Saturday, March 31, 2012

#25: Batman Legacy - Arkham City Harley Quinn

Although Harley Quinn's costume is a great, iconic design, the powers that be at DC have recently seen fit to give her costume a new look. It's awful. Fortunately, this is an entirely different interpretation of her costume from the Arkham City game, which is awesome. The game is awesome, not this version of her costume. Not that I don't like it, it works for the game's world, and it is good enough that I bought the figure.

Harley isn't Mattel's first attempt at a figure based on the Arkham series of games, but until now they've all been somewhat disappointing, especially the Joker. I haven't seen the Catwoman in person yet, but I'd say that Harley is the best of the lot so far. For a Mattel figure, this has a mind blowing amount of new tooling. In fact, as far as I know, the entire figure is a unique sculpt. Also in a departure from the Mattel norm, Harley has swivel-hinge joints on her elbows and knees, rather than the standard swivels. In addition to the Batman Legacy standard mini-poster and figure stand, Harley includes the bat that she uses to knock out Batman in the game.

The only problem with the video game figures is that they are a little taller than their comic based counterparts.

When did you get so tall, Harley?
Overall this is some of Mattel's better work, and it's too bad all of their figures aren't up to this standard. It's my understanding that media adaptations of comic characters are more lucrative than the comics themselves, so perhaps figures based on those adaptations are given better budgets to work with. Either way, I'm keeping an eye out for the Catwoman/Batman two pack.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#24: Transformers Prime - Soundwave

So I have not seen any episodes of Transformers Prime yet. I really don't know anything about it. But now that the second season is here, toys are finally making it to stores. Amongst pegs full of Bumblebee, I was fortunate to find a lone Soundwave all the way in the back. Initially, I wasn't sure if I wanted to buy it, but one does not simply pass up on a new Soundwave. And hey, I dig the new altmode. Lately, Soundwave tends to end up with a car altmode. Of course, it makes sense that he wouldn't be a microcassette recorder, because most kids wouldn't have any idea what that is. But for Prime, he turns into one of those unarmed spy drones, which works for him.

The Prime botmodes seem to take some inspiration from the movie style, but with better design, so they don't look like piles of pointy metal. Soundwave has certainly come a long way from his original blocky altmode. I think he would have benefitted from being a voyager class toy, which would have made him taller. One of the selling points for this Soundwave is that he includes Laserbeak. Laserbeak is a bird looking thing that doesn't really transform. It just folds up and attaches to Soundwave. In a nice nod to the original, Laserbeak attaches on Soundwave's chest. Or you can have him rest on his wrist like in my picture. In the altmode, Laserbeak can also sit on top of Soundwave's back, but it doesn't look good.

"What the heck is this thing?"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

#23: Marvel Universe - Psylocke

A nice bonus with all the new Avengers and Marvel Legends and all that is that Target is starting to put out more Marvel Universe figures again. As one of the 90s Jim Lee X-Men characters, Psylocke is one of the figures I was on the lookout for. I believe they are packed two to a case, and I was fortunate enough to find one on the pegs.

Complaining first! Unfortunately, Psylocke doesn't use the same base body as X-23, which is the best female base body in MU. Remember how MU figures used to come with little file card pack ins that were kind of lame, then they started coming with bases, which were useful? Now they come with neither, and have a truly lame pack in. Now they include a "collectible comic shot" which is a tiny piece of cardboard with some artwork on it, in this case the cover of Uncanny X-Men #467. If the box didn't point it out, it would be easy to mistake as part of the packaging. It's totally useless. This is of course in addition to rising prices, which makes it seem even more of a bum deal.

On the positive side, Psylocke comes with two accessories. What I consider to be essential is a bit of plastic that clips on to the hand which represents the focused totality of Psylocke's psychic powers, the psychic knife. Also, her psychic katana.

It kind of bugs me that her hair is loose, because I mostly remember Psylocke as being drawn with her hair in a ponytail. It's not wrong, but I would have preferred her head with a ponytail. That would have made it more mobile as well.

I'm glad that I've got most of the characters that I'd like to out of the Marvel Universe line, because they just keep getting more expensive, and thus harder to justify buying. I'll still totally buy a Forbush Man figure if they make one!
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