Thursday, December 31, 2015
For those keeping track at home, I have four animated Batman figures, and have QC issues with two of them. When I opened Batgirl and was testing out her articulation, her right arm broke at the elbow. Fortunately I was able to get a replacement sent. I generally prefer the designs from The Animated Series over those of the New Batman Adventures, but I don't know if they'll do an AS Batgirl like they did for Batman, so I ordered Batgirl when I was able to. She comes with a stand, several different hands, a batarang, and a grapnel gun.
Although the Super Mario license is with Bandai and its Figuarts line, the rest of the Nintendo characters are apparently still with Figma, like Lucina here. She's an important character in Fire Emblem Awakening, and one of the fighters in the latest iterations of Super Smash Bros. Both are good games, so I pre-ordered Lucina when I found out she was available. Like other Figma, Lucina includes alternate hands, a stand, and alternate hair and face pieces. There is also a hilt for her sword, which plugs into the sheath, if you don't want her wielding it. It is an otherwise non-functional sheathe, as the actual sword doesn't fit in it. I don't think I've seen that before. She's got the usual Figma style articulation, and even her cloak is articulated. Aside from her standard, serious face, Lucina includes a face that's blushing and has a small smile. Her alternate hair piece has a mask and shorter hair, depicting the time she spends posing as Marth.
Thundercracker is a re-tool of Jetfire, which I also have. Thanks to my generally being a fan of the Seekers, and a coupon for a very nice discount, I decided to pick up a Thundercracker as well. Thanks to new arms, chest, head, and wings backpack, Thundercracker looks different enough that I'm not too bothered by similarities. Robot mode looks pretty cool. Fortunately, all of the guns that make him look way too busy are removable.
Transformation is perhaps simpler than I'd like for a toy in this size class. But the jet mode does look pretty cool, as long as you're looking at it from the top. The underside is just a mess of robot parts, basically. Fortunately in this mode, the guns (except for the one that has a projectile) don't look too out of place hanging off the bottom of the wings.
The Hot Toys Stormtrooper was originally scheduled to come out in August. As luck would have it, it was actually released in March. In a first for me, there was a quality control issue with mine, where the leg was cracked so that the foot would not stay connected. Fortunately, I was able to get a replacement, but managed to not get around to blogging about it for way too long. So this is my first Hot Toys Star Wars figure. He's got the usual stand, and extra hands, as well as a trusty E-11 blaster (that can be holstered), and a blaster pistol.
Running behind on posting about this one, but Commander Gree is a birthday gift from friend of the blog James. Commander Gree is a 1:6 scale figure from Sideshow. Like most figures in this scale, he comes with a nice assortment of accessories. There is an alternate head for if you want to display Gree without a helmet, macrobinoculars, a stand, a blaster pistol, a blaster, a blaster rifle, and an assortment of hands. There are the usual open and closed hands, as well as hands making signals, with varying numbers of fingers held up. Pretty cool for gesturing options. There are even an extra set of feet, with bent toes for posing.
If an alternate head is a good way to potentially sell double the amount of a figure, then two alternate heads must be even more lucrative. Such is the case with "Savage Force" (it's a shared slot with Kraven), who comes packaged with Chameleon's head on the body. There's also a head for minor antagonist Hammerhead, and more importantly, one for J. Jonah Jameson. It's got a guy in a suit for a body. With its dark shirt it feels like a better fit for the gangster Hammerhead. But for me, this is a J. Jonah Jameson figure first and foremost. Other accessories include a pistol, an old timey looking tommy gun, and some sort of futuristic gun with a detachable drum magazine.
I don't know why this exists. But it does. Normally when Hot Wheels cars are based on licensed properties, they are either completely new cars that resemble characters or they are regular cars with some sort of image printed onto the paintjob. They usually run a few dollars each. The licensed vehicles that make it into regularly priced assortments are usually just reproductions. So this is kind of an odd duck. It's a Super Mario licensed vehicle, but it's completely new, and it's in the standard assortment so it's only a buck. The Cool One is some sort of souped up hot rod van with a Mario inspired color scheme, "Super Mario" on the side, and an M logo on the front. I really only got this because of its ridiculousness.
Since I accidentally didn't get the Plant Monster on my first try, I was extra careful when checking for it this time. For a guy in a costume, he looks pretty upset about something. Maybe he is not a guy in a costume and being eaten feet first by the plant monster? Or maybe he's some sort of human plant mutant hybrid, and he's reflecting on the loss of his humanity?
When I was posting about the minifigures I got from series 14, I realized I wanted Square Foot. Sure, he's basically a repaint of the yeti from a couple series ago, but it's a LEGO bigfoot. Fortunately, there were still plenty of them on the pegs locally, so I was able to find one. Square Foot's sole accessory is a camera. It seems the famously camera shy cryptid is something of a photographer himself. The camera is the piece I felt for when looking for him, although the head piece might be helpful to feel for as well.
Okay, I only got Hellcat because of Jessica Jones. When it comes to Marvel TV shows, Hasbro doesn't seem interested in making figures. There have been a couple Funko Pops, but my first inclination for toy buying is a more standard style action figure. Although she doesn't adopt the Hellcat identity during Jessica Jones, Patsy/Trish Walker does play an important role in the show, and definitely shows steps towards being ready to go out and fight crime herself. Between this figure, the appearance in Jessica Jones, and her new solo comic, Hellcat's getting a lot more exposure than she's had in a long time.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Batman The Animated Series was one of the finest incarnations of Batman in any medium, and one of its great contributions to the Batman mythos was Harley Quinn. Harley is the figure I've most been waiting for since the introduction of the new animated line. Harley includes one of the Joker fish, a pop-gun, the usual stand for the line, and a few alternate hands. It's a good representation of Harley, although the diamond patterns on her costume are not entirely properly aligned.
I didn't realize there was a Shay Cormac figure until James blogged about finding one. Thanks, James! Assassin's Creed Rogue was a sort of odd duck game. It was released at the same time as Unity, but on the last gen systems, and it got basically no promotion at all. But I thought it was the better game, serving as a bridge between III and Black Flag. Shay is an Assassin turned Templar, and this is the Templar outfit that he wears on the cover. Shay's well armed with a sword, a dagger, two pistols, and a rifle. Oddly, he doesn't have a hidden blade. Even though he switched sides to the Templars, he kept using a hidden blade in the game, so it as an odd omission. But it's a McFarlane figure, so it looks great.
This is an inexpensive little set that I bought mainly to have a toy Christmas tree. It's a pretty simple build for the tree, and also includes some wrapped gifts and a toy train. I keep thinking the red and white gift looks like a piece of cake. The star seems oddly placed on the tree. It seems like it should be on the very top rather than near it. I'm not going to complain too much. It does what I want it to.
Monday, December 28, 2015
The Clone Saga is one of the most infamous storylines in Spider-Man's history, indicative of the 90s excess that almost crippled the comics industry. One of the major players in that story was Ben Reilly, the clone of Peter Parker who fought crime as the Scarlet Spider. In spite of the ridiculous ankle pouches, I do like the design of the costume, and the hoodie is an interesting addition for a superhero costume. He includes a few different hand options: fists, open hands, and web-shooting hands. The build a figure for this wave is the Rhino, and there are two Rhino heads included.
This is probably the most toy-ish thing I have bought recently, but it's just so ridiculous that I couldn't resist. It's Batman riding a robot dinosaur. This is part of the Batman Unlimited line, which I guess ties in to some animated movies. It doesn't really matter. The Batman figure is about three to four inches, has no cape, and has limited articulation. He's mainly there to sit on Cyberex's back. Cyberex is a pretty good size, over a foot long. His main feature is that if you squeeze the tail, a big disc launching cannon pops out of his back. The discs can store in the legs when not in use. Also, his chest can be used as a holding cell for whichever archvillain Batman is fighting at the time. And his tail ends in a big bat shaped blade. So ridiculous. In the best possible way.
For whatever reason, Hasbro did not see fit to make figures of the new additions to the Avengers line up, and only released about half of the team to retail. Fortunately, this Amazon exclusive box set is available to help fill that hole. I never got around to getting the six inch Thor figure from the first time around, so I am glad to have this one. He is appropriately tall and muscular looking, with a pretty good likeness to Chris Hemsworth. Naturally, Mjolnir is included. Despite the stiff heavy cape, he stands pretty well. Black Widow is basically a re-release of the Winter Soldier figure. That was hard to find, so it will be a nice addition for people who never found that one. This time around, she only has one head, and a few extra paint applications to show her shock powers are activated. Fittingly, she comes armed this time with her shock batons. Her hands aren't really sculpted to hold them, but they can be coaxed to loosely stay in there. My figure came with her right arm not completely inserted, so after some fiddling and sore fingers I was able to get it fully inserted.
Bruce Banner is a figure that hasn't been made before as a Marvel Legends figure. Since it's just "guy in plainclothes" I can understand not releasing this one as a regular retail figure. His legs are somewhat warped from the packaging, but at least he stands. Hawkeye is basically a re-release of the first movie figure, but with a non-sunglasses wearing head. Hasbro couldn't be bothered updating to his new costume, I guess. Naturally, he comes with a bow and quiver. Despite Hasbro's peculiar marketing strategy necessitating this box set, I'm glad to have it to fill out my Avengers roster.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
It has been my intention when collecting the new six inch Star Wars figures to stick with what I consider the best representation of a character, so I don't end up with a bunch of multiples of a character in different outfits. I already have my favorite version of Luke. But then Hasbro decided to do a couple Hoth themed two packs, Han and a tauntaun, and Luke and a wampa. So I needed that wampa. Luke is in his Hoth patrol outfit, which he's wearing when he runs afoul of the wampa. He includes a DL-44 blaster and his lightsaber (which has a removable blade) that can hang from his belt. He's a cool figure, but I wouldn't have bought him by himself. The wampa is the star of this set, and it's really cool. It's appropriately massive, if they were doing Star Wars build a figures, it would have been a good fit for that. It looks angry and has splatterings of blood on its fur. The arm does not appear to be removable, alas.
A few days ago, I was lamenting that I hadn't bought the pilot or Bespin Luke figures so that I could borrow the lightsaber for Rey and Finn to use. Then after I opened this set, I realized that wasn't a problem anymore. Bonus!
Aside from Boba Fett, I figure Bossk is the coolest of the bounty hunters that Darth Vader rounds up during Empire Strikes Back. A lizard man in a yellow spacesuit, whose only line is growling at a passing Imperial, is cool with me. He had a handful of appearances in the Expanded Universe, but with the new continuity, his non-movie appearances are limited to the Clone Wars cartoon. For all we know, he'll show up in one of the new movies. Bossk makes for a nice looking figure, with a detailed costume complete with harness. He's also armed with a blaster that doesn't fit in his claws very well. Bossk's jaw is kind of articulated. It can be closed, but it goes right back to its original open position. The head has very little up and down movement, so the jaw can't really be opened any further.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
For the first Palpatine figure in the six inch scale, Hasbro went classic. This is the Emperor as he appears in Return of the Jedi: an old man with a cane. So no lightsaber. The Emperor is an interesting mix of plastic and soft goods. There is a soft good outer robe, with a plastic inner robe. The inner robe is split along the sides, so there are theoretically more posing options with his legs. But it's stiff enough plastic that there's not too much to do. Fair enough, as he wasn't doing much in the way of acrobatics by then. When done with soft goods, the Emperor's hood has always been difficult to pull off. In this case, it is a good attempt. The hood is stitched in a way that it holds the general shape well enough, but it doesn't sit quite low enough for my tastes. I suppose it's difficult to get the right interplay of light and shadow in the reduced scale. Palpatine's only accessory is his walking stick, although some Force lightning bolts would have been a cool addition.
Friday, December 25, 2015
Until the next wave hits, here's the last of the Force Awakens figures that I bought, Poe Dameron (fun fact: I was born in Dameron Hospital). Poe is the first of the main characters to get two different six inch figures, the other one being a two pack in which he is wearing his Resistance jacket costume. I like the pilot jumpsuit look more, so this is the Poe I went with. This is one of the less accurate face sculpts for the new characters. It doesn't really look like Oscar Isaac very much at all, and the expression is a bit glum. For accessories, Poe has a blaster that can be holstered on his belt, and a removable flight helmet.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
I've heard Captain Phasma compared to Boba Fett, since they are both really cool looking characters who don't really do much, and are taken out easily. I can kind of see that. If nothing else, she makes for a cool figure. She's appropriately taller than all the other figures in the line. She comes with what appears to be the same blaster as the snowtrooper officer, but with an appropriately silver color scheme. While onscreen, Phasma's armor is much more reflective, the figure is more of a matte silver color. I know vac metalized figures have issues with aging, but it would be cool to see an appropriately shiny version of Phasma as a toy.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
A new snowtrooper? Sign me up! There is a regular snowtrooper coming up, but first Toys R Us has an exclusive snowtrooper officer. I think the main difference is the sandtrooper style shoulder pauldron. There was apparently an action sequence that got cut from the final movie that would have features snowtroopers prominently, but as it is there are barely any snowtroopers onscreen during The Force Awakens. Fortunately, that's enough to get figures out of them. I quite like the new design, especially the weird almost insect-like helmet. The snowtrooper has a detachable backpack and a blaster that looks like the new style E-11 with a longer stock.
Monday, December 21, 2015
I've been meaning to pick up a Godzilla toy of some sort for a long time now. I liked the re-design for the latest American version, and Bandai made one for the Monsterarts line. I think there's a newer nuclear breath version coming up, and the price on this version finally dropped to a level I was willing to pay. Since all the Figuarts figures I've bought have been magical schoolgirls, I was a little surprised at how much larger Godzilla's packaging was. Godzilla's main body isn't small, but it's the tail that takes up so much space. That thing is long. It's well articulated too, being broken down into about twenty segments. The figure has a lot of articulation in general, although due to the design most poses are just going to be balanced on two feet with the tail on the ground. Godzilla includes no accessories. Like I said earlier, I think the next version is going to include an atomic breath blast.
Friday, December 18, 2015
The banshee is the second figure in this series to use the spectral ghost tail piece instead of legs. Unlike the specter, the banshee is fairly spooky, thanks to not having a goofy expression on her face. Her hair is semi translucent, which makes for a cool effect. The tail piece is what to feel for in the package, and the lack of a chain will differentiate her from the specter.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
As far as classic Halloween costumes go, skeleton is one of my favorites. We all have spooky skeletons inside of us, after all. Oddly, the skeleton pattern is painted on the sides of the legs rather than on the front. But the chest has the bones on the front and back. Not only is this is a guy in a skeleton costume (you can see his regular eyes peeking out from the mask), he is also a trick 'r treater. He has the moveable legs, so he's apparently not a child, so maybe he's a teenager? Either way, he's ready for his treats, as he has a traditional Halloween jack o' lantern candy bucket. I found him by feeling for the handle of the bucket, although I don't remember if it was attached to the bucket itself while still in the package. It was definitely unconnected by the time I got around to opening it.
This is the first time in a long time where the method of feeling for pieces through the packaging failed me. I was looking for the plant guy, and thought the whip was one of its tendrils. Oops. Fortunately, the tiger woman is pretty cool. Given that her hands and face are a different shade from her body, and she's wearing a belt, I'm going to go with the idea that this is a costumed character, rather than an actual humanoid tiger. But hey, you can go the other way if you want to. The whip and the tail are probably the pieces to feel for if you're looking for this one. Maybe if you don't pay close enough attention, you'll end up with the plant monster!
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
The specter is somewhat reminiscent of the Dementors from Harry Potter, although a whole lot more friendly looking. I mean, look at that goofy expression on its face, it looks like it's embarrassed. I think a blank black head piece would look good on this one. Anyway, I'm not trying to complain about this figure, I think it's pretty cool looking. The coolest part about it is the ectoplasmic tail piece that it has instead of legs. It's clear plastic, with some paint on it, giving it a more hovering appearance. That is also the piece to feel for in the packaging. There are only two figures in this series that use it, and to distinguish it from the banshee, feel for the length of chain which only the specter has.
An entire series of LEGO minifigures devoted to monsters/people in costume? Yes, please. First up is the Fly Monster. Aside from merely being a human sized, anthropomorphic fly, this monster has a claw-like left hand. My favorite features is that the head is cast in translucent red plastic, then painted over except for the eyes, so they look cool when the light hits them. This is the only figure in the series with the rounded wings, so that is a good thing to feel for through the package. It's also the only one with a big claw hand, so that is something else to help find it.
Monday, December 14, 2015
And now, the final figure from the first wave of Force Awakens toys (I skipped Chewie because it was basically a re-release of the one I already have), it's the First Order Stormtrooper. I'm a sucker for trooper figures, so buying this one was a no-brainer. It's a nice update to the Stormtrooper design, looking a lot sleeker. I still can't help seeing a big smile or a mustache on the helmet, but overall it's a cool design. Apparently, the trusty E-11 blaster is still in use, although it has an updated black and white color scheme. The First Order Stormtrooper is also armed with a smaller blaster pistol that can be holstered by plugging it into the armor on the right thigh. We've already seen First Order versions of Stormtroopers and Snowtroopers, so here's hoping there will be an equivalent Scout Trooper as well.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Next up from the new Force Awakens figures is our new main antagonist, Kylo Ren. Who is he, what exactly does he want, and what is up with his crazy lightsaber? I'm looking forward to finding out in a few days! A substantial part of his robes, as well as the hood, is made from soft goods. It's a pretty long robe, which billows out dramatically. Very cool looking. Naturally, his lightsaber is included and it has a removable blade. Rather than making the two crossguard blades separate removable pieces, they're all attached, so it looks like the energy from the blades is spilling out and connecting with the main blade. So, it's not perfect. The blade isn't completely smooth like the toy lightsaber blades usually are, but is more textured, as if its pulsating. This is a cool looking figure for sure, and not surprisingly, I haven't seen any in the store since Force Friday. Definitely worth picking one up if you find one.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
As the other main protagonist for The Force Awakens, Rey is the second numbered figure for the line. This outfit is the one she's wearing in all the promotional material, so until the movie comes out, it's the "iconic" look for her. It's not as good a likeness as the Finn figure, but otherwise looks good. The paint on her lips is not substantially placed enough, making her mouth look small. I was mostly looking for the figure with the best paint on the locks of hair on the sides of her face. Her only accessory is a staff.
Also included is the real star of the new movie, BB-8. BB-8 is weighted so it (I'm not sure how BB-8 is gendered) can stand in place pretty well without rolling around or tipping over. The head is articulated, so you can actually pose it leaning over. I'm glad that BB-8 is small enough to be packed in with a regular figure, and not sold separately like R2-D2.
Friday, December 11, 2015
So, the new Star Wars comes out in a week. Remember when they first started selling the toys three months ago? Wow, I'm really far behind in my toy blogging. I happened to have the day off, so I stood out in front of Target before they opened (it wasn't a midnight opening) to have first crack at the new Star Wars stuff. Going by the numbering on the packages, the first figure is Finn. From what I gather based on the trailers and other toys, he's wearing some sort of Resistance uniform. His sole accessory is a blaster, which stands out from other Star Wars blasters in that it's not black. It's kind of weird to be buying figures for characters that I don't know much about yet. But hey, it's Star Wars.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Sailor Jupiter completes my Sailor Scouts team lineup... Well, the original team, anyway. There's still the Outer Senshi, and Tuxedo Mask, and maybe Chibi-Usa? Like the other figures in the line, Jupiter has her share of alternate faces, hands, and a display stand. She also has an alternate front hair piece with the extended antenna that shows up for some of her more powerful attacks. Befitting Makoto's stature, she's also the tallest figure of the group.
Monday, December 7, 2015
Continuing with my Sailor Scouts team completion is Sailor Mars. Fun fact: my childhood nickname was Mars, so I've always liked things Martian related. Since this is my fourth Sailor Moon figure, there aren't any surprises. She's got the same articulation (including a couple extra flaps of hair that can swivel out to make it look more windblown), extra faces, and extra hands. Rei's unique accessory is the piece of paper with kanji on it that she uses in magical attacks, with a special hand to hold it. I've seen that sort of thing in multiple anime, so I'm assuming it's one of those cultural artifacts that I'm not privy to as a foreign observer.
Friday, December 4, 2015
After several years' wait, the new Fallout game is here. I haven't actually bought the game yet (hey, Battlefront came out the week after), but since there are figures being made, that means I was able to get Vault Boy. Since the main character of the Fallout games has a customizable appearance, Vault Boy is basically the face of the series. The back of Vault Boy's jumpsuit has 101 on it, indicating that he's from the same Vault the player starts out in Fallout 3.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Since I already had Mr Burns from the first series, I felt it would be good to have Smithers to go with him. His sole accessory is a Malibu Stacy package, which is actually made from two pieces. There are many figures in this series that include a 2 x 2 flat panel piece as an accessory, but Smithers is (I think) the only one that has a 2 x2 panel with studs as well. So feeling for two 2 x 2 panels is the best way to find him. Also, his head shape is fairly distinct from everyone else's in this series, as it's the only one aside from Bart's with a relatively flat top.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Groundskeeper Willie is perhaps pop culture's greatest crude Scottish stereotype. And he's hilarious. So of course I bought him. I found him by feeling for the plunger, which I thought would be packaged in two pieces. Turns out, it is preassembled, so that's something to look out for. The part of the plunger that would be made of rubber in real life is a softer plastic, so it has some bend to it.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Here he is, the star of "Man Getting Hit By Football," Hans Moleman. More the butt of jokes than much of a character, he manages to be memorable anyway. I found him by feeling for the short unarticulated legs in combination with the flat 2 x 1 panel that serves as his void driver's license.