Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Ever since Hasbro revisited the Millennium Falcon with the BMF, I've been waiting for an update to Boba Fett's ship, the Slave I. I've always like the ship, in part because it's just so weird looking. Unique is a word that I think can be fairly used to describe its design. Hasbro finally did do a completely new Slave I, but it was in a huge battle pack, and in a prequel era paint job. I passed on that, assuming that Hasbro would release it as a repaint in its original trilogy color scheme. They did just that, and as an Amazon exclusive. Its normal asking price of 70 dollars was a bit too much for my tastes, but around Christmas time the price started going up and down. Finally I decided to bite when it was half off.
The new Slave I is definitely an improvement over the Power of the Force version I had years ago, and its most immediate improvement is size. Increased size means it's better in scale and proportion than the older version. There are also more gimmicks and play features.
The loading ramp unfolds and extends to make a walkway. The side panel lifts up, revealing room for figures to stand inside the ship. There is a bounty holding cell that fits into a compartment in the ship's tail. The tail guns have launching missiles. There are a couple of bombs (sonic charges as seen in Attack of the Clones?) that fit in the bottom of the ship, and can be dropped with a button along the side.
The front end of Slave I flips up to reveal the cockpit, which oddly has seating for three figures. One of the cool features here is that when the ship is rotated, the cockpit seating automatically rotates to match the ship's orientation. The wings are supposed to do so as well, but the spring holding them in place is too strong, so they stay in the landing position. From what I've heard, it's a fairly easy fix to replace the spring with one from a ballpoint pen. Showing that Hasbro was planning ahead when they made the new Slave I, there is a slot near the cockpit which fits its most famous piece of cargo.
Included with Slave I is Han Solo encased in a slab of carbonite. It is too thin and short compared to a figure to be properly sized, but the same could be said of the PoTF version as well. In either case, it is a cool bonus, and nice accessory for the ship.
Also of note is that Slave I comes packaged in some nice vintage styled packaging. I'm not one of the people that keeps packaging, but it is something I an appreciate for looking cool.
Monday, December 30, 2013
The final Christmas gift of the year, again from friend of the blog AJ, this is Princess Leia in her Bespin outfit. This is from the wave featuring an old, unused, design for cards which ended up being basically an online exclusive wave. It's a cool look, but I don't usually keep packaging, so it's only of momentary interest. I'm not sure if they made a version of this Leia during the 90s run, but this is the first figure I've had in the outfit. It's got fairly standard Star Wars articulation, and the skirt isn't too restrictive of the legs. Probably the coolest part of the figure is the patterning printed on the robe. Leia's only accessory is a Stormtrooper blaster. As Carrie Fisher is a short woman, the figure is appropriately small compared to the other figures in the line.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Continuing with Christmas gifts, here's another from friend of the blog AJ, Vampire Batman. This is one of those figures that I like, but would never have bought for myself, so it was perfect for a gift. I believe it's mostly a reuse of the Deadman body, so he's skinny (for a superhero) and slightly dessicated looking, plus he's got double hinge elbows as well as wrists with swivel-hinges. The coolest part about the figure is the addition of bat wings. It's totally ridiculous, yes, but they do add an interesting touch. They are unattached in the package and plug into his back and function as swivel joints. The holes they plug into are a little hard to get into because the cape gets in the way, so I won't be removing and replacing them. He also comes with a bat-stake.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
This gift from friend of the blog James is a companion piece to my other Walking Dead figure. In fact, they are pretty much the same figure. The riot gear zombie features a flip-up visor and knife, as the packaging promotes. The visor does indeed flip up, and there is indeed a knife. Embedded in the zombie's head. The knife is removable and goes into the head deeper than I would have expected from looking at it. Pretty cool and gruesome accessory there. As far as I can tell, with one exception this figure is exactly the same from the neck down as the other Walking Dead zombie I have. The exception is the body armor which has a different pattern on the back, and some straps hanging off of the shoulders. This one also has less blood covering the chest. So, same great articulation. Perfect for zombie shambling poses.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Another Christmas gift from friend of the blog AJ, here's the recent comic style Black Widow figure from the Avengers Assemble line. Marvel Universe is still going, so I'm not entirely sure what the point of this line is. But hey, it's a vastly improved comic version of Black Widow. The Marvel Universe version was pretty disappointing. This version is mostly based on the movie figure, but basically with a new head and belt. So it's a well articulated figure. There's minimal paint to worry about. Perhaps the point of this line is to be more kid friendly, as Black Widow's accessory is a big projectile launching cannon, which includes two missiles. I would have preferred a couple of pistols or something. She's getting MU Black Widow's assault rifle.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
I never got around to buying any Pacific Rim figures, but having recently bought a copy of the movie, and the announcement that a Cherno Alpha figure is forthcoming, I've been wishing that I had. Since the original figures are out of print, so to speak, NECA has re-released Gipsy Danger with Knifehead as a two pack, which I received for Christmas. This isn't the newer Gipsy Danger which features the cool swords, but it looks like she's got a more dirtied up paint job than the original release. Gipsy is looking good, but the articulation is not up to some of NECA's other lines. The arms and the hips especially would benefit from a wider range of motion in their joints.
Knifehead is way too short. The articulation is even less impressive here. The small set of arms is completely unarticulated, and the other arms and legs could have benefitted from some ball joints. The jaw can open and close, which is cool. But it's very cool looking, in spite of all that.
|More awkward than my junior high dances|
Monday, December 23, 2013
Fun fact: Amazon has recently raised the minimum order amount required to receive free shipping to $35. I was ordering something for $34.99. Fortunately, the month before Christmas tends to be a great time for ordering toys from Amazon, and Hoist was only five dollars, which was less than paying for shipping would have cost. I've seen Hoist on the pegs before, and I have always been somewhat tempted to get him, largely due to the fact that his altmode is a tow truck. I don't have any particular interest in tow trucks, but I like it as an altmode for an Autobot, as it's not something flashy and it seems like it would be a good disguise. So getting him for five dollars was a very cool bonus.
Hoist isn't a character I'm familiar with, so the included comic book provides some useful insight into the character. He's an Autobot equivalent of a blue collar worker. An everyday guy who isn't flashy, taking life one day at a time. Robot mode is pretty cool looking. Mostly green with some grey and orange highlights.
The transformation is pretty easy, and has a fun feature that I haven't seen used before, with the way that the arms flip out, neatly putting the tires into the torso. As a tow truck, Hoist looks more like some sort of flatbed SUV. The towing arm folds up into a gun for robot mode. There are a few different 5mm ports throughout, so the towing arm can be moved around, or other weapons can be affixed to him.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Mara Jade has been one of the last few characters I've been looking to add to my Star Wars collection. Until the new movies start coming out, I might not purchase another Star Wars figure in this scale. Fortunately, she turned out pretty well, for the most part. That hair. It's just too big. It's like something out of an 80s heavy metal music video. I've seen pictures of head swapping with Black Widow figures which turn out well, so if I can get a cheap one loose, I may give that a shot. Otherwise, it's a pretty standard Star Wars figure in terms of articulation and looks. Mara includes an ignited lightsaber and a hilt which can hang from her belt, as well as a blaster and a holster which can fit on different spots on her belt. I had trouble with the holster falling off of the hip position on the belt, but it stays in place on the back.
|Not the best first date|
Saturday, December 21, 2013
If G.I. Joe is going to employ a bunch of ninja, as well as a bunch of other assorted goofballs, they might as well have a guy with samurai armor, right? So here's Budo, whose character I'm not at all familiar with. But it's a guy in samurai armor, and that's pretty cool. Also, he's originally from Sacramento, which is probably the closest I'm getting to having the same home town as a Joe. While all the armor does look cool, it is pretty restrictive of his articulation below the waist. It appears that the armor is removable, but it looks like it would be a big hassle to get off and back on, so I'm just going to be leaving it as is. For accessories, Budo has a couple of differently sized swords, a badass looking removable helmet, and a blank dog tag stand. The helmet doesn't fit on super tight, but it stays on. He's a pretty cool looking figure, but his skin tone is a fairly cringe-worthy shade, so the helmet is definitely staying on.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Thor hasn't been quite the breakout star that Iron Man has been, and Thor: The Dark World correspondingly has a much scaled down toy line to accompany it. In fact, these toys barely have a presence in stores at all, my local Target isn't carrying the figures at all. Naturally, I am down for a new Loki figure, so I ordered it on Black Friday from Hasbrotoyshop.com for a good price. Loki maintains the trend of movie figures not being as fully articulated as figures from the sister Marvel Universe line, so Loki has no ankles or wrists. Befitting his more humble circumstances in this movie, rather than a grand staff, Loki's weapon is a dagger.
Loki also includes a couple of other daggers that are too thick to fit very well in his open hand, and he doesn't really have anywhere to store them.
|"This is for Alderaan!"|
Monday, December 9, 2013
While R2-D2 is an important character, I wasn't sure I wanted to spend 20 bucks on him. Fortunately, I was doing some gift shopping online, and he was available for half price. I'm glad I got him, because he turned out pretty well. There was some grumbling about the paint job when production sample photos started showing up but I don't have any complaints. Articulation is exactly what you would expect from an Artoo figure.
There are three panels on top of Artoo's dome that pop off, and three corresponding attachments that can be used. There is his life form sensing scanner, his eye scope, and Luke's lightsaber.
On Artoo's lower body, there are a couple panels that can open, and his computer interface arm or his grabbing arm can be extended. The panels on the side of his legs can also be replaced with his booster rockets. The third leg is lowered and raised by rotating his dome, a feature familiar to long time Star Wars figure collectors.
While I was originally hesitant about getting this figure, I'm glad I did, as he turned out to be more fun than I anticipated. He has a lot more presence sitting on my desk than smaller sized Artoo figures do.