After poor sales of the second and third waves of Hasbro's Xevoz line, it looked like the line was doomed to a quiet death
after just a year on the market. But, as Mark Twain might say, rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated. Well they're
slightly exaggerated. Wave four never made it to a full domestic release here in the USA. But they did see limited release
in some Asian markets. Well, it seems that Hasbro was listening to at least some of the positive fan response from those
that imported them and those that couldn't get them because they have made them available at least in limited quantities.
Packaging - basics 4/10, two pack 5/10The simplified packaging designs from the third wave are back again. I can understand the need to cut some costs by changing the more standard card and bubble and eliminate the box from the back. But trying to keep the individual sections on the back as if the box was still there just makes it look busy. The same is true of the figure inside the bubble itself. with the lose of the box on the back, all of the parts must now be crammed into the small bubbles. The result is that there is little space to display the parts inside. The larger box for the two pack allows more room to display some of the pieces, but it is still a small fraction of all of the parts in the set and doesn't give a very good idea of what the final figures will look like.
Sculpting - Infil-Traitor & Runeslayer 4/10, Hyper Guardian 6/10, Franken' Punker 7/10, Fire Drake 8/10The Xevoz line isn't for everyone. The figures are a mix of simplicity of the overall design and the individual character details. It's not a style that appeals to everyone, but if you're reading this than that is probably not true for you. And the final result works better for some of the figures than others.
Infil-Traitor is the weakest figure in the wave, which is surprising. I was expecting to like it the most. The majority of the design has a very slender, minimalist design. But the head, hands and body are extremely bulky. There is an extra, humanoid head. The extra head can also be attached to the chest much like the Iron Spectre. There is also a miniature robot pilot figure that can be placed in the chest instead. The only other spare body part is a gun to replace one of the forearms.
Runeslayer isn't a bad figure, but relies heavily on the armor and weapons to complete its look. Without all those parts it looks like the figure is partially armored and partially wearing pajamas. The figure has a few extra parts: an extra head, extra feet and a second set of hands. The spare head has no helmet showing his fairly wild hair and matching goatee. The second set of hands are positioned with the wrists bent back and the palms facing straight out which seems to be a running theme for this wave of figures. The spare feet seem to be Runeslayer's novelty part, curly toed shoes. And I mean REALLY curly toes! The toes do a complete 360. Its a unique figure, but without the extra armor it is pretty odd looking.
Hyper Guardian has a pretty basic body. But its bulkier, much more muscular design is likely to be quite popular with customizers looking for an alternative to the thinner Alpha Ranger or Shadow Blade bodies. He comes with two heads and the wave four standard palm out hands. The two head sculpts offer the option of a helmet or partial mask which leaves his 'hair' exposed at the top, similar to Firestorm from the Super Friends cartoon.
Franken' Punker is the most original of the three basic figures and easily my favorite. The top half of the figure is a well designed frankensein monster with enough stitching to give it the pieced together look without giving up the distinctive Xevoz style. The lower half isn't as detailed. But the extremely thin legs on top of boots so large they would make Todd McFarlane proud, if there weren't two of them, is what is suppose to give the figure the punk look. The figure comes with three heads: one frankenstein head with a moving jaw, one with a mohawk made of bolts and one wearing an executioner's mask. He has a single extra hand. Guess what position it's in... yep, wrist back, palm forward. The only other spare body part is a replacement upper arm to match the mechanical right forearm. I would much rather have gotten an extra right forearm to match the left one.
Fire Drake is the most elaborate figure of wave four. While there are only a few differences in the basic construction from that of the regular humanoids: the addition of a tail, neck extension, opposable thumbs and wings attached to the forearms. But the final product is very inhuman. But because of all of the parts used for the figure, there are not many replacement parts included. In fact a second head is the only extra part. One of the heads has a sleeker, slightly streamlined design while the other has more pronounced protrusions, almost horns, around the mouth and on top of its head. Unfortunately it is this second head that also has an opening jaw, a feature that is severely restricted by the large protrusions on each side of the jaw. They allow the jaw just enough room to open the jaw far enough to access the hole to attach the flame accessory. But biting the head off of Runeslayer is out of the question. Fire Drake couldn't do much more than nibble on his nose.
Paint & Decals - Runeslayer 2/10, Infil-Traitor & Hyper Guardian 4/10, Fire Drake 5/10, Franken' Punker 6/10The paint work on most Xevoz figures tends to be pretty limited. It works better for some characters than others. Runeslayer is the weakest of the bunch. With most of the figure being unpainted white, it has a very plain look. And the few areas of his clothing that are painted silver don't make it clear whether they are supposed to be clothing or armor. (The arms and legs look like armor plate, but the chest looks more like a vest.) Hyper Guardian and Infil-Traitor don't have much more in terms of the amount of paint used. But what is there is used more effectively though Hyper Guardian relies heavily on his accessories to complete the look. Infil-Traitor's hands are cast in translucent red plastic with several portions painted black to make them look more solid. But since the black doesn't cover all of the way around the hand, the effect doesn't work that well. Fire Drake has more paint work than most Xevoz figures. But due to his size and bulk, there are still large areas that are plain red. Franken' Punker is the best of the wave with two different skin tones used as well as painted "metal" parts like the belt and guard on the right shoulder. The head with the moving jaw even has painted teeth.
Articulation - Fire Drake & Infil-Traitor 9/10, others 8/10The standard Xevoz figure has fourteen ball joints: ankles, knees, hips, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck. While that may not seem impressive in terms of simple numbers, the ball joints have a large range of motion. Infil-Traitor adds articulated fingers, the opening chest and the second head in the chest. The fingers do pose a problem in that they can't close to form a fist. But they still have a clip on the palm to allow the figure to hold weapons. Fire Drake adds opposable thumbs, moving wings on each forearm, the tail and an extra neck joint. And of course, both Fire Drake and Franken' Punker have the option of a head with an articulated jaw.
Accessories - Infil-Traitor 4/10, Hyper Guardian 8/10, Franken' Punker, Runeslayer & Fire Drake 9/10Infil-Traitor has one excellent accessory, his cloak, and a handful of weapons. The cloak is what makes this figure. It comes in two parts which attach to a backpack. The two halves can then drape across the shoulders or be folded back to reveal the figure. The weapons are disappointing though. There are two swords, two sickles and what looks like a launching grenade. There's nothing wrong with his swords or sickles, but compared with the huge handles and the figure's large hands, the blades seem too small. The grenade is ok, but there isn't a logical place to attach it. Infil-Traitor's only other accessory is a piece that allows two of the weapon's handles to be attached and then stored on the back.
Hyper Guardian has a large assortment of accessories. First off, there are six pieces to accessorize his outfit: a belt, arm guards, knee guards and a cape. When put together, they greatly enhance the appearance of the figure and allow room for customizing the look. All of his weapons are cast in translucent yellow plastic to make them look as though they were energy formations. They include a sword, two large fists that clip onto his regular fists, a small yellow blast and larger blast shaped like a hand. He also has a stand shaped like a large blast with a post to hold up the figure. Finally there is his novelty part, a dumbbell hand weight.
Franken' Punker has a lot of accessories. There are two pieces of armor, a backpack, six weapons and four hoses to complete the look. The armor is pretty understated for a Xevoz figure: one piece to cover the right shoulder and two gears to attach to his chest. The backpack is truly unique with a Jacob's ladder (the two electrodes with a electric bolt arching across them), six spots to attach the hoses and a moveable knife switch. His weapons include a large, partially crushed I beam, fireman's ax, oversized pipe wrench, his guitar and a chunk of concrete with a chain that can connect to the figure's left arm. His final weapon is supposed to be a bolt of electricity that looks like a large snot boomerang as far as I'm concerned. There are three five inch pieces of hose and one with three connectors on it. That's enough weapons and parts that I don't mind the lack of a real novelty part. (Well, I suppose you could count giving a Frankenstein monster a fireman's ax as humorously ironic.)
Runeslayer comes packed to the gills with seven weapons and another seven pieces of armor. The armor includes knee and shoulder pads, a loin cloth, chest guard and a cape. The armor makes a remarkable difference to the figure. It adds much needed bulk and color to an otherwise plain figure. The weapons include a large shield, large sword, small energy blast, larger energy bolt and a large circular energy blade all of which are cast in translucent purple plastic. Runeslayer also has a smaller sword and a spear with more purple "energy" to form the blade. All of that gives you plenty of options for arming the figure.
Fire Drake comes with just five pieces of armor, but makes up for it with eight weapons. The armor includes a chest plate and cod piece, shoulder pads and a helmet that fits the head without the moving jaw. I'm disappointed that the helmet doesn't fit both heads since I prefer the other one. But other than that, the armor works well with the figure design. His weapons include two blades to attach to the forearms, two more blades/fins which I attached to the legs, a large broad sword, a war hammer, a flame and an anvil. Most of those weapons can be used at the same time and thus arm Fire Drake to the teeth, or fangs as the case may be. The flame is designed to plug into the lower jaw of the head with the hinged jaw. The anvil is obviously a novelty piece. It does have sockets on the top and bottom to attach it to a figure as well as two square holes on the bottom of one side to plug in other parts. But based on that design, the only places the anvil can really be used on a figure are as a head (using just one of the sockets) or as a forearm. It doesn't seem like it would work well in either role.
In addition to the accessories listed above, there are also the parts to play the Xevoz game. Once again, I have to point out that I have no interest in the game aspect of the Xevoz line. However, each figure has seven pieces to form a battle helix as well as the two end caps. The two pack also with a battle terrain map to use with the game.
Action/Special Feature - 0/10None of these figures has any action feature or firing weapons. To be honest though, it isn't much of a lose.
Value - Franken' Punker & two pack 7/10, Infil-Traitor & Hyper Guardian 6/10The basic figures in this line should retail for $7. Unfortunately there are very few places where they can be found anymore. The few places that do carry them are likely to mark them up at least a dollar or two. Hyper Guardian in particular seems to command a higher price. The two pack should retail for $15 but you can probably expect to pay closer to $18 for it.
Happy Hunting:There are only three options I know of to get these figures domestically right now, all of them on-line. Hasbro's online store has all of wave four listed, though Thunder Shaman and Hyper Guardian are currently out of stock. They are also the cheapest option as they are charging retail for them. Entertainment Earth has a large selection of Xevoz figures in stock, but their prices are a bit higher. Big Bad Toy Store also has the fourth wave basic figures available for pre-order. Their prices are steep as well, but flat rate shipping can help.