Saturday, October 31, 2009

#122: Superman Batman Public Enemies Superman

Well, this is it. I finally broke down and got a Superman figure. I would have sooner, but lately they've been putting out versions of Superman I don't want: with a mullet, electric version, in the black suit, etc. All I wanted was a basic, regular Superman. Superman is the original superhero, he's the one all the other superheroes aspire to be. He may not be my favorite superhero, but you can't knock a classic. As with his fellow Batman from the same line, he has a somewhat cartoonish look. He also comes with a stand, and a piece of Brimstone: the right arm. And he also had some stuck joints. Both of his wrists, just like the first one I bought a couple weeks ago and had to return for a refund. Fortunately, the freezer trick worked, and now his wrists move properly. I'm glad I've finally added a Superman to my collection, and I think this is a good one to have, since I don't plan to get multiple versions of him.

Batman wins again

Batman just can't help himself.

#121: Superman Batman Public Enemies Batman

Based on the cartoon which is based on the comic, the Superman Batman Public Enemies line comes in two sizes and is exclusive to Target. I decided to get this Batman because my DCUC Batman, while cool and all, just seems kind of lacking. What I like about this Batman is that it has a more cartoonish look to it, which fits in with my favorite way to think of Batman: that he is so capable, skilled, and smart that he can do anything he decides to do. This Batman can breathe in space. This Batman could have finished off the Final Crisis storyline by punching Darkseid. In my mind, the DC Universe is more properly called the Batman Universe, and everyone in it exists solely as punching bag fodder for Batman.

This isn't based on the standard DCUC body, although it is very similar and has the same level of articulation. Unfortunately, this is a Mattel product, which means quality control problems. One of Batman's wrists was stuck, and that's not good for someone that needs to do so much punching. Fortunately, I have learned from bitter experience. Realizing there was a problem, I put Batman in the freezer for a few minutes, and when I pulled him out I was able to get his wrist rotating properly. It's annoying that I should have to do this, but I am glad that I didn't break it. Also like DCUC, this line utilizes the build a figure concept, and Batman comes with the crotch of someone named Brimstone. He also comes with a stand. I would have preferred a batarang or two. Despite a few problems, I really like this Batman.

#120: Marvel Universe Jean Grey

I thought that series 2 of the Marvel Universe line wasn't due in stores for a couple months, so I was surprised to see them on the pegs. In fact, they are even available in Hasbro's web shop. Now there is a new artist doing the art on the cards, and instead of a SHIELD logo, there is one for something called HAMMER. I'm really not up on what's going on in the Marvel Universe, but I gather it's some sort of organization with Norman Osborne in charge. Whatever, it's not too important to the toy. In addition to the various pieces of paperwork that all Marvel Universe figures have had, now there is a stand included. I saw all of the new figures, but the only one I was interested in getting was Jean Grey. The Marvel Universe line has been heavily male, so this is my first female figure from the line. In the early pictures I saw of her figure, it looked like she had terrible posture or was shrugging as hard as possible. I hoped that would be ironed out by the final release, but it's not, she still looks kind of weird. That weirdness aside, it's a good figure, with decent articulation, although I still wish they would put in some sort of thigh swivel. She comes with a little plastic accessory that I suppose is meant to represent some psionic something or other. Her hair is made from a softer plastic, but it still gets in the way of moving her head. This is Jean Grey as I remember her, ridiculous costume and all. Now I've got two of the founding members of the X-Men, and will soon have a third.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

#119: Star Wars Clone Wars Clone Commander Thire

From a Yoda-centric episode of the Clone Wars, comes Commander Thire. Unlike a lot of other commander figures, Thire doesn't have that skirt thing. He does maintain the preference for carrying double blaster pistols, though. To accommodate those, he has working holsters. He has the shoulder pauldron most commanders get, and he has a removable helmet with a visor that can be swiveled up. Aside from that and the paint job, he's in standard clone armor. And, of course, he's got a big missile launcher. There isn't too much else to say here, but it's a good figure and I really like the look of it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

#118: Star Wars Clone Wars Matchstick

One of the cool things about the Clone Wars cartoon is that we get to see clones more as characters. So that means there are a lot more figures that represent a specific clone, rather than just a type of clone. On the other hand, it's weird to think that in a few months, they'll all be killing Jedi and subjugating the galaxy under the Emperor's command. But hey, during the Clone Wars, all the clone troopers are still protagonists and they're cool.

Matchstick is a pilot so that means he has the basic clone body, but a different helmet with attached chest piece, the helmet being removable. The helmet has a unique design painted on it, reminiscent of some of the artwork on certain Republic ships. He comes with the standard clone blaster, as well as the seemingly now standard giant missile launching gun. If you need a clone pilot, this is probably your best bet, since Odd Ball likely isn't in stores anymore.

Friday, October 23, 2009

#117: Star Wars Clone Wars Clone Tank Gunner

I have no plans to get any clone tanks, since the Turbo Tank is both huge and expensive (the Millennium Falcon fills that niche in my collection quite nicely). So this tank gunner will have no tank guns to operate. Fortunately, he comes with his own guns, a standard clone blaster and a giant missile launching gun that seems to come with a lot of the clone figures lately. He stands apart from all the other clone figures with the weird raised areas on his shoulders and chest armor. I'm not sure what they are supposed to be for, but they do a nice job of setting him apart. His helmet even has some sculpted detail that other clone trooper helmets don't have. As someone who can never have too many clones, it is nice to see one with something to set himself apart from all the rest.



A few weeks ago, I was visited by Spock, as part of Chunky B's Spockcation. My camera couldn't handle the waves of pure logic that emanated from Spock, and that is when it broke. Check out the entry over on Eclectorama to see some of the pictures I was able to take. There are a couple pictures that didn't make the final cut, so if you'd like to check them out you can see the full set on my Flickr account.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

#116: Star Wars Legacy Collection Luke Skywalker

I don't know about you, but when I was born Empire Strikes Back was still playing in theaters. Consequently the first Star Wars movie I ever watched was Return of the Jedi. Luke Skywalker was of course my hero, and to me his appearance in the film will always be his most iconic. So I'm always glad to see a new Jedi Luke figure. A couple years ago during the 30th Anniversary Collection, they released a Return of the Jedi Luke from the end of the Tatooine segment of the movie (you can tell because both his hands were bare, and there was blaster damage on the back of his right hand). It had an oddly dark tan, and a weird soft goods tunic. The lightsaber blade was also really long. It wasn't the best Luke out there, so of course there has been a lot of chatter from the fans looking forward to an improvement.

Now we have a new version of Luke from Return of the Jedi, although this version is meant to represent his appearance later, during his climactic confrontation with Darth Vader. The arms and legs are definitely from the previous version of the figure, and I'm not sure but probably the hips as well. The torso and head are new and overall an improvement. He does seem to have some slightly odd proportions (look how narrow those hips are), though. He has a couple of interchangeable chest plates, so you can decide if you want to display him with the flap on his jacket loose (as pictured) or not. Also included are a lightsaber (not overly long like the previous figure's) and binders, so he can surrender himself to the Imperials. It's a good figure, and I don't think they'll ever release one upgraded enough for me to feel compelled to buy a replacement.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#115: Star Wars Evolutions Clone Commandos

Another Wal-Mart exclusive set, the Clone Commandos are reportedly harder to find. I got the only one that was on the shelf, while there were multiples of the other sets.

The first figure in the set is Alpha, an ARC trooper. He's a repaint of the ARC trooper I have from an older comic pack. It's a good figure, but nothing terribly exciting. He's the only figure in this set with a removable helmet.

Fi Skirata of Omega Squad is one of the reasons I really wanted this set. Until now, I haven't bought any of these commando style clone figures. The first one they released, Scorch, was very hard to find, and I never saw one in stores anywhere. Unfortunately, it had legs without knees or ankles, so I never felt it was worth whatever I would have to pay from people selling it online. Then other commando figures have been in somewhat expensive online exclusive sets that I didn't buy. Fortunately for this release, they have given the commando figure articulated knees and ankles. His helmet and armor are shaped pretty differently from other clone troopers, so it makes him stand out among the crowd. There is also a mysterious piece of equipment sticking out from his backpack. I have no idea what it's for, but it is distinctive. Aside from his oversized blaster and backpack, he comes with some sort of small hand-held device and pouches that stick on to his leg.

The other real reason I wanted this set is the Storm Commando. It's basically a black repaint of a scout trooper. I like the look of scout troopers, and I like black repaint "shadow" troopers, so this is a natural draw for me. A while back, they released a shadow scout with speeder bike as an exclusive, and this is basically a re-release of that figure. He's a well armed scout, packing two pistols, each with its own holster.

The evolution concept for this set is a bit tenuous, but it features some cool figures. I'd say it's definitely worth picking up.

Monday, October 19, 2009

#114: Star Wars Evolutions Imperial Pilot Legacy Series II

As always, I'm a sucker for the army builder figures of Star Wars. As long as they are part of the Republic army or the Imperial army anyway, I have very few battle droids or generic rebels. Prior to picking up this set, I didn't have a TIE pilot, and the only clone pilot I had was in the animated style. Because of that, this is definitely an evolutions set that I wanted to pick up. This is a Wal-Mart exclusive set, so it may or may not be hard to find, depending on the stores in your area. Also, they have raised the prices on these sets, but they are still cheaper than buying three figures separately, so it's still a decent deal.

The first figure in this set is specifically a gunship pilot. Unfortunately, I don't have a gunship, but they take up a lot of space anyway. This is based on one of the older clone bodies that doesn't have any waist articulation. What sets him apart is the paint job on his shoulders and his crazy looking removable helmet. The chest piece is only attached to the helmet, and sits in front of the chest. He comes with a blaster. Thanks to the weird helmet, he stands out a bit more than a clone with random color markings on his armor.

The next figure is a phase II clone pilot, specifically a V-Wing pilot. In the Revenge of the Sith line, they released a clone pilot figure that was based on their appearance in the movie. Then they released a black repaint. Basically this figure is a re-release of that, but now there is a removable helmet, and the Republic markings on the shoulders are no longer painted on. The chest piece attached to the helmet has a little peg to plug into the chest. The helmet sits a little too high on the head, and plugging the chest piece into the chest makes the helmet even higher, so I have left it unplugged. He also comes with a blaster.

The final figure in this set is the Imperial TIE pilot. It's a re-release of the TIE pilot that was released in 2004, but with a removable helmet. He now also comes with a holster for his odd looking blaster pistol as well as ball-jointed shoulders. As with the V-Wing pilot, the chest piece has a peg to plug into the chest, but in this case it works well and the helmet sits properly.

At first I wasn't too impressed with these figures, with my chief complaint being the V-Wing pilot's helmet not sitting right, but after playing around with them a little, I like them more. Amusingly, the TIE pilot's knees bend forward as well as backward. It's a pretty good set, and worth picking up to fill up the piloting ranks of your clone army. Now if my clones ever need to commandeer the Millennium Falcon, they'll be able to get it off the ground.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

#113: Star Wars Legacy Collection Anakin Skywalker

Like I mentioned in my post about Obi-Wan, I wasn't buying toys around the time Phantom Menace came out. By the time Attack of the Clones came out, it was pretty much the same situation, although I did get two different Jango Fetts. So the only Anakin figures I have are from Revenge of the Sith. Well there's the spirit version from Return of the Jedi, too. So this is padawan Anakin, as he appears in Attack of the Clones. He has some "cloth" bits on his tunic that seem kind of thin and papery, so hopefully they stand up to the ravages of time. What I like best about this figure is that he has two swappable right hands, one organic and one robotic. As usual, I must nitpick and mention that he comes with the wrong lightsaber. He comes with the version he used in Revenge of the Sith, not the one of the various lightsabers he used in Attack of the Clones. Hasbro seems to have trouble keeping things like that straight. Oh well! If they ever come out with an updated version of little kid Anakin, I may get that. Otherwise, I think I am done picking up Anakin/Vader figures.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Curse you, Mattel!

Curse you, Mattel!

So I decided to pick up the Public Enemies version of Superman. When I got him home and was repositioning his hands, they broke off. Yeesh. I've heard horror stories about the quality control from Mattel in their DCUC line, and this is my first time experiencing it in person. I'll be taking it in and hopefully exchanging it for another one. If not, I guess I'll exchange it for something else or get a refund. Maybe they'll have Hawkgirl!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

#112: Star Wars Legacy Collection Obi-Wan Kenobi

A while back, Hasbro was planning to make an Evolutions set about Obi-Wan Kenobi. For whatever reason, that didn't pan out, but they already had the figures ready for production. So instead of releasing them as a set, the figures were released individually. First they released the hermit Ben Kenobi, and then they released Jedi knight Obi-Wan. Finally, they have released the padawan Obi-Wan as part of the Phantom Menace wave. Since I wasn't into the toys when Phantom Menace was released, there aren't many toys in my collection from that movie. So this if my first figure of Obi-Wan as a padawan. Fortunately for me, this is pretty much as good a figure as they can make based on that version of the character. He's well articulated (I wish he had ball hips) and has a robe, so there's not much else I could ask for. Until they release an updated spirit version of Obi-Wan, I can't see myself buying any more of him, now that I have a figure for each of his stages of life (padawan, knight, master, and crazy old wizard).

Friday, October 9, 2009

#111: DC Universe Classics Parademon

While it is likely that I have greater knowledge of the DC universe than the average person on the street, I'm not exactly a walking encyclopedia of DC information. So when I saw preview pictures for the wave the Parademon is a part of, my first reaction was to wonder who this Parademon was, shortly followed by the desire to get one solely because it looks so cool. Of course, we can thank Jack Kirby for the design, which I think the figure captures well, especially with the face. Unlike 95% of DCUC figures out there, Parademon isn't reusing some other figure's body.

Parademon is part of the eighth wave, which supposedly hit stores a few months ago. Until I saw this guy in the new Target, I had not seen any figures from that wave anywhere. In fact, this is the only figure from that wave that I have set my eyes on. Mattel is definitely capable of making good product, as this line can attest. It's sculpted by the famous Four Horsemen, and is respectful of its source material. Unfortunately, Mattel has terrible distribution problems, as well as quality control issues (there are some horror stories out there about these figures), and even PR problems (Gleek, anyone?). There's a reason that Hasbro rules the boys' toys market.

Looks like I went off on a tangent! As I was saying, Parademon is really cool. If he were cheaper and easier to find, he'd make a great army builder.

Parademon is the first DCUC figure I bought that isn't directly associated with Batman. My other DCUC figures are Batman, Harley Quinn, The Riddler, and Killer Moth (why didn't I get the Penguin!?). So far I have not bought more than one figure from a wave, so I have random build a figure pieces that don't connect to anything. Giganta's left arm is joining that collection.

Stay on target...

Big news. Target has finally opened here in Davis! Finally, there is a decent place to buy toys in town. Until now, there has been one toy store in town. Although they carry Lego and Playmobil, it is one of those stores that is mostly based on selling more "educational" toys, so they don't really carry anything to interest your average nerdy man-child like myself. Then there is the comic shop, which tends more towards the older and/or overpriced figures. Rite-Aid also carries toys, but they are way overpriced, and with a terrible selection. Oddly enough, this Target sells Star Wars figures for 25 cents more than other Targets usually do.

It's a nice store, although laid out in a different way than most Target stores. It's also one of the largest Target stores I've been in, with an expanded grocery section. I ended up spending about forty dollars when I went in, although I only bought one toy that I'll be posting about here. I'm glad to have a proper place to buy toys without having to leave town, and hopefully it'll cut down on the necessity of ordering toys online.

Also, I have added a section to the sidebar with a list of toys I'm currently looking for. I could add more, but for now these are just the toys that are currently available or that should be very soon. I'll be deleting toys from it as I get them, so if you have nothing better to do and are paying close attention, you'll be able to figure out what I'm going to post about before I do so.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

#110: G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra Deep Six

I decided to get Deep Six mainly because he's a cool diver figure, and I didn't want to get movie Shipwreck because I'm trying to avoid double dipping on characters, and I'm not a fan of the blue camo he is sporting. I've never had a Deep Six before, or so I thought, so I decided to go with him. I was looking at Yo Joe, and it turns out that I had the second version of Deep Six which although he wore a diving suit, it wasn't the crazy bulky one that his first figure was in and that he wore in the cartoon. So it is nice to have unwittingly updated a figure I had as a kid. Aside from the requisite giant goofy missile launcher, Deep Six has a good amount of cool accessories. His fins are removable, he has a pistol, a knife, a spear gun, and a removable face mask that attaches to a removable air tank on his back. He is sporting a bit of grey camo, but is mostly all black with a few grey accents. You could pick up a few of him and reenact the underwater battle from Thunderball. Deep Six is a cool figure, I'd say he's definitely worth picking up if you're at all interested.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#109: Marvel Universe Human Torch

So far there are three versions of the Human Torch based on this mold. The other two are non-fiery Johnny Storm in costume, one with a blue suit and dark blue gloves and boots, the other with a dark blue suit and white gloves and boots. Since they're all the same mold, they have
the same flamey head thing which I think looks ridiculous if he's not flamed on. There's another version in the comic two packs that looks the way he's usually been drawn: all red with black lines and some flames. That may be a cooler version, but I like this semi-translucent take on him. I like the way the color fades along his limbs, but it seems a little too abrupt a change where they meet his body. Also, I wish they would put thigh swivels or ball jointed knees on these guys for better poseability. He also feels really light weight. His only accessory is the flame that clips on to his wrist. Now that I've got half of the Fantastic Four, it would be surprising if the other half isn't eventually released. When they are, I'll probably get them too, to complete the team.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

#108: G.I. Joe Snow Job

Some G.I. Joe figures I get because they are an update of those I had as a kid, and some because I like their character. Still others I get because I think they have cool accessories. Snow Job definitely falls into the last category for me. I have a few other cold weather figures (Imperial snow troopers), but none of them have skis, and that is what made me want to get Snow Job. His skis and poles attach to his backpack when not in use, and he comes with a pistol and a rifle. Also, his hood and goggles are removable, which is cool. It's a very cool figure, with nothing that I want to complain about. I definitely would recommend it as an addition to the Joe ranks that will stand out with his bright outfit.

Monday, October 5, 2009

#107: G.I. Joe Mutt and Junkyard

I've said it many times before, but I love a G.I. Joe figure that comes with an animal companion. That fact explains a large part of the appeal for me of Mutt and Junkyard. Unlike some of the other Joes with animal companions, a dog trainer and a rottweiler are not at all ridiculous. When I was watching DVDs of the cartoon a few weeks ago, there was an episode in which Mutt and Junkyard played prominent roles, which contributed to convincing me to get the figure. Mutt has a sub-machine gun that fits in a holster, a nightstick, and a removable helmet with some sort of detachable mask. I'm not sure what's up with the mask, I don't remember him wearing it in the cartoon, but it was on the original figure as well. He also has a dashing 'stache. Although not as crazy as the others, Mutt and Junkyard are a nice addition to the ranks of Joes with animal sidekicks.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

#106: G.I. Joe Croc Master

Croc Master has a few things going for him: I had his figure when I was a kid, and he exemplifies the insanity of Cobra that I find so amusing. Last but not least, he comes with an animal, my only member of Cobra so far to have that distinction. In spite of his name, he comes with an alligator. I guess the name "Gator Master" doesn't pack quite the same punch. The alligator even has an articulated jaw, a nice improvement over the original. I don't think you can see it in this picture, but his right bicep has a sizable bite scar on it, which seems appropriate for a guy that spends a lot of time training large reptiles. In addition to his pet alligator and a revolver, he comes armed with a whip. That makes him the fourth action figure in my collection that has a whip.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Halloween is in the air

There isn't too much to talk about this week. I just got a shipment of figures in, so I'll have something to write about soon. I should have my new camera in hand tomorrow.

The check I sent in for the Qui-Gon and Eopie figures has been cashed. I hope the mailing out is just as quick.
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