Monday, January 30, 2017
I think that most people who are fans of Catman can think Gail Simone's runs on Secret Six. I am definitely one of those people. While Catman did have a six inch figure from Mattel a couple years back, it was a pleasant surprise to see him show up in the movie series, and of course it was one of must haves. The claws he uses are more like brass knuckles, but for the minifigure they are Wolverine claws, so they are kind of too long. But that's understandable, as it's a way to save on new tooling. Interestingly, Catman's mask is completely different from Batman's. This is one of the pieces that you can feel for, it feels different from a Batman mask because the ears are shorter, and more distinctively there's no chin strap piece to it. The claws are also something fairly distinctive to feel for.
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Ever since The Killing Joke, it's more or less been accepted canon that the Joker was operating under the Red Hood identity prior to getting dumped in a vat of chemicals, and that even survived into the New 52. So that's basically what you're getting here, a guy in a nice suit with a cape and dome over head head, armed with a couple pistols. Feeling for the dome or the pistols is probably the best way to find him. Interestingly, the head underneath the dome is the modern Jason Todd Red Hood mask. I'm not sure if this is true, but I'm assuming all the characters in this minifigures series will be in the movie. So how does Red Hood figure into it? I would guess a flashback for the Joker, since he seems to be the primary antagonist of the movie. Since this version of Batman is just starting to work with Dick Grayson as Robin, having Jason Todd wouldn't make any sense. So the Jason Todd head here is probably just a fun Easter egg. I guess we'll find out in a couple weeks!
Saturday, January 28, 2017
The other Batman variant I wanted to get was Vacation Batman. Normally Batman doesn't seem like the kind of guy that would let himself take a vacation, but LEGO Batman isn't quite so serious. He may be all about Darkness and the color black, but he likes to have a good time as well. So this is Batman ready for some pool-time fun. He's got his bat-trunks, bat print aloha shirt, flippers, goggles, and floatation device. The goggles are a permanent part of the cowl. I found him in the packaging by feeling for the big round flotation device, although the swim fins are somewhat distinctive as well.
Friday, January 27, 2017
Target got another case of two of the LEGO Batman Movie minifigures in, so I was finally able to get the rest of them that I wanted. Naturally, Fairy Batman is a must have. I don't know what role this costume will play in the movie, but hopefully it's more than a background cameo. Batman in a pink fairy costume with a wand is just one of those things that you'll probably either love or hate, and I'm definitely in the loving it camp. Finding this one is probably easiest by looking for the wings piece, although the skirt and wand are helpful as well.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Stranger Things may have been the big hit of the Summer from Netflix, but the first season of the new Voltron cartoon was also released around the same time. I've only recently got around to watching it, and I am enjoying it so far. I have long ago learned the lesson that cartoons I enjoyed as a child have not aged well, so I am not particularly interested in re-watching the original series. But the new one modernizes things well enough, while retaining the things I remember enjoying. And just in time for the second season, there are now toys. I passed on the semi-recent Mattycollector exclusive Voltron for cost reasons, and y'know... Because Mattycollector. But now the Voltron toys are being made by Playmates and available at retail, so I am definitely down for a Voltron toy that is formed from the five individual lions. So far, Target has only been stocking the Black Lion, so that is the one I am starting with. Apparently this version of Voltron is 16 inches tall, so the black lion is pretty sizable. The newer Voltron design is less blocky, so the individual lions are as well. There are electronics, there is a button that plays different sounds and makes the chest light up. Adding each additional lion unlocks more phrases and sound effects, with apparently more than 50. I haven't heard "And I'll form the head" but I hope that's in there. There is a tiny speeder with Shiro in it that fits inside a space inside the lion's chest. It's really small and not very detailed, so I didn't include it in the picture. But at least we are getting toys of the pilots in some form.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Last year, we got the First Order Snowtrooper, but now it's back to basics with the classic Imperial Snowtrooper. It's surprisingly beige this time. I had to go look up reference pictures, and it appears that the costume is somewhat beige, but a bit too much so on this figure. Oh well, it's still a cool figure. Remember when they did the Snowtrooper figure in the smaller scale with a removable helmet and a Jango head underneath? That was a weird time, although I think that canon is clear that Imperial troopers are not clones. Anyway, that's just to say that the Snowtrooper doesn't have a removable helmet. He is armed with the standard Stormtrooper blaster as well as the DLT20A rifle, which has some nice wear painted on it.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
While this entire series has a very good selection of characters, I am guessing that the hardest figure to find will be fan favorite Darth Revan from Knights of the Old Republic. While there have been allusions the pieces of KotOR lore in the new canon, a lot of this stuff is still up in the air, so Revan's position in canon these days is uncertain. But the important thing is that he has a new figure, which is an improvement on his smaller scale predecessor. While the smaller figure had a plastic lower robe which hindered leg movement, this figure has a soft goods cape and lower robe, allowing the leg articulation to be used more. The hood of the robe is plastic, which does hinder movement of the head, but does a much better job of maintaining its shape than soft goods would. Revan comes armed with two lightsbabers, one of which is the first purple one in this scale.
Monday, January 23, 2017
Another addition to the more realistic take on cartoon character ranks, Sabine Wren is one of the figures I was most looking forward to in this series. Sabine is of course from the Rebels cartoon series, which coincidentally had a very Sabine-centric story in the most recent episode. It's too bad that this figure isn't based on that episode, because then she could have included the Darksaber. This Sabine is from season one, as indicated by her hair and armor. I'm still getting used to her face rendered in a realistic style, but this seems a fair approximation of how she would appear as an actual person rather than her more stylized animated appearance. For accessories, Sabine includes a removable helmet (it's a rather tight fit), twin blasters which can be holstered, and befitting a demolitions expert, a detonator. Sabine's a cool figure, so I'm glad to add her to the ranks. The next Ghost crew member that will be appearing in the line is Hera, although I'm not sure when.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
There's a definite pattern for Black Series figures that if a character is a con exclusive, it will later show up as a retail figure, with fewer accessories. So I was glad to see Obi-Wan as an exclusive months ago, and now the regular figure is out. So here's old Ben himself, the first Alec Guinness figure in this scale. This is one of the better likenesses I've seen on these figures, and Obi-Wan has this great "not this shit AGAIN" expression. While his outer robe is soft goods, the rest of his outfit is plastic. It's slit down the sides, so you can sort of use the leg articulation. As usual with soft goods at this size, the hood doesn't quite sit right. At least it's better than on the smaller scaled figures. Naturally, his lightsaber is included, and it has a loop so it can hang from his belt. I think the blade is removable, but if so it is pretty well secured in the hilt on my figure. While Obi-Wan is somewhat lax in regards to lightsaber safety, I doubt that even he would want an ignited lightsaber hanging from his belt.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
This series of figures is something of a mixed bag in terms of source material. We started with original Star Wars Leia, now here's the AT-AT Driver from Empire Strikes Back. These guys never get shown doing anything other than sitting down while driving an AT-AT, so they are not the most exciting of Imperial forces. But they do get to drive AT-ATs, which is totally cool. Interestingly, these guys have the fighter pilot loops on their legs, while TIE pilots do not. While the uniform is mostly grey, there are small touches of color on the the helmet and the technology bits on the chest armor that get paint apps. The figure is also armed with the standard Stormtrooper blaster.
Friday, January 20, 2017
It took them a couple years, but Hasbro finally made the version of Princess Leia that I wanted for the six inch scale. This is Leia as we first met her, in what I think of as her most iconic costume. She is appropriately short (standing next to a Sailor Moon Figuarts figure, which is in a smaller scale, she is still shorter) and comes armed with two blasters. She has the standard Stormtrooper blaster that she uses aboard the Death Star, as well as the smaller blaster she uses aboard the Tantive IV. Her dress is soft goods, which has its positive and negative aspects. Mostly it looks good, but the hood doesn't quite hang right.
This figure was released right around the time of Carrie Fisher's death, so getting it now lends it an extra poignancy.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
This is my first foray into the LEGO Micro Minis sub-line. This one features Thanos riding around in a car that looks like the Inifinity Gauntlet, so of course I had to buy it. Thanos himself has an Infinity Gauntlet that can go on his hand. It's exactly the kind of ridiculous that I love. The mini in the name seems to correspond to the minifigures as well as their vehicles. Instead of the standard legs, they have the shorter unarticulated legs usually used for child or short characters. I'm assuming that's to help keep costs down, because two figures and two vehicles for ten bucks is remarkably cheap for a LEGO set. Also included is Iron Man (with a hair piece if you want an unmasked Tony Stark) in a more classic style of armor than usually seen these days.. His car looks like a more traditional go kart with repulsor jets added to the back. He also gets a wrench.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Although I didn't find all the minifigures I wanted on my first try, a more recent visit to Target yielded at least some new minifigures to search through. Although I still haven't found Catman and Pink Fairy Batman, I was at least able to find the Nurse Harley Quinn minifigure. Presumably this is meant as an homage to Nurse Harley from the fantastic Arkham Asylum video game. Her accessory is a clipboard from Arkham with a file for the Joker on it. She's written "H + J" in the middle of a heart on it. Since it is a 2x2 flat plate, it is one of the easy ways to narrow down the search for Harley through the packaging, as only a few characters in this series have one. The other main way to identify her is by her big pig-tailed hair piece.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
The completion of my Sailor Scout lineup is in sight, and after getting Sailor Neptune the logical next choice was Sailor Uranus. While Haruka and Michiru were lovers in the original Japanese version, they were infamously re-worked into oddly flirtatious cousins for the American dub. Uranus is the tallest of the Sailor Scouts, and her figure follows suit. Like the rest of the figures, she gets several alternate hands and faces, as well as a display stand. Unique to Uranus is an alternate pair of arms that are folded, and her Space Sword. In a first for this series, she also gets an accessory for a different figure entirely: she has an alternate "heart eyes" face for Sailor Moon. Now that is a great way to add value.