I was disappointed that Cherno Alpha wasn't one of the initial releases in the Pacific Rim line, but the initial figures weren't exactly up to the usually higher standards of NECA, so now I'm glad that it was released in a later wave where things seem to be back on track. Of the Jaegers, I like Cherno Alpha the best partly because of its oddball design, and partly because of my appreciation for Soviet kitsch. Although Cherno would be a product of near future Russia, there is definitely an old Soviet style feel to the design. Compared to the earlier Gipsy Danger release, Cherno has vastly superior articulation. Everything moves freely with a wide range of motion, and even the "head" is articulated. I don't remember if this action was featured in the movie, but Cherno's fists can extend a little. Now I just need a properly scaled kaiju to go up against Cherno...
Monday, March 31, 2014
When Assassin's Creed IV came out, I was busy with Arkham Origins, and then LEGO Marvel Super Heroes after that. So it wasn't until last month that I got around to playing it. The addition of the pirate aspects of the gameplay really added to the fun, and the new main character Edward is cool to experience. I missed out on the NECA AC figures, but I have the other random AC:Brotherhood, and that's in a different scale. At least Edward is the same size as my Walking Dead figures. It's a pretty cool looking figure, and decently articulated, but there is one glaring omission: Where are Edward's guns? Throughout the game, you can upgrade to the point where Edward carries four guns (two on his chest, and two on his back), but none are included here, either as accessories or permanently attached to his body. The figure is sculpted wearing the leather armor upgrades that provide further stamina in game, so it's not as if this is Edward at the beginning of the game before he acquires guns. Fortunately, he is more well armed in the cutting and stabbing department. He includes two swords which can't be sheathed or hung from his belt as in the game. Also included are the signature Assassin hidden blades. There are extended and retracted versions, which can be swapped out, plugging into the underside of Edward's forearms.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Although I'm glad I was able to get Waspinator at the toy show, this is my favorite find. It's a Figma for a Japanese baseball team mascot. I paid three dollars for it. A Figma for three bucks? How could I resist? I don't care about baseball at all, but it's a three dollar Figma. I wouldn't even have noticed it had James not pointed it out, so I'm glad he did. So, this is a guy in a koala mascot costume. Figmas tend to have interchangeable faces, but this one doesn't. Which is totally understandable since this is a costume. The inner parts of the ear are short faux fur. As usual for Figma, there are various hands, accessories, and a display stand. One of the sets of hands included is the "peace" sign, and he also gets a mitt for his left hand. Doala isn't a southpaw!
One of Doala's other accessories is a baseball bat, which can be held in another set of hands. The most mystifying accessories that are included are two pieces of sliced white bread. Maybe the Dragons are sponsored by a bread company? I really don't get it at all. Hmm. According to the internet, Doala is "paid" with bread. Okay then.
Doala also includes a tool that I believe is for flattening the dirt along the base lines and infield. The only accessory that I think is missing would be a baseball. For three bucks, this guy was a steal, so I'm not complaining.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Waspinator was memorable in Beast Wars as mostly a comic relief character, always being blown up and rebuilt only to get blown up again. He's a fun character, and I'm glad Hasbro got around to doing an updated version of the figure. Unfortunately, he has proven hard to find. He was surprisingly scarce even at the toy show, but I was able to pick one up for only a little more than retail, and probably cheaper than buying online, factoring shipping in. Thanks to advances in toy making, Waspinator's robot mode now looks way more show accurate than the original toy.
Getting Waspinator into beast mode is pretty easy, but the process is muddled by the instructions, which have his hands unhelpfully obscuring an area that would be better left visible for most of the way. Although the arms are kind of just folded up along the side, it is otherwise a pretty good looking wasp mode. The wings can even flap via a switch on his back. Overall I dig this new Waspinator, and don't regret having paid a little more than retail for it.
Friday, March 28, 2014
When Retaliation toys started showing up on toy shelves the second time around, I saw a Joe Colton figure, but contented myself only picking up a Roadblock figure at the time. I never saw one again in person until this weekend when I went to the semi-annual toy show in San Jose. I ended up paying less than retail, so in the end that worked out well. Basically I wanted this because it's Bruce Willis. The figure doesn't have the greatest likeness, but it's recognizable as him. The stubble is a bit overdone. Due to the holster (which has a sculpted in gun that can't be removed) over his left shoulder, his left arm doesn't bend all the way down. Joe Colton is armed with a couple handguns, one automatic and one a revolver, a shotgun, and a big crazy gun. The big crazy gun launches four missiles by pulling the ripcord, which is actually kind of fun, and the missiles go a decent distance for this sort of thing. I'm not sure what's going on with his shirt the (not sculpted) neckline makes it look like a tank top, but it has sleeves. It's not the best figure, but it's cool enough and the novelty of a Bruce Willis Joe is enough to make it worthwhile.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
When I ordered Rhinox, I was looking for something else to push the total up so that I could get free shipping. Some of the figures from wave 3 of the six inch Black Series were in stock (sadly, not the Stormtrooper), and Obi-Wan is a figure I was planning to get anyway. Of the various prequel versions of Obi-Wan, the Revenge of the Sith version is the one I would most like to have a toy of, so I'm glad it's the one they released first. I'll definitely get an Original Trilogy version if they release one as well. Obi-Wan keeps up the standard from the line of being well articulated and a generally good looking figure. His only accessory is his lightsaber, which has a removable blade so the hilt can be attached to his belt. I don't know if they'll be doing Jedi cloaks in this scale, but that would have been a welcome addition.
Monday, March 24, 2014
The Millennium Falcon is the coolest ship in the galaxy, and a I was disappointed that it was out of stock when I picked up the Star Destroyer. Fortunately, it had been restocked by my next visit. Its distinctive shape translated pretty well in the transition to the small size. There are a couple random single stud plates that help make it look irregular and beat up. The flick missiles are positioned where the Falcon's topside cannons are located, so that it's not a terribly out of place addition. Naturally, Han Solo is the included minifigure, sporting his original Star Wars outfit and armed with his usual blaster pistol. This and the Star Destroyer are the only vehicles I'm planning to get from this series (although the TIE and X-Wing are tempting), but I hope there is a second series, and I'm curious to see what LEGO will include.
Friday, March 21, 2014
Beast Wars is one of the best Transformers cartoons, but I wasn't into it at the time it was current, so I missed out on the toys. Hasbro occasionally makes new versions of the characters (I have Dinobot, am looking for Waspinator, and am looking forward to Rattrap), and the new Rhinox looked really cool when it was previewed, so I got one. I still haven't seen one in stores, so fortunately it's been in stock at Hasbrotoyshop.com. The rhino alt mode looks pretty good, with the back of the forelegs being the only main parts that have robot bits showing. The jaw can open or close, which is always a fun feature. The back of the neck part seems to sit a little high, although I'm not sure if that's a fault with the design, or I didn't transform it properly.
Robot mode is of course the star here, and it does a good job of reflecting the stocky look of Rhinox in the cartoon. Also included are his two guns, which have a button on them to make the front parts rotate. They both store away in the rhino's stomach for its alt mode. They can also plug into the backs of his arms for when he needs his hands free. Rhinox is pretty cool, and worth getting, if unfortunately hard to find on shelves.
Monday, March 17, 2014
The Microfighters line is one of those goofy ideas that a person probably either loves or hates. A bunch of super deformed chibi style vehicles with a pilot? I love it. I'm not going to get every entry in the line, but a Star Destroyer is a must. It's one of the most iconic ships from the Star Wars universe, and due to its size, doesn't often get a toy. Despite its small size, I think it does a good job of preserving the original's shape and overall proportions. Really the only thing that I think doesn't look good are the missile launchers.
The included minifigure is a basic Imperial officer who is oddly lacking the badge on his chest to designate his rank. He is also oddly sporting a headset, something I don't recall ever seeing on an Imperial officer. He's armed with the same type of blaster pistol that Han Solo uses.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Despite liking LEGO and Transformers, I haven't really felt much interest in the Kre-o lines from Hasbro. Regular Transformers toys are better Transformers and LEGO are better building toys and minifigures. I do like minifigures, and since I already have the Devastator set, I figured having the fifth Constructicon would be cool. Since the figures are wrapped up in tissue paper inside their blindpacked bags, it's hard to use the squeeze method to identify which figure they are. Fortunately, OAFE has a guide available, which is how I found Long Haul. There is a number printed on the back of the packaging, and Long Haul's ends in 56.
Long Haul's alt mode is a dump truck, and the bed is on a swivel, so it can be raised and lowered. In either mode there are a few different extra pieces leftover. I've heard that Hasbro will be cutting back on Kre-o, and while it's always sad to see lines disappear from shelves, this is one that I'm not going to be super disappointed to see go.