Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rattler update

I finally won an auction for a Rattler! After shipping, I'm paying what I would have paid in stores, so it was a really good deal. I can't wait to get it home and open it. So I hereby declare the search for a Rattler over. If anyone is still out looking for one, I appreciate the efforts, and you can call off your search now. It definitely won't be arriving in time to be part of Joe Month, but it will be a nice way to start off September.

Friday, August 28, 2009

August is Joe Month!

Since it turns out that the only toys I bought during the month of August were G.I. Joes, I am retroactively declaring August to be Joe Month. I'm not done yet, there are more Joe toys I'd like to get my hands on. I am strongly considering picking up the Defense of Cobra Island 7 pack, and there is a motorcycle with a sidecar that is coming out soon that I want to get. And of course, I am still trying to score a Rattler. Ebay may not pan out, since there are people willing to pay more than me for one.

There should be some new Star Wars figures dropping soon, so hopefully I'll be able to find those that I'm looking for.

Last week when I was out at Wal-Mart, I saw DCUC wave 9 figures on the shelf, and was shocked. I almost bought the Black Canary figure because I was so shocked. It's too bad there aren't any figures I actually want from that wave, because that was a good chance to have them. I still haven't seen wave 8 anywhere, and that does have some figures that I want. Annoying! It occurs to me that all of my DCUC figures are either members of Batman's rogues' gallery or Batman himself. I guess that is to be expected, as he has some of the most memorable villains, and he is my favorite DC hero. Hopefully I can get my hands on the Joker from the upcoming Wal-Mart exclusive wave 10.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

#92: G.I. Joe Snake Eyes (Paris Pursuit)

My second Snake Eyes this month! When I saw the costume for Snake Eyes, I figured I could pass on any figures based on it. I'm not a fan of the sculpted muscles look, and especially not a fan of the face sculpted onto his mask. It just looks wrong, somehow. Then I saw pictures of this version and decided he would be worth picking up. Basically he looks more like the cartoon version, so there is no weird face. Plus he's got an overcoat. Neat! He doesn't wear the coat in the movie during the actual chase scene that this figure is meant to represent, but he does wear it while in the transport on the way to Paris. So it's somewhat film accurate, at least. This version only has one sword, a knife, a handgun, and a rifle. The sword fits in a sheath on his back, and I slid the knife into the strap on his chest, leaving his hands free to hold his guns. He doesn't have any holsters for them. Instead of a ridiculously oversized cannon of some sort, Snake Eyes comes with his faithful companion Timber. This is the same version of Timber that came with the five pack version of Snake Eyes. I'm getting to have quite a pack of wolves now. There are a couple movie versions of Snake Eyes out already, with more to come (of course!), but this is the one I recommend.

#91: G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra Baroness (Attack on the G.I. Joe Pit)

So far there are two Baroness figures from the movie line. The other version is from the Paris chase scene, and she's got a sort of overcoat on. Originally, I was thinking of getting that version, but when I realized this version comes with two handguns that plug hang off of her legs rather than sit in holsters, I decided to go with this one. Blame it on lingering memories of playing GoldenEye, but I think wielding two pistols at once is pretty cool, and it's something the Baroness did in the movie. Another thing I like better about this version is that she comes with the MARS case that contains the nanomite warheads. Unfortunately, she only comes with one warhead. As far as I can tell, Duke and General Hawk come with the others. She also comes with the little platform thing she used to get back to the gunship in the movie, as well as an oversized version of the rocket launcher that Storm Shadow used to launch a warhead at the Eiffel Tower (I think one of the versions of him comes with the regularly sized launcher). Although it is an overall good figure, there is one glaring problem: the face. Sienna Miller is an attractive woman and the sculpt, combined with the paint, unfortunately does not capture that very well. Otherwise, it's very cool, if not the best Baroness out there (that's the one in the second Cobra 5 pack).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

#90: G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra Storm Shadow (Paris pursuit)

Everybody loves a ninja! Since it's a product of the 80s (the Real American Hero version and onward, anyway), G.I. Joe had a ninja presence. Ninja stand out from all the other military oddballs, so Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow proved popular enough to make it into the movie. This version of Storm Shadow is ostensibly from the big Paris chase scene, although he was wearing a regular white suit in the movie for that sequence. Movie accuracy aside, it's basically unmasked Storm Shadow, and it's not often you get an unmasked ninja, so this is the movie version I went for. He's well armed with two swords, two sai, a pistol, a big missile launcher thing, and a ninja suction cup. If this version isn't your cup of tea, there is a standard version available, and there will soon be a shirtless version.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What is, and what will be

I have a favor to ask of you. If you see one of those Target exclusive Cobra Rattlers (the blue Cobra one, not the repainted Joe version) on the shelf, will you pick one up for me? All the non-movie stuff has been clearanced out around here, and I didn't pick one up while I had the chance. I took too long deciding that I wanted one, and now they're not available around here anymore. If you can help, I'll pay you back, and be most grateful!

This week, G.I. Joe officially overtook Transformers as my second most collected toy line for the year. Star Wars, of course, is number one. That won't be changing, I'm sure. If I combined Marvel Universe and the Wolverine movie line, Marvel would be in the second spot.

As for the future, there is only one Transformer I still want to get, and I'm sure I'll be getting a few more Joes. I suspect that Marvel Universe will end up overtaking Transformers for the year as well. I guess Rise of Cobra did a better job of selling me toys than Revenge of the Fallen. There is a lot of Star Wars coming out that I want to get. Also, there will be some Back to the Future, some horror, and some more Ghostbusters. Maybe some DC figures, if I can find them.

No matter what, Transformers will stay on top for the most expensive single toy in my collection thanks to Masterpiece Grimlock.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

#89: G.I. Joe Duke

Duke was one of the Joe figures I had as a kid, and I felt it was time to add him to my current collection. There are a few different movie versions I could have chosen from, but I definitely prefer the classic cartoon version. Since he comes with a rocket pack and an American flag, I'm assuming this Duke is meant to be from the pinnacle of G.I. Joe entertainment, the intro to the animated movie. If you haven't seen that before, do yourself a favor and go watch it right now. If only the rest of the movie had lived up to that intro! For some reason, his stand is more of a silver rather than regular black plastic, because he's special I suppose. The stand also has a hole for the flag pole to rest in. I don't have any other figures that come with an American flag, so I guess that makes Duke the most patriotic figure in my collection.

Uh oh! It looks like some of my other figures have a bone to pick with Duke about which one is the most patriotic in my collection. It looks like they have him cornered, what can he do?

Fortunately, they neglected to take into account Duke's rocket pack. He blasts off to gather reinforcements, leaving his attackers in the dust. But hey, can't Iron Man fly too...? Watch out, Duke!

I've been getting so many Joes lately, I think it's time to take a cue from a couple of my fellow bloggers and do a count of how many Joes I have versus how many Cobras I have.
Joes: 13 (11 if I don't count duplicates)
Cobra: 16 (10 not counting duplicates)

#88: G.I. Joe Spirit

Although I ordered Spirit before I actually saw the movie, it is clear that it is doing a good job of selling me toys. It helps that I had a Spirit figure when I was a kid, and I am always partial to Joe figures that come with animal companions. Spirit has a particularly odd weapon, even for G.I. Joe: a rifle that shoots arrows. It's not as odd as a football on a chain, but still out there. The magazine is removable from the rifle, and there are a couple extra magazines that store on the frame of his backpack. He also comes with a knife that fits in a sheathe on his leg as well as Freedom, the bald eagle. I think Stephen Colbert would approve.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

#87: G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra Destro 2-Pack

Of the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con exclusive toys, this is the one I was most looking forward to. Destro is always cool, so a different version is always welcomed. On top of that, this is the only version of Destro that's unmasked, so it's the only way to get a Christopher Eccleston figure in this scale. This is of particular interest since he is the actor that played the ninth Doctor in the recent Doctor Who relaunch. I also figured the ancestor figure was pretty cool.

Normally I don't give much attention to a toy's packaging as it's something necessary yet not what I'm interested in. The Destro set is an exception because it has some really cool packaging. It is designed to mimic a book of the McCullen clan's family history, and within the covers there is a time line of all the clan leaders with a little biographical information about each. Apparently the G.I. Joe movie takes place in a universe where the McCullen clan advanced technology at a much faster pace than in our own, as James McCullen the 18th died in a plane crash in 1846. Inside the "book" the figures are in slide out trays that hold the actual cards in with elastic bands. For some more pictures, I recommend the gallery at Cool Toy Review. I liked this packaging so much that it took a few days for me to even open it and get the figures out. I'm planning to hold on to this, which is something I almost never do.

On to the figures themselves, we have James McCullen IX, the first McCullen to bear the mask that would come to represent the Clan McCullen. One of the most striking things about this figure is how tall it is. G.I. Joe figures are a bit taller than Star Wars figures in general, but this guy towers over them all. If anybody had played basketball in the 17th century, Scotland's team would have dominated, I guess. His mask is removable, and he comes with a sword, a pistol, and a flag with the McCullen crest on it. All the accessories your 17th century weapons dealer could ask for. It's a cool figure with interesting armor, and I wonder how it would have sold if it had been a regular single carded release. I think that he is cool bonus, but the main draw for this set is the other figure.

James McCullen XXIV, Destro, is the current head of the Clan McCullen. As of now, this is the only way to get a movie accurate Destro figure, as the regular version in stores is wearing an outfit that doesn't appear in the movie. He has two interchangeable heads, one normal and one shiny. I'm planning to leave the normal one on for most of the time as that is how he appears for most of the movie, and, again, it's Christopher Eccleston in action figure form. The plastic piece that goes over his torso for his coat and vest unfortunately makes him look a little thicker around the middle than he should, as well as slouchy, but that is my only complaint. Otherwise it's a very cool figure. He also comes with five guns and a MARS briefcase. Now that I have Christopher Eccleston and Ewan McGregor figures in about the same scale, I can start reenacting scenes from Shallow Grave. Bonus!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yo, Joe

A few days ago, I received the toy that I'll be posting about next. I haven't posted about it yet because I haven't opened it yet. The packaging is so cool that I haven't felt ready to open it yet. In fact, the packaging is so nice that I probably will keep it even after it's been opened. So far the only other time that has happened is the packaging for the mailaway Captain Rex figure, because the back of the card folds out into a diorama and it makes a neat display.

I finally got to the theater to watch G.I. Joe yesterday and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It certainly did a better job of reminding me of what I liked about it so much as a kid than either of the Transformers movies did. I hope they come out with another cartoon! Speaking of the movie, I have some information about the inevitable sequel. Look who will be joining the team:


Luke Skywalker!

Kidding aside, I was amused by how well the Rebel commando suit or whatever it is fits in with the movie G.I. Joe aesthetic. Even if the scales don't exactly match between the two lines. Luke may be short, but not that short.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

#86: G.I. Joe set

Entertainment Earth is having one of its periodic big sales, so I decided to finally pick up this box set of Joes. It would have been cheaper to buy in a store since that wouldn't have involved shipping, and I had been thinking about picking up this set for a while. Unfortunately, I underestimated just how quickly all the non-movie G.I. Joe toys would be replaced with the movie merchandise, and I haven't seen this set in stores for a while. Even though I already have a Snake Eyes, I figured it would be a good way to pick up some characters I don't have, and cost less than buying them separately. Also, my Joe forces have been outnumbered by Cobra for a while, so they could use the reinforcements.

I've never had a Lady Jaye figure before. In fact, I don't think I had any of the females from the Joe-verse back when I was a kid. There was a single carded Lady Jaye, but she was wearing a hat and didn't really look like she did in the cartoon, so even if I had seen one in stores, I would have skipped it. Unless they come out with a movie version that I really like, I can't see needing another version of her.

Hawk is another Joe I've never had a toy for. Not much to say about him, he's a good figure.

I never had a Flint either. The first G.I. Joe five pack had a gloveless Flint, which annoyed people. I'm glad they fixed it for this release.

On to the real stars of this set: Polly and Timber! Oh yeah, they come with Shipwreck and Snake Eyes, too. The strap on Shipwreck's bag has little nubs that Polly can attach to. The shoulder seems an appropriately pirate-y place for Polly to sit, I approve. I think I had a Shipwreck when I was younger, but I'm not completely sure. Mostly I remember this Jack Nicholson sound-alike from that somewhat freaky episode of the cartoon where Cobra has him trapped in some sort of virtual world, and people melted.

This is my second Snake Eyes from this line, so I wasn't too excited about it. Fortunately, it's different enough from my other version that I like it. This Snake Eyes looks even more like the cartoon version, and even has a different version of Timber.

There were also some extra weapons, stands, and file cards included. This round of five packs doesn't have the sound box like the first sets did, but I already have one that plays the G.I. Joe theme, so I don't need another. I should have bought the Cobra one when I saw it on clearance. Oh well!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vader Invasion, part 2

A few days ago I visited my parents' house, where all my '90s Star Wars figures are. Due to difficulty in accessing where a lot of them are stored, I was only able to pull out a couple specimens for this edition of Vader Invasion. There are definitely more in there, but it may be quite a while before I visit home and have the time to unearth the rest.


The first Vader here is what I am assuming was just the basic Darth Vader figure. I know we have a bunch of other Vaders with various gimmicks in the collection, but this is the only one I found. Like a lot of the figures from the time he is curiously beefy, and his helmet is oddly proportioned. All the Vader figures from this time had a plastic cape and were missing the lower skirt cape thing. Even though this Vader was in a case he was covered in a lot of dust. This picture was after I got a lot of the dust off.


The other Vader artifact for this entry is the standard Darth Vader figure carrying case. I think these have been around since the days of the vintage line of the '70s and '80s. Not surprisingly, they continued to be released during the '90s but I don't think I've seen any sold for years. Figure cases used to be pretty common in general, I wonder why they have fallen out of favor. I would probably buy a few, they are useful. Anyway, that's all the Vader for now. Until next time!
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