makes posing the figure with them easy. I'm slightly disappointed that they included a handle on the end of the boomerang though.
Cryo Katana comes with five pieces of armor, three weapons, a backpack, an ice cube and the game pieces. The armor includes wrist and shin guards as well as a chest protector. They aren't really very remarkable in any way nor do the wrist and shin guards fit very well, but they do improve the look of the basic figure quite a bit. The backpack is designed like a large snowflake crystal. It is mounted on a white plastic hub that allows it to spin freely. It doesn't lack for visual appeal and is designed to allow other pieces to be connected to it either at the hub or along the edge of the snow flake. His weapons include a large sword and two handheld blades. The sword is quite large, more like a large broadsword than a katana as the figure's name indicates. It can be held easily by the figure, poses well and has a nice, icy look to it as it transitions from the white tip to clear blade and silvery blue for the hilt. The hand blades are styled to match the snowflake backpack. The final accessory is Cryo Katana's drain attack piece which is a translucent blue piece of plastic ice. The weapons are great but it seems like it could use a few more weapons.
Preda Crawler is the weakest offering in the accessory department with just two weapons, four knee guards, the game pieces and a small connector piece. The knee guards are cast in translucent green plastic with a light green spot. They aren't to interesting but they do add some visual appeal to the fairly plain legs. The weapons are a staff with a large claw/electric prod on the end and a buzz saw. The saw's blade is removable as the figure's drain attack piece. The connector is a small silver disc with ball connectors on the top and bottom. As of yet, I haven't found anything that you would want to connect together with it
Street Punk has just a few accessories: six pieces of armor and two guns. The guns are matching sub machine guns. The armor includes guards for the knees, shoulders and chest. All in all, quite underwhelming.
Fortunately, where the Street Punk falls a bit short, Transcorcher is a true standout. I won't even bother to try and list them all for the sake of space and since I would likely miss at least a few. But there is a great selection of vehicle parts including wings, four large tires and even a helicopter blade. The weapons include two large cannons, a couple of spring loaded missile launchers and even a hammer.
Iron Spectre has the best selection of both weapons and armor of the entire line. The armor includes guards for one shoulder, both forearms, and each shin. When added to the the extra armored body parts makes for a great looking fully armored figure. The weapons include a huge shield, a sword, an axe and a chain with a lock on it. The axe and sword are both designed to mimic the green and black design from the figure's feet, but unfortunately they did not use the same translucent plastic. While both can be held with the standard gripping hands, they also have a peg on their handles to connect them to the other hands or to the figure's hips. The chain is Iron Spectre's drain attack piece and is a nice addition, but there doesn't seem to be a logical place to attach it to the figure. The shield looks great and it has connections on the back to be held in the figure's hand, attached to a ball joint or connected to the square holes in the figure's back. I just wish that since Hasbro went to the effort of making the other weapons so that they can connect to the open hands that they would have done the same for the shield. Of course, there are also the game pieces but the accessory that will interest most people is the carrying case. Designed like a tackle box, there are ten compartments (six on one side and four on the other) for storing additional parts. The compartments are of various sizes to accommodate any of the parts from any Xevoz figure. The covers are made of flexible enough plastic to bend slightly if the pieces don't fit perfectly but they don't open accidentally. The case can also be opened to form a playing field for the game. There are even two spinners built in to roll your game die for you. It doesn't work very well and is rather pointless to begin with.
Action/Special Feature - Thunder Shamen 0/10, Crypt Curse 3/10, Transcorcher 6/10Starting with series three, Hasbro has been adding action features to the some of the figures. The basic figures and two pack figures leave off any action feature. Transcorcherís arms raise when the button on his back is pressed. It works well and doesn't adversely affect the figure. In addition there are the two missile launchers. Crypt Curse's action feature is a spring loaded waist. The waist can be turned until it clicks into place and then released upon pressing a button on his back. Unfortunately it results in the lack of a useable waist joint. Thunder Shamen's action feature is a spring loaded punching action. The forearms can be pushed into the arm and then released by pressing a button on the underside of the forearm. It is a complete waste. The release feature is too weak to actually hold the arm in the retracted position and compared to the large size of the hands and arms, the amount of movement is trivial at best. Worst of all, when extended which is how they will usually be positioned due to the weak release mechanism the wrists are disproportionately small.
Value - Iron Spectre 3/10, others 7/10The basic figures sold for $8 originally. The deluxe figures should run you $11 or $12 and the two pack of Preda Crawler and Cyro Katana should be around $18. The Transcorcher and Street Punk set will set you back $25. But it is Iron Spectre and his case will be a real kick in the wallet at $35. Those prices certainly aren't cheap but only really unreasonable for Iron Spectre. $35 for what is basically a $10 figure and you're paying about $25 just for the carrying case. A $5 tackle box would work just as well. The good news is that most places have been clearancing the line so there is a good chance that you will only have to pay about half of the regular retail price or less.
Happy Hunting:The Xevoz line never quite hit the big time, so distribution has been hit or miss at best. Series three in particular never shipped in great numbers in very many places. Still, the line did get at least some peg room at most stores except Wal-Mart, so look around locally and you may be able to find some still on the pegs. KB Toys in particular has been getting shipment in yet and should be your best bet. Online options are sparse at best. Entertainment Earth is the one site I've found which is the one site I've found which is still trying to stock the line, emphasis on trying. Otherwise, importing the line may be your only hope as it is continuing in some countries. This is also the only way currently that wave four will likely be released.