Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#32: Star Wars comic pack Stormtrooper and Blackhole hologram

I think this is the only comic pack that does this, but rather than a regular comic book, this one comes with a reprinting of some of the early Star Wars newspaper strips. It's super early Expanded Universe, right after Star Wars, so things are a little different than what you are used to in the EU. A highlight is Luke unwittingly using the Force to do well in a casino. It also marks what is likely the first appearance of a Stormtrooper in non-standard armor. One of those Stormtroopers is what we get here. They are under the command of Blackhole, the mysterious head of Imperial Intelligence. He only appears in the form of a hologram, which is also included here. The Stormtrooper is the standard Stormie, with removable helmet. He has a decidedly unhealthy looking pallor under the helmet, which is a bit of a departure. The helmet seems pretty loose. Since one figure and an unarticulated hologram about half the size of a figure would seem like kind of a ripoff for the price, there's also an interrogation droid included, along with a detachable base. I actually like it better than the hologram. It doesn't actually appear in the comic, but at the end Luke and Leia are in the hands of Blackhole's forces, so presumably it will be coming into play during the next issue. There have been releases of shadow Stormtroopers which look similar, but this is the only way to get this version of the Stormtrooper. If you're like me and glad to have another slightly different Stormie, this is a good set to get.

#31: Star Wars comic pack Clone Lieutenant and Clone Trooper

Another troop builder! I particularly like the subject matter for this one because it features members of the 212th, which is under the leadership of Commander Cody. As the only named clone in the movie, I've always dug him, so I'm always glad to get more of his troopers. The lieutenant unfortunately doesn't have holsters for his two pistols, so this pack ends up with a surplus of weapons. It is cool that they included the grapple hook, which features in the comic the pack comes with. There's also a projectile of some sort that plugs into the trooper's rifle, but I managed to misplace it while getting the figure out. It was taped in, but I undid the tape, left it in the tray, then removed the trooper. So that was my fault. Hopefully it turns up. Aside from the grapple hook, there's nothing new here, but it is a cool army building set.

#30: Star Wars comic pack Clone Trooper and Clone Commander

If you're following Star Wars toys, you may know that the comic packs sub-line is soon going away. That's too bad, because they were a good deal since you get two figures and a comic cheaper than you would have to pay if you bought them separately. It was also a good way to get more obscure characters that might not otherwise have been made. Hasbro will be pulling back on their focus on Extended Universe characters, and probably trying to cut costs, so say goodbye to comic packs. The final wave is hitting stores now, or will be soon, depending on your location. Naturally, they haven't shown up in my area yet. Fortunately for me, I happened to have last Tuesday off, when a tweet from the collecting website Yak Face alerted me that the final wave of comic packs had just been added to the Hasbro webshop, so I checked it out and they were all in stock! I was able to get the packs I wanted. They were sold out a couple hours later, so if I had been at work that day, I would have been out of luck. Due to some uncharacteristically fast shipping on the part of Hasbro, I received these a couple days ago, and I'll be finishing off March by posting out them through the rest of today.

It is probably no surprise to you by now that I will buy just about any clone figure. So of course I went for this set. These are a couple of Kashyyyk troopers with somewhat different camo patterns than were shown in the movie, but since they are based on a comic, that is understandable. The clone commander in this set doesn't actually appear in the comic, but a new type of clone is always welcome. All the troopers in the comic look like the trooper in this set (the figure on the left), although the figure has the amusing quirk of appearing to have no neck. It looks good with the helmet on, fortunately. As far as I can tell, it is a repaint of a Commander Faie figure, with a new head. If you are able to find this, it is a cool set for any clone fan.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

#29: Iron Man Iron Monger

So as I mentioned in my post about the second movie line's Iron Monger, I thought it was too small, and wanted to get the first movie's version, which is quite a bit larger. So I did. Watching the movie, it is hard to tell just how large Iron Monger is exactly, since he's always moving around. Apparently the prop they used on set was about 10 feet tall. In comparison with the second movie's figures, he looks to be about 12 feet tall or so. So he is perhaps a little too large, but I'd rather have him be too large rather than too small. The big feature on this toy is the opening cockpit, which reveals someone that doesn't entirely look like Jeff Bridges within. His head is about as big as Iron Man's helmet, further confirming that this version is a bit too large. In comparison with the newer figure, this one seems to have its proportions off a little. It is nicely articulated and has a nice sense of weight since it's so large. And that does it for any Iron Man related toys for this month.

#28: Iron Man 2 concept series Iron Man Deep Dive Armor

Why does Iron Man need a special underwater suit? Who is he going to fight, Namor? Are there any underwater villains in the Marvel Universe? I guess it doesn't really matter, because I just plain like the design on this figure. It's from the concept series, so I'm guessing he has never worn anything like this in the comics. That's the cool thing about doing an Iron Man line, you can just come up with random variations and it will make complete sense for the character. What I like about this figure is that it isn't just a repaint, or a slight modification with a new accessory, it is a completely new sculpt. It manages to look wildly different from the other armors yet still maintains a visual connection to the more standard armor. The aquatic color scheme is also really cool. Until the next series comes out, I am done with this line. I picked up so many Iron May toys this month that I think I could retroactively dub it Iron March.

#27: LEGO Star Wars Stormtrooper

Here it is, the reason why I got the duplicate Snowtrooper battle pack. Toys R Us was running a promotion that if you spent a certain amount on LEGO Star Wars kits, you could get a free disco trooper. Okay, the pouch it is packaged in refers to it as a Stormtrooper, but I'm calling it a disco trooper due to its resemblance to a disco ball. It is your basic LEGO Stormtrooper, but vac metallized and with the standard markings applied on top of the shiny finish. It's ridiculous and completely non-canon, but it's totally cute and a guaranteed hit with nerds like me. Your plan worked, Toys R Us! These were also apparently being sold by themselves for a couple bucks, but I wasn't at the store myself, so I'm not sure if the store this one came from was also doing that. I would have just ordered one myself from the Toys R Us website, but by the time I heard about the promotion and was able to check it out, they were sold out. Thanks to James for picking this up for me!

Monday, March 29, 2010

#26: LEGO Star Wars Snowtrooper Battle Pack

I got a second one! Because... well, you'll see why.

#25: Iron Man 2 movie series Iron Man Mark II

During the run of the first movie's line, I skipped the Mark II figure because it was just a Mark III with a different paint job and an extra blaster. Since I'm not planning to get a Mark III in this scale since it is so similar to the Mark IV and VI, I figured I'd go for the Mark II and get one suit with the round unibeam on the chest. I do dig the silver paint job, too. The seams and bolts are made more prominent by paint than they were in the movie, but I don't mind, it makes it look a little more like a prototype, and a bit more low-tech even. One huge improvement over the armors from the first movie line is that the shoulder pieces don't fall off. I almost lost one of the shoulder pieces from my first movie Mark III, which would have been annoying. If they had were removable in these smaller figures, they would be even easier to lose. Since I'm not interested in getting every single variation of the armors, I may be done. I might get the Mark V since it is different from the rest. Then there's the helmet-less Iron Man coming out in the next couple of waves... I might get that. Especially if it includes a removable helmet. We'll see! Until then, this is a cool figure, just like the rest.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

#24: Iron Man 2 movie series Iron Man Mark I

I already have this figure from the first movie's line. I already have the comic version of it from the current line. Now I have this version. What can I say, I really like this line, and this scale. I think I like this version better than the first movie's figure. Like the rest of the line, it's a good figure. I'm glad the flame thrower is detachable, the design team for this line seems to really know what kids like, what us older collectors like, and has been able to make a nice mix. I was curious to see if the website listed on the cards ( works yet, but it is still redirecting to Marvel's site.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

#23: Star Wars Legacy Collection HK-50

I never intended to complete HK-50. I had already gone out of my way to complete HK-47 last year, and this is just a repaint. I also haven't actually played Knights of the Old Republic 2, so I don't really have much knowledge about the HK-50s. But I came to a point where I had an almost fully assembled HK-50 without having tried to complete it. All I needed was an arm. And I do have a weakness for homicidal robots. So I bought the scanning crew guy for the arm. I'm looking at it more along the lines of I bought HK-50 and the scanning crew guy is the bonus. The new paint scheme is pretty nice, as well.

Friday, March 26, 2010

#22: Star Wars Legacy Collection Imperial Scanning Crew

I will admit, I only got this figure for one reason: the included build-a-droid piece. It was a choice between him and a Cloud City guard, and this guy seemed less boring. He also has a cool accessory. I guess. While the Millennium Falcon is docked aboard the Death Star, this is one of the two guys that Vader sends aboard to scan for lifeforms. They are seen carrying aboard a big crate. Whatever this boxy thing is, it's not that crate. Maybe it is what's inside that crate. I'm not sure. It has wheels on the bottom!

Despite my enthusiasm for collecting Imperial troopers, my interest apparently draws the line at guys in jumpsuits. I would never have given this figure a second thought if not for his droid piece. Your devious plan has worked, Hasbro. Fortunately, it is a well done figure. It's well sculpted and has all the articulation you expect from a Star Wars figure these days. He has a functional holster, which I always dig. Too bad it's such an inessential character. He does have cool sideburns, at least.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

#21: Iron Man 2 movie series War Machine

While I previously expressed disdain for movie War Machine's giant missile launcher, upon closer examination, I decided that it looks okay as long as the projectile is left out. So, I got one. In general, I like the movie aesthetic better than the comic look anyway. None of that silly muscular shaped armor here.

-The big goofy gun has an ammo belt that plugs into it on one end, and into the back on the other end. It is too stiff to plug into both at the same time, as well as not plugging in very securely. I kind of cheated it for the picture.
-The shoulder armor flips up to allow you to move the arms forward, otherwise they can only lift up to the side. This looks really bad, and comic War Machine also does this.
-The left leg is bent out at a bad angle, but I'm pretty sure that's limited to just this specimen. It's hard to say, as it's the only one I saw in the store.

Complaints aside, it is otherwise pretty cool. Like the comic version, both of the weapons can be folded back behind the shoulders, which is a cool feature.

It seems like all my figures from this line (except the Mark VI) are all shades of grey and silver.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

#20: Iron Man 2 movie series Mark VI Iron Man

So far, the Iron Man 2 line seems plentiful in stores, so for the most part you can find whichever figure you're looking for. I was thinking I'd like a movie style Iron Man in this scale, so I decided to go with the Mark VI which is apparently going to be the most advanced suit Tony Stark wears in the upcoming movie. Sure, I have the similarly styled "Extremis" Iron Man figure from the Marvel Universe line, but these movie figures seem to be of a higher quality (and lower price!) than their MU counterparts. Speaking of price, these figures are on sale for $5.99 at Target this week.

There are two versions of the Mark VI figures, this one, and one that has a light up chest. Really, it's just supposed to be the unibeam on its chest that lights up, but in practice the entire chest glows. I decided to stick with the basic version. As we've come to expect from the figures in this line, it's high quality stuff. I think it would be nice if the left hand had a swivel joint so he could point his repulsors at something without lifting his entire arm up, but that's not a major complaint. The big missile launcher is of course removable, which is fortunate. I'm really digging this line, so I'm curious just how many more I'll end up with through its run.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

#19: Star Wars Legacy Collection Stormtrooper

Not surprisingly, I have a few Stormtroopers in my collection. And yet, this one is unique in my collection. All the other Stormies I have with plain white armor have removable helmets, while this one does not. This guy isn't attached to any particular wave, but is one of the figures included to fill up case packs, and this particular Stormie includes the right arm of HK-50 (now I only need the left arm to complete it!), so he's shipping with the Empire Strikes Back figures. In my book, it's hard to have too many Stormtroopers in your collection, so it's always nice to add another, especially if it is unique within your troopers.

My local Target has lowered its prices on Star Wars figures back down to 6.99, which is a welcome change. I don't know if this is a chain-wide change or just local, but it's worth noting. From what I've seen, Hasbro figures in general seem to be going down a little in price, except for Marvel Universe figures. Hopefully they catch up with this trend as well.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

#18: Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Divebomb

Remember Ransack? Divebomb is a repaint of him. I may be willing to buy just about any repainted clone trooper that Hasbro puts out, but when it comes to Transformers, I'm usually not so keen on buying repaints. In this case, I dig the new color scheme so much that it is an easy sell for me. Although Divebomb is not the same kind of plane as the one the Red Baron flew, it is similar enough that it is a completely obvious repaint for this mold. On Ransack, the Decepticon symbol was combined with an iron cross, a really cool piece of design which unfortunately wasn't replicated here. One advantage of having two versions of the same mold is that it allows you to display both the robot mode and the vehicle mode at the same time. Divebomb is definitely going to be displayed in vehicle mode.

Monday, March 15, 2010

#17: Marvel Universe Thor

Hey, it's Thor! Remember that movie "Adventures In Babysitting"? I think that's the only reason I care about Thor. I was thinking about getting the comic pack Thor, which has his more classic outfit, but I decided to save a few bucks and not get stuck with a figure for a character I'm completely unfamiliar with. So I got the Thor with a costume I'm unfamiliar with. Either way, it does look pretty cool. His face has a lot of personality. By which I mean it looks kind of funny. Maybe that's the way they draw him these days, but I think his face looks more barbarian than Norse god. More befitting a god is his size: he's pretty tall, about as tall as the MU Hulk figure. Aside from a display stand, Thor comes with the only accessory he could need, his trusty hammer Mjolnir. He's a pretty neat figure, and he can even stand up without the stand despite the big cape.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

#16: Star Wars Legacy Collection Zuckuss

I'm pretty sure I've never had a Zuckuss before. I know they made one in the 90s, but I think it's a figure I missed out on. Anyway, with this being the 30th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back, I have been struck with a sudden desire to get the bounty hunters from the movie. So that just leaves 4-LOM, Dengar, Bossk, and IG-88 to go. The first thing you may notice about this figure is its flaring skirt. I need to play around with it some more to get it to lie more flat, which I hope it can do. That looks kind of ridiculous. You can't tell from the picture, but Zuckuss is short. We're talking Princess Leia short here. Wookieepedia says he is only 1.5 meters tall, so that is true to the character. Overall it's a good figure, just right for Boba Fett to make a fool of like in the Bounty Hunter trilogy of books (fun reads!).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

#15: LEGO City BBQ Stand

I went to the LEGO store with James last week, and helped him fill his bucket of bricks Tetris style, and as thanks he offered to buy one of the small sets for me. It was either this or something from Atlantis, and the idea of being able to feed my LEGO Imperial and clone troopers won out. It's a nice little set, and the grill works pretty well for being so simple. And there's a LEGO chef. With a ridiculously oversized drumstick. That's my favorite part of the set.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

#14: Iron Man 2 comic series Iron Man (Mark I armor)

This is it, the original Iron Man suit of armor as it appeared in the comics. It's not the first figure to be made based on the design, but by the time I started paying attention to Marvel Legends, it was already long gone. I already have the movie version from the first movie's line, so although they have released it in the smaller scale, I think I can pass. I definitely wanted to pick up the comic version, though. Like Iron Monger, I dig its retro aesthetic, which in this case is genuine since it's a 60s creation.

The figure itself is really cool, and does a good job of adapting the look to toy form. Particularly cool is the paint work, which does a good job of representing beat up old metal. On the front, anyway. The back looks relatively clean. It also comes with a detachable repulsor blast. Even though the song isn't exactly about Iron Man, this version is what comes into my mind whenever I hear it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

#13: Iron Man 2 movie series Iron Monger

The first time around, for whatever reason I never got an Iron Monger figure. Now I have corrected that omission. I really dig the design of movie Iron Monger because even though it is high tech, it still has a sort of retro feel to it. It wouldn't look too out of place terrorizing small town America in a 50s sci-fi drive in epic. It looks good and it moves well. Also, it's probably the bulkiest figure in the entire line. Although it is big, it also brings up my only complaint: that it's too small. Movie Iron Monger is pretty towering, and so to be in scale with the rest of this line should be... well, it should be the 6 inch figure from the first movie's line. I think I'm going to have to pick one of those up. Aside from the scale issue, I really like this figure, and even if I end up with two, I don't regret picking this one up.

Monday, March 8, 2010

#12: Iron Man 2 Comic Series War Machine

Like last year's Wolverine movie line, this year's Iron Man 2 movie line will feature figures based on the movie and comics. I decided to get the comic version of War Machine, mainly because the weapons over his shoulders don't have a missile launching feature, and consequently don't look so goofy. Also those blast effects are removable, which is as always a cool feature.

It's a pretty sturdy figure so even though it comes with a stand it doesn't really need it. The figures in this line have unusual stands that are meant to also hold the three included cards. It's one regular card with two transparent plastic cards with different pieces of the armor printed on them. When you put them together, you get a full picture. You can probably even mix and match between different sets.

Anyway, the figure itself is well made. It's got articulation where you'd want there to be, and the joints all feel like they'll hold a pose well. The sculpt is a good one, and the paint is a nice mix of shiny and dull finishes. I'm not necessarily interested in picking up version after version of Tony Stark in armor, so the addition of War Machine to the movie and consequently the toy line is welcome.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

#11: Star Wars Legacy Collection Luke Skywalker (snowspeeder pilot)

Aside from this Luke figure, I've already got five or six others already. So, why another, especially since I have a similarly outfitted X-Wing pilot version of Luke? The answer is simple: the AT-AT. We all know it's coming out, and I intend to get one, I even set aside money from my tax refunds for it. I want to have Luke hanging off the bottom of it, and this is just the Luke for the job.

Fortunately, it is a good figure aside from fulfilling a very small niche in my collection. Although Hasbro could have easily reused parts from the X-Wing pilot version of Luke, this is an all new figure. Underneath his helmet is a new headsculpt complete with headsock, which even manages a decent likeness. Oddly enough, this is probably the only Luke figure that comes without an ignited lightsaber. That's kind of funny, especially considering that the medical frigate Luke figure had one even though he had just lost his lightsaber. This Luke merely has the hilt. He also comes with the requisite harpoon gun for hanging off the AT-AT with. The only other thing you could ask for here is a thermal detonator. With a completely new sculpt and two other weapons, that's on oversight that is easy to overlook because this is a good figure.
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