Sunday, November 29, 2009

#135: Playmobil Advent Calendar

As a kid, I had advent calendars with chocolate in them. I also had Playmobil toys. For the first time, I have a combination of both, with the Playmobil advent calendar. What's inside? We'll find out! Throughout December, leading up to Christmas, I will be posting daily as I open each box in the calendar. I must admit, a large part of the inspiration for this is the annual advent calendar countdown on X-Entertainment. It does take a little of the fun out of it that I know what's coming because I had to put the thing together (and it's detailed on the back of the box, as well), but I think that will be made up for.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

This is it, the official start of the Christmas season, Black Friday. The biggest shopping day of the year. I went to Target, but that was after noon, so all the crazy sales were over. I didn't buy any toys, because there was nothing out that I am looking for.

Fortunately, the internet has some great crazy deals as well. The Joker Squad is selling on for 20 dollars right now, and that is a very good price. That's almost half off for a really cool set of Stormies, including the first (and so far only) female Stormtrooper action figure. is selling the basic white armored Clone Wars style clone trooper for 2 dollars each. Crazy! It is tempting to order a bunch of them.

Did any of you venture out for Black Friday? Make any good finds?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#134: Qui-Gon Jinn and eopie

After a less than stellar track record from Hasbro for sending out their mail away figures, this set arrived in a basically timely manner. I've already got a Qui-Gonn, so if this set had been released in stores, I would have passed it by. But for less than the cost of a regular figure, and sold as a mail away exclusive? I'm interested. It helps that this is poncho Qui-Gon, while the other one I have is wearing Jedi robes. Of course, he comes with a lightsaber because Hasbro is contractually obligated to include a lightsaber with any Force using figure it makes. That explains why the recent Luke figure from the final scene of Empire Strikes Back includes one. Also, I don't have many creatures in my collection (a rancor and a kybuck), so a new one is a nice addition. It's a cool set, but if I had missed out on it, that wouldn't have been a big deal.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mostly random Star Wars stuff

Now that I've got all the Imperial Knights, I can attempt to re-create the cover of Star Wars Legacy #6, which came with Antares Draco and Ganner Krieg. Sigel Dare's armor is a lot more shiny.

I went back to Target again today, and they had some of the A New Hope wave of figures out. I don't want any of them, but it is always good to see fresh stock on the pegs. They also had the new Star Wars, GI Joe, and Transformers exclusives. I'm not really interested in any of them, except maybe the Star Wars battle pack that includes a clone trooper sporting a 'stache. But it's two figures I don't want (already have animated Cody and just don't want animated Mace Windu), and two that I do ('stache and another clone), so it's not worth buying.

It's been about 8 weeks since the check for Qui-Gonn and the eopie was cashed, so I am declaring the beginning of Qui-Gonn watch. I hope it shows up soon!

In case you haven't heard, the remainder of the Dark Knight Movie Masters line will be coming to Toys R Us. This is great news, because they will have lower prices (and no shipping!) than they would have if they had remained exclusives. Now I will be able to get movie Two-Face (I am unofficially boycotting any exclusives due to their prices).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

#133: Star Wars comic pack Darth Krayt and Sigel Dare

On the same trip that I found Hawkgirl, I found this comic pack, featuring two characters from the Legacy era of Star Wars (it's something like 80 years after the movies). I only got this set for Sigel Dare. Last year, I got the comic pack with the two male Imperial Knights solely because I liked their design. The comic they came with had them as well as Sigel Dare on the cover, and I wished they had made her for the pack as well. About a year later, the comic pack featuring her is finally out.

I'm not entirely clear on Darth Krayt's history, but I gather that he was a Jedi that was active during the Clone Wars, and that he managed to survive Order 66 and then lived a hundred years or so longer to still be around during the Legacy period. And at some point he became a Sith. Whatever. I'm not too keen on the figure, either. His armor looks kind of ridiculous, and it's all one flat color. I think a paint wash would have improved its appearance. Oh, and those shoulder pads get in the way. At least his helmet is removable. And hey, it's another Sith. Off the top of my head, I have a figure for every Sith that is currently available.

Clearly, Sigel Dare is the main selling point for this set. As an Imperial Knight, she's sporting a cool suit of armor and wielding a clear-bladed lightsaber (in the comic, it's white with a slight touch of blue). She's about as well articulated as any other Star Wars figure and looks cool. It's too bad that Hasbro mostly refuses to release expanded universe characters outside of the comic pack line, because I would have been perfectly happy to buy Sigel Dare on a single card.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

#132: DC Universe Classics Hawkgirl

You know how Target no longer seems to carry DCUC figures on pegs anymore, instead just setting them on a shelf below? As I walked down the aisle, Hawkgirl was the first DCUC figure I saw, because she had been set on top of all the DCUC figures. I've been looking for her forever, so it was a nice surprise.

When Hawkman came out, he seemed to be universally regarded as a classy figure. And he definitely is. But then I found out they would be releasing Hawkgirl, and decided to get her instead. Outside of the Super Friends and Batman, I'm not really well versed in the DC universe, so I don't know if Hawkman is any cooler a character than Hawkgirl. But I think her wings look more impressive because she is an otherwise smaller figure. And really, the wings are a huge selling point here. The wings take up a lot of space, and can be moved forward or backward as well as folded up or stretched out. They are covered in detail and just look all around really cool. Hawkgirl also includes quite an arsenal: a mace, a spear, and a sword. Unfortunately, she has no way to store any of her spare weapons on her belt or anything, so one will always be loose. The weapons themselves are well done, with a lot of sculpted detail. The mace and sword are different pieces than those included with Hawkman. DCUC figures feature heavy reuse of body parts, so I am somewhat surprised that she has a new chest (the top of her shirt is sculpted) and new lower legs. The tops of her boots and the little "feet" are sculpted elements. Way to not be completely cheap, Mattel!

In the more recent waves of DCUC, the "name" figure in each wave comes with a stand, rather than a piece of the build-a-figure, so Hawkgirl comes with a stand. A stand is a lot more useful than a random limb to a figure I'll never complete, so I'm okay with this. As always with DCUC figures, the issue of quality control arises. For the most part, Hawkgirl is okay. Her torso swivel is a little loose, but not too terrible. Unfortunately, the swivel on her right thigh is pretty well stuck. I left her in the freezer for a while, but it didn't help. It could be worse, and I'm glad I didn't break it, but it is still annoying. Hawkgirl is definitely worth picking up, if you are lucky enough to find her.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

#131: Star Wars Legacy Collection R3-M3

This is the third build-a-droid I have built. As I mentioned in my previous post, one of the reasons I decided to get the Scout Trooper was because it came with the leg that I needed to complete this droid. It's your basic astromech with wheels on its feet, nothing fancy. The dome is frostily transparent, which is cool. It would be even better if it was more transparent, but I'll take it. According to Wookieepedia, R3-M3 was on the Death Star, so it got blown up. I wouldn't go too much out of my way to complete this droid, but it does look nice, and you can always play mix and match with other droid pieces you may have sitting around.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

#130: Star Wars Legacy Collection Biker Scout

Hey, don't I already have this figure? I bought one some time before this year, so it's not covered in this blog, but I do already have a biker scout figure. This is a straight re-release of the "vintage" version of the figure from 2006, and my other version is from the 30th Anniversary Collection's Saga Legends sub-line.

So, I was at Target with intentions of buying The Dark Knight on DVD. They had a single disc version, and a two disc version. I realized that the difference in price between the two was about the price of a figure, so I decided to get the single disc version and a figure. I didn't see anything I particularly wanted, but noticed that the biker scout is part of the build a droid collection, and upon further inspection realized it came with a piece I needed to complete a droid. I like biker scouts, and Imperial troops in general. It's a good army builder, so I decided to buy it.

It's a good figure. Hey, I bought it twice. The holster on the leg is both neat and bad. Neat because it's a working holster, bad because it's so big. All it needs is a speeder bike.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th!


I'm going to Target today. Since it's Friday the 13th, maybe I'll find a Hawkgirl, but she'll be missing her wings! How about you?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#129: Star Wars Legacy Collection Jango Fett

This is actually my fourth Jango Fett figure. As the genetic blueprint for all the clone troopers and Boba Fett, he's worth having a good figure of. The first two I got were around the time of Attack of the Clones, and were the only figures I got from the movie at the time. The first one is sculpted in a weird position and has trouble standing. But it does have a removable head which is held on by a magnet. The other one isn't very articulated, and has an oversized jetpack that makes sounds. The third one is more recent and has a poncho and removable armor. It's a very cool figure, but I wanted something that's a little more basic and definitive. I never got around to buying the Fett Legacy Evolutions set, but they have recently released that Jango figure (and the Boba Fett) as a single carded figure.

I only have one problem with this figure, and it's really obvious, so I'm just getting it out of the way. That jumpsuit is way too purple! The Evolutions set version had this problem too, and I hoped they would fix it, but they didn't. Otherwise, it's all I could want out of a Jango Fett. He's well articulated, has working holsters for his two blasters, and his helmet is removable. He also comes with a headset to wear if you want him to be piloting Slave I. They got the blue right on his helmet, why they didn't for the jumpsuit is beyond me. If that bothers you, I'm sure they'll release another one down the line with a better color scheme, but for now this is probably the best Jango Fett on the shelves.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

#128: Marvel Universe Secret Wars Comic Pack Hulk and Cyclops

When I saw the first Hulk for the Marvel Universe line, I was disappointed because I thought the head looked terrible (I find it reminiscent of Frankenstein's monster), so I decided to pass. I figured they would put out a different version eventually, and my waiting paid off, because they did. With the Secret Wars Comic Packs, I was finally able to get the Hulk I wanted. And Cyclops! Like the Red Hulk, I ordered this from Hasbro, only to see it in stores a few days before the package arrived.

The most welcome and obvious change on this Hulk is the head. He's got a more rounded face, and a better haircut, as well as a great expression of rage on his face. Instead of a fist and an open hand, he now has two fists. I think I would have liked to have the open hand, so that he could grab other figures, but I guess he'll just have to settle for punching them. I only have pictures to do comparisons, but I think this Hulk is a brighter green than the first one. Although the only thing setting this Hulk and my Red Hulk apart are the heads and color schemes, this one is my favorite, because it's the original.

Back in the 90s, I had a Cyclops figure (with light up visor!) from the Toy Biz X-Men line, but he was in his X-Factor costume for some reason. As I've mentioned, the early 90s Jim Lee looks are generally the iconic versions of characters to me, but I like the older style that Cyclops is sporting for this figure. I don't know if it's the paint or the plastic, but he seems to have a much more matte finish than most other figures. His buccaneer boots and gloves have separate sculpted elements, but his belt is unfortunately merely painted on. I like that his right hand is sculpted so that he can be posed opening his visor. Now I have three of the five original X-Men, two to go!

At around 13 bucks, these comic packs are a much better deal than the single carded releases. This pack in particular is a good deal because Hulk uses such a large amount of plastic. As far as I'm concerned, this is the best Hulk you can buy from this line, and Cyclops is a good figure as well, so this set is definitely worth picking up.

Monday, November 9, 2009

#127: Marvel Universe Red Hulk

I had been looking for a Red Hulk for a while, and eventually I just ordered one from Hasbro. Of course, the very day it arrived, I finally saw one in the wild at Target. This is actually Hasbro's second Red Hulk figure. The first was a build a figure to a Target exclusive wave of Marvel Legends. I would like to have completed him, but I probably never will complete a ML BAF. All I got was his arm. Red Hulk is a recent character, and I have never read a comic that he has appeared in. I guess I just like the idea of an evil red version of the Hulk smashing things. I love that expression of rage on his face.

Along with the other versions of Hulk in the line, Red Hulk is one of the biggest figures. There is enough plastic in him for two or three of the regular sized Marvel Universe figures. His heft is a nice contrast with the rest of the figures which all feel so light. For such a bulky figure, he is pretty decently articulated. His hips are the weakest point, they seem to only function by rotating, so fortunately he has ball jointed knees. Red Hulk has a major case of cankles, but I'm not sure if that reflects the art he's based on. I really like this figure, and I'd recommend picking up him, or your favorite color of Hulk, if you find him.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

#126: Star Wars Clone Wars Captain Argyus

When is a soldier in clone trooper armor not a clone trooper? When he's a senate commando, of course. The red robed imperial guards have always been favorites of mine, so their blue robed predecessors, the senate guards interested me as well. Thanks to the Clone Wars cartoon, we were able to see some senate guards in action in their less ceremonial form, the senate commandos. Basically, it's a clone trooper figure, with new arms, a different helmet, and a non-clone head. And blue! In the cartoon, Captain Argyus has a pretty wild hairstyle which unfortunately doesn't translate to action figure form, in order to make his helmet fit on his head. The helmet itself was slightly bent from the packaging, but it fits on the head well. As one of the few non-clone figures I am getting from the Clone Wars line, this is a good one. Since it's based on the clone body, you know it's got good articulation, and the armor looks surprisingly cool in this shade of blue. Captain Argyus is apparently one of the harder to find figures, and so far the one I picked up is the only one I have seen in person. If you're looking for one, it's probably best to buy it if you see one and not wait.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

#125: Star Wars Legacy Collection ARC Trooper

Hey, didn't we just see one of these guys? That's right, another ARC trooper. It's the same figure, but with a different color scheme. Also his skirt is less ragged and is hanging loosely rather than windswept. I have a red and a yellow version of this figure as well. Collecting clones means a lot of figures that are very similar. It's a gold mine for Hasbro, I'm sure. If they devoted a sub-line to just clones, that would probably sell like hotcakes. I know I would be buying them.

Friday, November 6, 2009

#124: Star Wars Legacy Collection Princess Leia

Based on what is certainly Leia's most eye catching look in the movies, this version is sure to be a fast seller. So far the only one I have seen in person is the one I bought. Armed with a staff thing and a cup, she also has one of the most unusual accessories I've seen with a Star Wars figure: an extra set of legs. If you don't want your Leia to stand around all the time, just swap out her legs for a non-articulated reclining pair. If you have a Jabba, this will probably look good sitting in front of it. Her regular legs are a little weird, perhaps they are in too narrow a stance. On mine, they were a little warped from the packaging, but she seems to stand well. I have a feeling this is going to continue being a fast seller, so if you want one, be sure to grab one when you see it.


The other day, I was at Target and I saw something amazing. One of the employees was actually putting more DCUC figures on the shelf! It's a good sign that they are actually selling here. I asked if he had a Hawkgirl in the box, but it looked like it was all wave 7 figures. I hope they get more wave 8 figures, because I would definitely like to pick up a Hawkgirl figure.

Another amazing thing that I saw while I was there is the official A Christmas Story train set. That is one of my favorite (Christmas) movies, and I know there has been a lot more merchandise based on it lately, but that kind of blew my mind. It's such a random way to use the license. If I had the room, I'd be very tempted to pick up a set.

I also picked up a few figures while I was there, and received some more in the mail that same day, so I'll be updating soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

#123: G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra Snarler Cycle with Beachhead and Rollbar

This is my first vehicle from the Rise of Cobra line, the Snarler Cycle. As you can see, it's a motorcycle with an attached sidecar sporting a huge gun. The sidecar is detachable, and also follows in the grand G.I. Joe tradition of having people hang off the back of vehicles by including a platform with foot pegs on the back. This sort of vehicle would be somewhat ridiculous in real life combat, but for G.I. Joe, it's pretty tame. Apparently, they have stopped giving out figure stands for figures that come with vehicles.

The set comes with two figures, Beachhead and Rollbar. As far as I can tell, Rollbar's first figure was as recently as 2004. His file card says he's a mobile weapons specialist, and that's really all I know about him. Fortunately, his figure is pretty cool. He's got a lot of gear, a couple guns, and his helmet is removable. The other figure from this set is Beachhead, who's a classic. Since this is the movie version, he's traded in his bright green sweater and mask with black vest for a black sweater and mask and a more subdued green vest. I'm glad they didn't just put him in blue camo and kept somewhat close to his classic look.

When I first saw that this was coming out, there was one main reason I wanted to get it. A motorcycle with a side car. Well, here is the reason I wanted to get this set:

Indy's last crusade
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