Saturday, April 30, 2011

#52: LEGO Minifigures - Crazy Scientist

Crazy scientist? That is an odd name choice, since the term is normally mad scientist. Maybe it's a translation issue. Whatever you call him, this one is pretty neat. With his wild hair and white lab coat, he definitely looks the part of a mad scientist. Also, he has cool goggles. The hair piece is made of a softer plastic than all the other LEGO parts I've seen. I suspect this is again a safety issue, as it is a pretty pointy hairstyle. The little erlenmeyer flask is a really cool accessory. It's clear, with a green tint in the lower part indicating the contents (some of which have splashed on the lab coat). It's a fitting accessory for a mad scientist and looks good too.

#51: LEGO Minifigures - Artist

The artist wasn't one of the minifigures that I planned to get, but while I was searching through the packages, I found one and kept it on a whim. I like that it's such a huge stereotype of a painter, with the beret and palette. The look of concentration on his face is great, although I would have preferred a wild 'stache to the goatee.

#50: LEGO Minifigures - Hazmat Guy

One of the other must buys in this series for me was the hazmat suit guy. It's a cool idea for a minifigure because it's not really something you see toys based on much. Being bright yellow definitely helps him stand out. The big helmet piece is really cool looking. It also makes this guy one of the easiest to find by touch, because it's so large. He has some sort of gun or instrument that plugs into the back of his suit by a hose. Maybe it's some sort of sensory device. Whatever it's meant to be, you can imagine it's whatever you want it to be. Also, if you're in a Back to the Future mood, you can pretend this is Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan.

#49: LEGO Minifigures - Werewolf

Another monster in this series, cool. In my mind, this is more of a wolfman than a werewolf. I think of werewolves as turning fully into wolves, while a wolfman is more of an in between creature, like this minifigure. Either way, it doesn't matter too much. The fun thing is that his bone accessory can be taken different ways. One way is to think it's cute, because he's like a dog. Another way is that it's kind of grim because it's the remains of someone he just ate. It's like a little plastic Rorschach test.

#48: LEGO Minifigures - The Monster

One of the cool things about the LEGO minifigures is that there are a few different sub-themes that run throughout the series such as period warriors, athletes, and monsters. I've been getting the monster minifigures, so Frankenstein's monster was definitely one to add to the collection. It's interesting that he's officially named "The Monster" which is correct, but why leave out Frankenstein in the name? Does Universal or someone still hold rights to it? Either way, it's pretty obvious which monster this is meant to be. The head piece is a cool way of giving the standard LEGO head a more appropriately shaped look. All it's missing are bolts in the neck.

#47: LEGO Minifigures - Musketeer

The musketeer is a dashing fellow, with his feathered cap and extravagant facial hair. With the round point on his sword (for safety reasons no doubt) he looks like he's read to take part in a fencing match, rather than an actual sword fight. I took fencing classes while I was in college, so I can dig it.

#46: LEGO Minifigures - Lawn Gnome

Now that Easter is over, I figured I would never find series 4 of the LEGO minifigures. I had assumed that Target would carry them in the holiday section like they had the previous two series. Apparently not! I found a box of these at my local Target in the LEGO aisle. It wasn't on the shelves, it was hanging from a rack at the end of the aisle. So keep an eye out if you're looking for these. The lawn gnome was one of my must haves from this series because it's that level of absurdity that really appeals to my sense of humor. To make him shorter, he uses the unarticulated legs. I don't think of lawn gnomes as normally having fishing rods, but it seems like something a lawn ornament could have.

#45: Marvel Universe - Mystique

So I walked into Target, and there was a shocking amount of new Marvel Universe figures on the pegs. When I had placed my order at Hasbrotoyshop a while ago, Mystique was in stock, and I considered adding her to my cart. I didn't order her then, but when I saw her on the peg I decided to pick her up. It's a decent figure, although still the same basic female body as the other women in the line. The addition of her dress does help her to stand out a little, and I think it works out pretty well. The paint is kind of fuzzy where the edges of her clothes meet skin. The white seems too thin in places, with blue showing through. She comes with a big machine gun, and while I don't know how much sense that makes for her, it is better than no accessories at all.

Friday, April 29, 2011

#44: DC Universe Classics vs Masters of the Universe Classics - Aquaman (minus Mer-Man)

A little while ago, I decided that since I was about halfway there, I should complete the classic JLA lineup of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and of course Aquaman. Naturally by that point Aquaman's wave had long since been gone from stores, so it seemed the only choice was the very expensive secondary market, or the gaudily painted two pack with Black Manta (not a fan of Aquaman sporting a gold shirt). So I decided to wait. Finally, they announced a DCUC vs MOTUC two pack of Aquaman with a blue Mer-Man. I didn't have any interest in any Mer-Man, much less a blue one. Fortunately, Phillip Reed of was in the opposite position of wanting the Mer-Man but not the Aquaman. I bought the two pack and sent Mer-Man off to him, so it's cool that we were both able to get the figure we wanted without getting stuck with one we didn't.

So anyway, this version of Aquaman is basically the same as the original wave 2 version. The paint apps on his trident are different, and his shirt does seem to be of a more glossy finish. Either way works for me, so I don't mind that it's not exactly the same as the first release. The points on the trident are a bent a bit from the packaging, unfortunately. It's always a nice surprise when none of the joints are broken or stuck on a DCUC figure, and I'm happy to report that this Aquaman is one of those figures that is in good shape. When Aquaman was first released, we weren't yet jaded by Mattel's constant reuse of sculpts for figures. I don't think Aquaman's scaled shirt has much potential for re-use, so it is cool that is an original sculpt. Overall, I think it's one of the better DCUC figures, so I'm glad I was able to pick it up without paying ridiculous secondary market prices.

#43: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Clone Trooper

A couple waves back, Hasbro put out a new version of the phase 2 clone trooper, with a removable helmet and the hips with lateral motion, making basically the best version of that style trooper. Now they've gone and done the same thing for the phase 1 version. So really, it's the same thing, with a different helmet. But hey, it's cool. As far as I know, this is the first plain white phase 1 trooper with a removable helmet. This would be a great army builder if the figures weren't so expensive now. I still haven't seen this wave in person, and this figure was part of the order that included my last few Star Wars figures from Hasbrotoyshop.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

#42: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Kit Fisto

Among the many onscreen Jedi during the arena battle scene during Attack of the Clones, Kit Fisto was a standout with his alien appearance and flashy grin. I think more than anything, that grin made him one of the more popular Jedi, and he was given an onscreen death (although a bit of a weak one, as it was so fast) during Revenge of the Sith. Naturally, he was one of the characters I wanted to get a figure for. I don't even remember why, but I never got one during the RotS line. Eventually, I got a shirtless version of him that was based on the Clone Wars microseries. That wasn't exactly the look I think of for Kit Fisto, so I waited for them to release a newer version with better articulation, and now they finally have. He's got all the articulation you would expect from a Star Wars figure, as well as the newer hips with lateral movement. In addition to the regular lightsaber, there is an unignited hilt that can plug into his belt. I think I would have preferred a grinning Kit Fisto, but now that I've got this one, I don't think I'll need to add another to my collection if they do a grinning version.

Monday, April 25, 2011

#41: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Zam Wesell

When I was ordering Thundercracker, I looked around Hasbrotoyshop to see if there was anything else I could add to the order to help defray the shipping costs. I've been looking for Zam Wesell, and fortunately she was in stock. I've never had a figure of Zam before, as I wasn't really collecting toys when Attack of the Clones came out. I don't think they've released another version of her since I started collecting again, so I'm glad that this version pretty much covers all the bases for what I would want from a Zam Wesell figure. Can't decide whether you prefer her human or Clawdite face? You've got options, with swappable heads. The helmet is removable, and the goggles or whatever flip up. There are two versions of the cloth piece that attach to the helmet, one to cover her face, and one to hang loosely. She has her blaster pistol, which can be holstered, and her rifle. This is very good representation of the character, I'd say she's worth picking up.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

#40: Transformers Generations - Thundercracker

Finally my collection of Seekers is complete! Years ago, Starscream was a regular release, while Skywarp was part of a Target exclusive set (with Ultra Magnus!). Then Thundercracker was released in a ridiculously expensive Botcon exclusive set. And now finally, Hasbro has released Thundercracker as part of the Generations sub-line. I haven't seen one in stores yet, but briefly had them in stock, and I jumped at the chance to order one. I'm not big on repaints when it comes to Transformers, but I wanted all three of the Seekers, and fortunately they're all based on a good mold. It's a nice update of the original Seekers toys, with a similar but improved transformation. It's not the most complicated Transformer, but I dig it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

#39: Hot Wheels - Arkham Asylum Batmobile

A while ago, I heard that Hot Wheels would be putting out a Batmobile based on the Arkham Asylum game. Then I forgot about it. A couple days ago, someone I know mentioned on Facebook that they had just bought a new Batmobile. The next day, I went to Target, and right on the front of the peg at eye level was this Batmobile. That's got to be the easiest search for a Hot Wheels car that I've ever had. I really like this design for the Batmobile. It's slightly cartoony, and very hot rod. This is a Batmobile that looks like it can haul ass. Although I had a very nice bit of good luck finding it, it was also the only one in the store. I figure it will be hard to find, so keep your eyes peeled and good luck finding it if you want one.

If you haven't played Arkham Asylum, the Batmobile has a pretty memorable, if brief, scene. Naturally this is a spoiler, but you can check it out here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

#38: Masters of the Universe Classics - Panthor

As soon as the MOTUC Battle Cat was announced, I knew there would be an inevitable Panthor repaint. Since I actually had Panthor as a kid, I was more excited about this release than Battle Cat. When Panthor was scheduled to go on sale, I wasn't able to be at my computer, so I was a bit worried. I was able to go online about an hour after the sale started, using my phone, and I was able to place my order for Panthor in less than ten minutes with no problems. Most of that time was typing on the tiny keypad. No White Screen of Death! It appears that the rumors are true, Mattel has cleaned up their website issues and increased their production numbers.

The original Panthor was flocked, and while I would have preferred this version to have the flocking too, I can see how it wouldn't work well on a highly articulated figure like this. Panthor was originally completely unarticulated, so it worked. Otherwise, this is a repaint of Battle Cat, with a different helmet. So it definitely looks good and is well articulated. The helmet. When I first saw pictures, I thought it looked terrible, and planned to leave it off because the original Panthor didn't have a helmet. In person, I do think that the helmet looks a lot cooler than I was expecting. I dig the giant ram horns. It does look terrible in this picture, though. I guess it's not very photogenic. It does clip onto the head pretty securely. But I'll still probably be displaying it without the helmet, for the sake of the classic toy's appearance.

I think I'm done with buying MOTUC now. I've got He-Man, Skeletor, and their respective feline companions, and for me that is good enough. Although I might get a Faker next time they do a reissue. My He-Man nostalgia just isn't strong enough for me to get anything else. Matty's possibly resolved website issues aside, they're just too much for me to get more. They're nice figures, but I'm done. I'd recommend Panthor, but he's naturally sold out. I'm sure there will be a reissue!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

#37: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Senate Guard

I'm still waiting to see figures from this wave in stores, but fortunately Hasbrotoyshop had it in stock for what I considered a surprisingly long time. Back during the Revenge of the Sith days, the senate/Imperial guard figures were pretty hard to come by, so I assumed that these guys would be as well. I have a feeling that they are disappearing from pegs in the areas where this wave is actually out there, but your mileage may vary. I'm pretty sure I've said before that I like getting figures of the senate and Imperial guards because I think they're cool looking characters. You know they've got to be badass, because they're protecting the top ranking guy in the government. I have a couple of the guards that have their faces completely covered by their helmets, so it's cool to have the earlier design with a partially exposed face. According to Rebelscum, the body is partially re-used parts with some new arms thrown in. The robes on this figure are a pretty good improvement over past versions. There are actually two layers of robe, which I suppose must be true to the onscreen costumes. Otherwise, it would seem pointless since you won't really see the inner layer most of the time. But the cut of it allows it to hang off the figure in a more natural way than on previous guard figures. The helmet isn't intended to be removable, I popped the head off while I was trying to find that out. It's just a simple ball joint, so it popped right back on easily enough. He's equipped with a small blaster that can be holstered on his leg, a rifle that slings over his shoulder, and the force pike. Unfortunately, he has to hold the force pike like a sword rather than leaning against his shoulder. It did come packaged in the proper position, but that was just rubber banded to his wrist, not in his hand. I think this is one of the cooler Star Wars figures to hit shelves in a while, so I'd definitely recommend picking one up if you come across one.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

#36: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Clone Trooper (212th Battalion)

Aaaaaaaand, I'm back. It's been kind of slow lately, but thanks to some stuff being in stock at and a 20% discount code, I've' got something to write about. It's yet another clone trooper, so there's not much new to say. The helmet is removable, and it's got the ball jointed hips, so it's got good articulation. This is an updated version of a figure I have from the Revenge of the Sith line, one of the troops that Obi-Wan lead to attack the Separatist base on Utapau. I've got a couple troopers from this unit which probably is second to the 501st in number of figures that have been made for it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Articulated Monster, episode 4

Hey all, the new episode of Articulated Monster, the toy podcast I take part in, has been uploaded for you to check out. Now with 500% more Thundercats content!

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's a new Willennium!

Hey guys. Lately, I've been thinking about the direction this blog has been taking, and I've felt that it was time for something new. My collecting habits are kind of all over the place, spanning from Star Wars to Justice League toys, and I think it's time to bring some focus to my future collecting. I have been scouring the web, trying to figure out what would provide just the right focus for me, and after much debate I have narrowed the possibilities down.

From now on, I'm only going to be collecting toys based on Men In Black, Wild Wild West, and of course Independence Day. I've decided that Will Smith is the common element that will unify my toy collecting from this day forward. As such, I'm changing the name of my blog from A Year of Toys to A Willennium of Toys. I look forward to sharing with you all of my new Will Smith themed toys in the future. Time to get jiggy with the new Willennium!
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