Monday, October 31, 2011

#129: Thor The Mighty Avenger - Harpoon Blade Fandral

As I mentioned before, Fandral was also on the pegs. Beforehand, if I had only been able to pick one of the Warriors Three to get, this is the one I would have chosen. I dig the Errol Flynn, dashing sword fighter sort of character. When I was looking at it in the store,  my first thought was to wonder what's up with his moustache. It's totally crooked, which I'm assuming is meant to be a roguish smirk, but it just doesn't work. Otherwise, it's a a cool figure. The cape is removable, which is nice. It just slips on over his shoulders and stays put pretty well. Then of course there is the ridiculous huge weapon. As his name suggests, this is apparently a harpoon. Why? In case he wants to engage in some Asgardian whaling? A display base would have been a way better pack in here. Also, the sword is bent from the packaging. If I ever find Volstagg, we'll see how he fares in my opinion, but for now Hogun is my favorite.

#128: Thor The Mighty Avenger - Blade Battle Marvel's Hogun

Happy Halloween! Let's celebrate by looking at some Thor toys. On a recent trip to Target, I happened to glance at the Thor toys and saw Hogun right on the end of one of the pegs. I haven't been paying much attention to the Thor toys lately because they never seem to put out any of the figures beyond the first wave. So that was a pretty big surprise. Hogun and Fandral were there, but no Volstagg. I'm assuming they're all packed one to a case, so I guess someone was a Volstagg fan, but didn't care about the rest of the Warriors Three. Personally, I'd rather have all three. I'm all for team building if there are so few members.

I haven't bought any of the movie Thor toys before because I already have a Thor, and I don't want unhelmeted versions of Loki or Odin. First off, because this is a Hasbro movie line, we get big goofy weapons for all the characters. So Hogun gets a giant axe with detachable blades which can in turn be held in his hands. As a giant axe, it doesn't look too bad, although it is clearly oversized. It's not too offensive, fortunately. For more proportionately sized armament, Hogun also includes a mace. He's a pretty good looking figure, and decently articulated. If there is a weak member of the Warriors Three, Hogun isn't it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

#127: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Ponda Baba (Walrus Man)

After literally months of waiting, my local Target FINALLY put out some new Vintage figures. I missed out on casemate Bastila Shan, but Ponda Baba was sitting right on the end of a peg, and I grabbed it immediately. Along with Dr Evazan, I've been waiting for the new Ponda Baba figure for a while, and I'm glad to finally have it, because it's pretty damn cool. The best part of this figure is the accessories. Apparently in the movie, he has some weird paddle hands up until the point Obi-Wan cuts his arm off, and in the close up of his severed limb, the hand is furry. Since that close up is the best look we get at his hands, that's what I consider the proper look, so those are the hands I'll be using for display (and it's the only set that can hold the glass). In addition to that, there are two swappable right arms. One is regular, and one has can be split in two for post Obi-Wan tussle action. They even added paint apps to the ends of the stubs to match the blood. It's true, lightsabers cauterize, but in the movie there is definitely a bit of blood present in the close up. So basically I really like this guy, and I think it makes a good addition to any collection, if you can find one.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

#126: DC Universe Classics - Hawkgirl vs Gentleman Ghost

Also in the Wal-mart clearance aisle were toys that actually were on clearance. Since the single carded Gentleman Ghost wasn't something I ever came across in stores, this was a good set for me. The set was marked down to 19 bucks, which is way cheaper than the single carded Gentleman Ghost is going for these days. Now, I've already got a Hawkgirl figure, so I wasn't super excited about having a duplicate. Even so, I'm just glad to finally have the Gentleman Ghost figure. Hawkgirl is pretty great, those wings are badass. Gentleman Ghost I mostly know from his appearances on Batman: Brave and the Bold, but I really dig the look of the character, and I think he makes for a figure that stands out. I dig the way they gave him a high collar to rest the hat and monocle on, its very cool having a figure with an invisible body. I think I would have preferred if they had made him a solid white rather than having him fade to clear plastic, though. Either way, I'm glad to finally have Gentleman Ghost. Now to figure out what to do with a duplicate Hawkgirl...

#125: G.I. Joe - Hazard-Viper

So I was checking out the toy section at Wal-Mart and the aisle right next to the toys has a big clearance banner on it. Naturally, that's where the G.I. Joe figures were, at normal price. And they were all new figures, from the new wave that includes the Renegades figures and some Cobra troop builders. I've been waiting to pick up the Hazard Viper for a while now, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it on the peg. Hasbro's still doing that thing where they give the Joe figures way too many accessories for them to be able to hold them all. So if you put all the canisters in the suitcase, and have him holding the suitcase and big spray gun, that leaves you with two pistols and the other weird pistol thing with nowhere to go. Alas, there aren't holsters. Basically, I'm into this figure for the look and the concept of a Cobra trooper that has to deal with hazardous materials. It's definitely a cool looking figure, so it's too bad he can't hold all his weapons.

Friday, October 28, 2011

#124: Star Wars The Clone Wars - Clone Commander Wolffe

Hey, it's another clone commander! Even my clone mania has subsided a bit, I recently passed on a couple different clone figures that I don't already have. But commanders are always cool in my book. Aside from the cool dueling scarred right eye, he's basically Captain Rex with a different paint job and Cody's shoulder antenna. Like all Clone Wars figures, he comes with a stand and die, as well as a playing card (at least they're not worthless, I Ebayed all mine  a while back and someone actually paid 5 bucks for them). And the requisite giant projectile launching weapon. The paint job is pretty cool, if not something that's super eye catching. Short of laterally moving hips, he's got all the articulation you can hope for in a Star Wars figures, including the wrist swivels.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

#123: Marvel Universe - Magneto

Lately my Target has been surprisingly frequent at putting out new Marvel Universe figures. Not too long after I picked up the last three Marvel Universe figures, I saw even more new ones and picked up this Magneto. I would have already had a Magneto, but he was previously released in the comic two pack, and I didn't want to pick up the black costumed Spider-Man he came with since I already have that one. They have been re-releasing some of the comic pack figures like Doctor Doom, so I figured I could wait. Granted, this is the Ultimate Alliance version of Magneto rather than the regular one I'm more familiar with, but I dig this costume too. I think my only complaint is the face. It's painted so as to appear covered in shadow, but I don't think it's 100% effective. You can see what they're going for, but it just ends up looking kind of weird. Otherwise, it's cool looking and the articulation is good.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

#122: Doctor Who - The Eleventh Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver

I've been meaning to pick up a sonic screwdriver for a while now, but they're usually at least 25 bucks (plus shipping) so that has been holding me back. Fortunately, Thwipster was selling them briefly for a cheaper price than I'd seen anywhere else, so I figured it was time to finally order one. It's a nice looking replica of the prop used in the series. It lights up and makes appropriate noises, and the claw tip extends. Unfortunately, when the tip is extended, the regular activation button can no longer be used, and you have to use one hidden in the base which is kind of in an awkward position. It would have been a huge improvement if this problem had been avoided. Still though, this is loads of fun to wave around and point at things and just in general play Doctor. Plus, it's more portable than a lightsaber. Totally worth picking up for a Who fan, and if you don't like the design, there is a variety of models to choose from. Hopefully you can find one for a decent price.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#121: Star Wars - Republic Commando: Delta Squad

So this was a Toys R Us Comic Con exclusive that immediately sold out when it was made available on the website. A couple months later, they finally got more in stock, and I was finally able to order it. I never played the Republic Commandos game for the original XBOX, but I'm a clone fan so this is a set I wanted to get. Plus it makes up for the fact that I never got my hands on a Scorch figure way back when it was originally released. Now I've got a better version, so it worked out. 

The original Scorch figure had no knee or ankle articulation, but Delta Squad all have full leg articulation. They're all the same body, differentiated by paint, backpacks, and guns. Also, there's a Geonosian warrior. I've never had a Geonosian figure, so I'm not sure if it's a new sculpt or anything, but it's well articulated. Even the wings can fold out, so they can be spread or tucked behind the back. It's a good enough figure, but I'm not really into them, so something else could have been put in its place and I wouldn't miss it. Overall though, the set is pretty cool for clone collectors. Currently it's in stock at, and it's a few bucks cheaper than when I got it. Geez. Thanks a lot, TRU.

Monday, October 24, 2011

#120: Marvel Universe - X-23

So a couple weeks ago, I played Marvel vs Capcom 3. I'm not really into fighting games, especially the kind that you have to learn long combos to do well in, so I played it for about 2 days and grew tired of it. I finished story mode a couple times, once with Deadpool, and once with X-23. I tend to favor female characters in fighting games, because they're usually faster and more agile which seems to be a fighting style that works for me, which is why I ended up playing as X-23 (usually with Chun Li on my team as well). I haven't seen any of the cartoons she's appeared in, and I haven't read any comics with her, so pretty much all of my exposure to X-23 is from the video game. I'm not sure if her costume in the game is typical for her comic appearances, but this figure is based on her X-Force uniform. It's totally weird to me that X-Force has a uniform because when I was reading the X-books, X-Force was a bunch of kids lead by Cable, and they just wore whatever.

The Marvel Universe line has kind of a spotty record with female figures, but I think X-23 is one of the better females so far. I think what really helps is that there is some unique tooling for the gauntlets, the boots, and the belt. And the claws, of course. There's a bit of a paint splatter on the front of the thigh, but otherwise the paint works pretty well. The base body is the newer one, so the articulation is pretty nice, although the hips don't have as much lateral movement as I'd like. I think it would have been cooler if her foot blades were extended too, as they're one of the things that really set her apart from Wolverine.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

#119: Marvel Universe - Sub-Mariner

At the same time that I bought Ultron, I also found Sub-Mariner and picked him up. He had a previous single carded release, but it wasn't in his classic Speedo look, so I passed. Fortunately, he's a much better figure than Ultron. Articulation is improved, and none of the joints are super loose. It's nice that they didn't cheap out and paint everything on Namor. His gauntlets are sculpted on, and his trunks are textured. His head looks good, they got his crazy eyebrows and widow's peak down, and his expression has a great pissed off, regal look to it. He even gets an accessory in a crazily ornate trident. Apparently there is a variant of his display base. Either it says Sub-Mariner like mine, or it says Imperius Rex, which is pretty cool. The Sub-Mariner is a good figure, and an important part of Marvel's history, so I'd say he's definitely worth adding to your collection.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#118: Marvel Universe - Ultron

It seems like Marvel Universe is the only line I'm keeping an eye on that my local Target seems to stock lately. It seems like they have been putting out new stock with some regularity, so a week or so back the pegs were well filled, with some new figures. From series three, Ultron was one of the figures I wanted. I had always passed on the two pack that included Ultron and Mister Fantastic, and it hasn't been in stores for a while. So even though I've never read any comics with Ultron (I'm pretty sure I've never read any Avengers comics, unless you count the Ultimates), I'm always a fan of killer robots. Although it looks cool, the articulation is a bit of a let down. Since it is a repaint of an older figure, it does have the older style of MU articulation. Also, the arms won't go down any further than you see in the picture. It's good for megalomaniacal gesturing, but they won't be hanging down at his sides. The torso on mine is kind of loose, but that may just be an individual problem. The green highlights in Ultron's seams look pretty cool, like he's glowing from internal power. Ultron's not the best figure to play with, but might be worth it if you like the way he looks enough.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#117: Batman: Arkham Asylum - Poison Ivy

Just in time for the release of the new game Arkham City, here's Poison Ivy from its predecessor Arkham Asylum. With all the brouhaha about Mattel's Club Infinite Earths and its pre-orders, I thought that I might have to end up getting one of the DC Direct versions of Poison Ivy to fill that hole in my Batman rogues gallery. Then as luck would have it, I won the monthly comment contest at Action Figure Blues and was able to choose Poison Ivy as my prize. I would have posted sooner, buthad all those LEGO minifigures to get through first, and the timing worked out well to coincide with the game's release.

So as I mentioned, this is a DC Direct figure, and true to form it looks great but has lower levels of articulation. Seven joints total: neck, shoulders, elbows, and hips. The figure does a good job of capturing the look of Ivy from in the game, down to the intricate pattern of vines growing on her skin with leaves sprouting here and there. It really emphasizes her plant powers. In the game, her hair seems to defy gravity and sort of floats along behind her, and for the figure this is represented by having her hair basically sticking straight backwards. It's kind of odd and makes her look rather windswept, but it does mean the hair doesn't get in the way of her head's movement.

Overall this is a good figure, but I will still be getting the Mattel version of Poison Ivy whenever they release it, due mainly to the issues of articulation and scale. This Poison Ivy is too tall to fit in with my DCUC figures. I'm not planning on getting any more DC Direct Arkham figures, so for now this is going to stay on my desk by itself rather than going on the shelves with my DCUC figures.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

#116: LEGO Minifigures - Gangster

Finally, we get to the last of the minifigures I bought from series 5 (I couldn't find any of the evil dwarves, oddly enough), the gangster. What really sold me on this one is the violin case. Too bad he comes with a pistol instead of a tommy gun that could fit inside the case, because that would have been way cooler. I thought that the violin case would be the easiest piece to identify the gangster by, but it ended up being the pistol.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

#115: LEGO Minifigures - Boxer

The boxer was the first of the series 5 minifigures I found. It was the lonely one sitting in the action figure aisle that alerted me to the presence of the rest of the wave at my Target. Figuring out which minifigure it was turned out to be pretty easy due to the boxing gloves. Instead of regular hand pieces, the boxer has the boxing glove pieces attached to the arms. I've heard that some people have found the boxer with the gloves unattached, but all the boxers I found while searching through the display had the gloves attached. One of the cool things about the boxer is that there are two faces painted onto the head piece, allowing for different display options. The face not displayed in my picture has a cocky grin. So if you have two boxers, you can make one winner and one loser.

Friday, October 14, 2011

#114: LEGO Minifigures - Detective

The detective seems to be one of the most popular minifigures from this series, and was one that I most wanted. As I guessed, he was easy to detect in the packaging due to his magnifying glass's distinct shape. A tiny functioning magnifying glass is a pretty cool accessory. With his deerstalker hat and long sideburns, he has a very Holmes-ian feel. Although my favorite detective dresses up like a bat, Sherlock is right up there with him.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

#113: LEGO Minifigures - Zookeeper

 A LEGO minifigure that comes with a baby chimp? Of course I'm going to get that. You can tell she's a zookeeper and not an anthropologist in the field because her shirt says "ZOO" right above the pocket on her shirt. I assumed that the chimp would be the easiest piece to identify this set by, but it turned out to be the banana for me. At first I had actually confused the banana with the gangster's pistol, so I thought I had found that instead. Also, that's the same banana piece that came with the gorilla suit guy a while back. The LEGO monkeys have articulated limbs and hands, so it is a little disappointing that the chimp is just a solid piece of plastic. At least it gets some paint apps. It's certainly the cutest accessory from this series.

Monday, October 10, 2011

#112: LEGO Minifigures - Lizard Man

Since Series 5 doesn't have a monster like the last few have, the Lizard Man is the next best thing. Or maybe the clown is meant to be the monster, like Pennywise from It? Either way, I passed on the clown, so Lizard Man is my monster figure for this wave. Of course, he's actually a guy in a costume, like the gorilla suit guy from a previous wave, so maybe that will be an ongoing theme. I suppose you could pretend all of the LEGO minifigures are people in costumes and make costume party dioramas. If I had some more general purpose building blocks, I would totally do that. Anyway, Lizard Man was one of my must haves from this series. He's pretty easy to identify in packaging due to his pointy tail piece which works like a cape. I'm not sure what the expression on the face beneath the mask is, but it has a sort of good natured embarrassment feel to it. Hm, if you had a blank red or pink head to go beneath the mask, it might like an actual lizard monster rather than a guy in a suit.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

#111: LEGO Minifigures - Ice Fisherman

Apparently if you include a fishing rod with a LEGO minifigure, I will buy it as I already have the previous fisherman and the dwarf. The rod is always easy to find in the blind packaging, so it is an easy figure to identify.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

#110: LEGO Minifigures - Royal Guard

As an American, the concept of those British royal guards that supposedly aren't allowed to react to anything has always proven fascinating as an example of something bizarre and quintessentially British. So naturally I wanted to pick up the LEGO version. With that giant helmet, it's pretty easy to find this one in the blind packaging. I dig the dour expression on his face. It's too bad that the chinstrap mostly prevents  his head from being swapped onto another body. I thought that he should be wearing gloves, but my quick image search of actual Queen's Guards seems to indicate they don't wear them. If you're so inclined, this would be a good army builder.

Friday, October 7, 2011

#109: LEGO Minifigure - Gladiator

The gladiator is pretty easy to find because of his huge and oddly shaped helmet. He's got a nice scowly face with stubble underneath the helmet. The paint for the armor goes around to the sides of the legs, and even on one of the arms. I decided to get this guy mainly because he looks cool. The sword is different from the one they used to include with all the pirates, knights, and anyone else that included a sword. This one is actually pointy. Maybe it's more historically accurate, I have no idea.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

#108: LEGO Minifigures - Graduate

So I finally found the fifth LEGO minifigure series! I was beginning to lose hope that they would ever show up at my Target. I only actually found them accidentally. I've been checking the LEGO section and the Halloween section lately keeping an eye out for these, with no success. Then I happened to see one of the minifigure bags sitting on the shelf by the GI Joes. I checked the LEGO and  Halloween sections with no sign of the minifigures. So I did an aisle by aisle sweep of the entire toy section. Finally, I found the display box. Next to the Littlest Pet Shop toys. Yeah, they were on an aisle where basically everything else was packaged in bright pink. What the hell, Target?

So like the last couple times, I spent way too much time standing around feeling minifigure pieces through the packaging to find the figures I wanted. The graduate was pretty easy to find due to the diploma, which is the only flat square shaped piece in the series. I like the idea of having a LEGO guy in a mortarboard which is the main reason I picked this one up. The robe works well enough, as a stiff cloth piece that fits on the neck peg and has to be folded into shape.
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