Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#67: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - The Doctor

I have never played an Assassin's Creed game, so judging by the text on the packaging, I guess this guy is an assassin. An evil one, not a good one. Really, the important thing is that he is a plague doctor, and wears one of those really cool looking masks. I always kind of wanted to buy one of these, but never enough to pay regular price. But when I saw it on clearance for less than 3 bucks, I was sold. I kind of wish he had a better color scheme, though. That is a particularly unattractive shade of brown that makes up most of the figure. Alas. Articulation is pretty good. Even the legs are fully articulated, although the robes do get in the way of putting him in many different positions. The syringe is a permanent part of the figure, as it is sculpted into the hand. I might have been somewhat disappointed if I had paid full price, but for such a cheap price, this was a great deal.

#66: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Donatello (Classic Collection)

Here we are at the final turtle, Donatello. Like the others, he is differentiated by his head, belt, and weapon (which can stow on his back, of course). I think his skin tone is slightly different as well.

Normally I don't bother talking about the packaging because I open all my toys, but it's something to talk about, and I do like the design here. This isn't an exact copy of the original packaging design from back in the 80s, but it is strongly reminiscent of it. Very nice work. The top of the bubble is textured like a sewer cover, which is a cool touch.

Group shot!

Monday, July 30, 2012

#65: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Michelangelo (Classic Collection)

When I was a kid, Michaelangelo was my favorite. On the show, he was the character most obviously designed for character identification to the kids in the audience, what with his general immaturity and his catchphrases and whatnot. But when it came to video games, Donatello was my favorite because he had the longest reach with his weapon. These days, his name has been slightly altered to Michelangelo. Judging by the look on his face, he's not quite as goofy. He shares most of his body with his brothers, but his head, belt, and weapons set him apart. Also, he is a different shade of green, which is good to see.

Mikey's nunchucks stow away on the back side of his belt.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

#64: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Raphael (Classic Collection)

After yesterday's post about Leonardo, here's Raphael. He's exactly the same, but with a different head, a different belt, and different weapons. Raph's sai can be stowed away in his belt.

Staring contest
The NECA Raph with the new classics version. Quite a diference in styles! The NECA version has articulation at both ends of the neck. Crazy!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

#63: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Leonardo (Classic Collection)

In recent years, we've had various action figure lines hearkening back to the original golden age of action figure collecting, the 80s. GI Joe had its 25th anniversary collection, Transformers has had various throwback sub-lines, there have been many direct remakes of Super Powers figures in DCUC, and perhaps the most notorious has been Masters of the Universe Classics. Now in conjunction with the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, Playmates is getting in on the classics action with a subline of figures based on the original animated turtles. I never got around to buying any TMNT figures from the early 2000s cartoon series, or the later animated movie, but these just looked way too cool to pass up. These have apparently been showing up at Toys R Us stores, but I haven't seen them in the wild yet. I pre-ordered mine online and they recently arrived.

Basically they have taken the old cartoon designs, upsized them, and thrown in all the articulation they could think of, and come up with awesomeness. These are ostensibly six inch figures, but they don't exactly fit in with other six inch scale figures.

See? Here's Leo standing toe to toe with Mattel's Catman figure, and he's almost the same height. But because he's got proportions more suiting a cartoon character, he doesn't look to be in the same scale. I think they would be a better fit with 7 or 8 inch scale figures. I'm not complaining about the size, I dig that they are a good size. And about the articulation? They have gone all out and come up with Toy Biz Marvel Legends style super articulation. Each finger is articulated, and so is each toe! Granted, the turtles only have two toes on each foot, but I think that a figure having all its toes articulated is a pretty unusual thing. Let's run it down: a ball shoulder for the head, a swivel/hinge for the shoulders, a bicep swivel, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinges for each finger, a torso joint, ball hips, a thigh swivel, double hinged knees, swivel/hinge ankles, and hinges for each toe. The package advertises 34 points of articulation. There's not a whole lot of paint, but what there is looks good on mine.

For accessories, there's not a whole lot, but the turtles come with what's necessary. Leo has his twin katana blades with a detachable scabbard on his back. Unlike the original figures which had weapons made of brown plastic, the new figures have weapons that are more appropriately colored. The other accessory is a display stand that looks like a manhole cover.

I think these classics style ninja turtles are some of the coolest figures to come out in a while. Since they're all basically the same figure, you might not feel the need to collect all four, but I think it would be a good idea to get at least one of them. These are really cool looking figures, and fun to play with. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

#62: K'Nex Mario Kart Wii - Toad

For a while now, K'Nex has had the minifigures for Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Bowser available and labeled as such on the packaging. Now they've started blindpacking figures and have expanded the character selection to include Toad, Donkey Kong, and Diddy Kong. I was hoping to get Toad and Donkey Kong, but ended up with Toad and Yoshi. So here's Toad! He's easy to find because of his big round hat. Also, printed on the back of the figures is a series of numbers with one underlined, which seems to correspond to which figure is inside. Toad's underlined number is 6. This is based on a sample size of two, so your mileage may vary. He's like the other figures, but has the same size arms, so they look oversized for him.

Here's a cheery idea for you. What if the Mushroom Kingdom inhabitants buried their dead in ? blocks? Kind of like the Egyptians buried their dead with their wealth, so that's why a lot of ? blocks have coins in them. So when Mario gets a power mushroom, maybe it's the mummified remains of one of Toad's ancestors? How that confers super powers, I don't know. Super Mario: grave robber?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

#61: Bioshock 2 - Brute Splicer

Bioshock 2 came out 2 years ago, and the next Bioshock game is coming out next year. So here's a brand new figure from Bioshock 2! I think the Brute Splicer was revealed at last year's SDCC, but I guess they had problems getting out because it took nearly a year, and it's a Toys R Us exclusive. One of the first things I noticed about this figure is how massive it is. It's huge, and solid. It's really heavy. I'm surprised it doesn't cost like 5 bucks more than it is being sold for. This is the high standard of work I expect from NECA, with a highly detailed sculpt and a great paint job. If it wasn't such a hideous character, you might say it was a thing of beauty. Articulation is somewhat limited, which I think is due both to the bulk of the figure (too much leg articulation, and it might not stand on its own), and preserving the aesthetics of the sculpt. Generally I prefer more articulation, but I don't mind as much for figures like this. The only accessory is the hat, which is removable.

"What's that noise behind me?"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#60: The Avengers - Grapple Blast Black Widow

Based on her appearance in Iron Man 2, Hasbro was supposed to release a Black Widow figure, but as far as I know, it never made it into production at all. I was looking forward to it, but I had to wait two years longer than I was expecting. My local Target hasn't had any new stock of Avengers figures in for months, and has in fact been using those pegs for Iron Man 2 figures that still haven't sold. Fortunately, friend of the blog James was able to find this figure for me.

One of the complaints about the Avengers figures is that they feature decreased articulation and are providing less value for the increased prices. The Black Widow figures bucks this trend by having basically all the articulation that you could hope for in a figure this size. So naturally, she is only packed one per case. Similarly to the other Avengers figures, she comes with a big weapon. I think it's a re-use of a weapon that came with one of the Warriors Three. In the area of non-ridiculous accessories, Black Widow has her dual pistols which have holsters. I think the face is a little too narrow for a likeness of Scarlett Johansson, but from the side it does look better. It's a really good figure, though, and it's too bad that she's so hard to find.

"Bring Your Tiny Clone To Work Day on the helicarrier"

#59: Metroid: Other M - Samus

I pre-ordered Figma Samus months ago, and it finally arrived! This is my second Figma, after Big O's Dorothy. There haven't been a whole lot of toy options for Nintendo games other than Mario Kart, so as soon as I saw the announcement for a really cool looking Samus, I knew I'd have to get one. Metroid was one of the first games we got for the NES, and it has been one of my favorite series since. As one of the earliest female video game protagonists, Samus is an iconic badass. This figure is specifically based on the game Metroid: Other M, which I have not played. Fortunately, the design of her famous Varia suit is largely unchanged, so it's instantly recognizable as Samus.

As I mentioned, this is my second Figma, and it continues to impress. It's a great looking figure with very good articulation, a bunch of accessories, and a stand. It's probably good that these figures are so expensive and that the character choice tends towards anime characters I've never heard of, because I'd want more (there's a Link coming out in a few months that I have already pre-ordered).

Perhaps the coolest accessory that Samus comes with is herself: Samus in Morph Ball mode. Neat! If you've never played a Metroid game, Samus's suit has the ability to form a ball for easier travel in small spaces. Also pictured here is the stand, which it can plug onto.

There are two different blast effects which can plug into her arm cannon. I think they're similar enough that I would have preferred to have a launching missile instead of one of these.

Speaking of missiles, the tip of her cannon can be replaced with this pronged version, which is what the cannon looks like in missile launching mode. The blast effects can plug into this tip as well.

One of the fun things about Figma is the inclusion of interchangeable pieces like faces with different expressions and hands in various positions. Since Samus's face is covered by a helmet, she doesn't come with different expressions, and her suit only has one hand, so she gets a few extra left hands. She's got a fist, a fingers splayed hand, an open hand, a gripping hand, and a thumb's up hand.

You know what would have been a great accessory? A Metroid. Even a baby Metroid would have been cool. Oh well! Figma Samus is pretty damn cool, I'm glad we finally have a figure that does her justice.

"And the winner of the Best Space Bounty Hunter title is..."

Monday, July 23, 2012

#58: Batman Returns - Penguin Commandos

To continue the celebration of The Dark Knight Rises, here is yet another toy from a previous Batman movie. This time we're going all the way back to the 90s for the Batman Returns toy line. The Penguin Commandos are actually something I had back then, and I have always fondly remembered them as a bit of an oddity, so recently I decided to take the plunge and find them on Ebay. I just love the concept of an army of mind controlled penguins with rockets strapped to their backs. They're like Dino Riders, but with penguins! As much as I love the Christopher Nolan trilogy, that is one aspect that the Tim Burton films have as a clear advantage. One of the great things about early 90s toy technology is that the rocket launcher has a nice kick to it. The rocket went all the way across the room, while it seems like modern rocket launching toys are lucky if they go a foot. It's too bad that Kenner only made this one set. If they had made a few different designs, it would be cool to organize a proper army of penguins.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

#57: Star Wars Vintage Collection - Shae Vizla

Shae Vizla is another character from The Old Republic game which I'll never play. She's some sort of proto-Mandalorian bounty hunter. Or something? Presumably she's an ancestor of Pre Vizla, who shows up as leader of the renegade Mandalorian group Death Watch during the Clone Wars. Whoever she is, she's a cool figure. I was a bit put off by the face at first, but it's definitely grown on me. There's a lot of personality there, and you can tell by looking at it that she is not someone to trifle with. There is also an interchangeable helmet that can be swapped out for the head, and I think it's based on one of the concept art images for Boba Fett's helmet. She's got a couple of blasters with a surprising amount of paint apps, but unfortunately no holsters or way to stow them aside from holding them. She also has a couple of flame blasts that plug into holes on her forearms, so she can torch anything that gets in her way.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

#56: The Dark Knight - Movie Masters Harvey Dent

My most anticipated film of the year, The Dark Knight Rises, has just been released in theaters. Let's talk about a toy from its predecessor, The Dark Knight! Mainly I bought this because it was cheap on Amazon, and as a way to get my order up to the minimum for free shipping. I already have the Movie Masters Two-Face, and this is yet another guy in a suit figure, but I thought it would be nice to have a regular Aaron Eckhart figure to contrast with the Two-Face version.

Also, Harvey comes with an accessory: his lucky two sided coin. The Two-Face figure comes with the scarred version (which I'm wary of using because the wear on the scarred side chips off so easily), but the standard version is pretty cool and was a nice selling point for me.

Monday, July 16, 2012

#55: Star Wars Vintage Collection - Darth Malgus

I have not played Star Wars The Old Republic, and I have no intention of doing so. I have this rule against playing games that charge a monthly fee to play. So I don't know anything about Darth Malgus except what I saw in the opening scene from the game. He's not wearing the mask there, so I don't know if it's for an injury or just for looks. My interest in the figure is that he's a cool looking Sith lord. He kind of reminds me of Darth Malak (from Bioware's other Star Wars games) trying to dress as Darth Vader. Like many other lightsaber wielding figures, he includes a regular lightsaber, and an un-ignited hilt that can plug into his waist. It's a pretty cool hilt, with some sharp looking projections that look like they could do some damage without the lightsaber blade being extended. Malgus also has a double cape thing going on. There is a regular cape that is permanently affixed to the figure, and a hooded cloak that is removable. The cloak has a bendy wire in the neck to hold it in place. It certainly helps Malgus to cut a more impressive figure.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

#54: The Dark Knight Rises- Batman

You know how there are two main lines of figures based on The Dark Knight Rises? There are the 6 inch Movie Masters, and the smaller poorly articulated figures. Well, it turns out that the smaller figure line is actually two lines. They are the same figures, but one of the lines includes accessories for the figures and has slightly nicer looking packaging. This Batman is from the line with no accessories, and I bought it at a grocery store because it was cheaper than the line with accessories. So instead of a grappling hook, this Batman comes with nothing. For me, the main attraction of this figure is that it has a cloth cape and is in the 4 inch scale. It's lacking in articulation, but it's cheap. Why is the cloth cape important? I wanted a Batman that can sit in my Batmobile, and plastic capes just get in the way.

This used to be in good condition. Over 20 years ago.

#53: Amazing Spider-Man - Ultra-Poseable Spider-Man

Last week, the Spider-Man movie reboot opened, and on opening day I had nothing going on so I went to watch it. I didn't have the highest expectations for it, so I did end up enjoying it more than I was expecting to. Unsurprisingly, that made me want to get a movie Spider-Man figure. In the movie line, there is only one Spidey in the movie costume, so this is the one I went with. Fortunately, all the Spider-Man toys were on sale that week, because I would otherwise be too cheap to pay full price. This is a nice representation of the movie costume, although the lenses are white rather than yellow/golden. True to his name, this Spidey is indeed ultra poseable, with all sorts of articulation. There are no accessories, no webbing, no stand. There aren't even holes in the bottom of his feet, so he can't use someone else's stand.

"Gee Doc, didn't you used to be taller?"

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