Sunday, May 30, 2010

#48: Star Wars Legacy Collection Snowtrooper

On the same trip to Target that I got the Stormtrooper, I also got the Snowtrooper. If you've been reading this blog long enough, you may recall that I think Snowtroopers are pretty damn cool, so I don't mind picking up more. My AT-AT will need a crew, after all!

Friday, May 28, 2010

#47: Star Wars Legacy Collection Stormtrooper

Target has Star Wars figures at $4.99 right now. And there was a Stormtrooper on the pegs. So, why not? One can never have too many Stormtroopers.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

#46: The Dark Knight Two-Face

Remember a couple years ago when The Dark Knight came out? Remember how there was a five inch line, and a more collector oriented line of six inch figures? They are still putting out figures for that line, and so we finally get Two-Face! The more recent figures were going to be a exclusive, but ended up being a shared exclusive with Toys R Us. I happened to have the day off on Matty's May sale date, so I decided to order a Two-Face, figuring it wouldn't sell out instantly, like the MOTUC figures. It took five minutes of the dreaded reload screen before I could add the figure to my cart, then a few more before I could complete the checkout. But I got the figure I wanted, so I was happy. Then I realized that the Toys R Us website was also selling Two-Face. For less (and they don't gouge customers on shipping as much as Matty does). So I quickly ordered one from Toys R Us and sent Matty an e-mail request to cancel my order. Fortunately it got through in time to stop my order before it had shipped. I've heard horror stories about customer service with the company that handles Matty's sales, but my experience was good at least.

The figure itself is pretty okay. The facial likeness isn't perfect, but it's there. Alas, there is a misassembled part. The lower part of the right bicep is on backwards. Because of this, his arm won't bend as far forward as the other one will, but it's not something that is too easily noticeable unless you're really looking. You can tell by looking because the arm doesn't line up right, and the seam on the sleeve is on the wrong side. It may be something that can be fixed, but I'm not sure if I want to mess around with popping limbs apart. Ideally, he would include a gun and a coin, but he doesn't have any accessories in his own scale. Instead, we get this:

A life-sized double sided coin, just like Harvey's in the movie. This is a pretty cool pack in. The Two-Face figure for Batman Forever came with a similar coin, but this one is much cooler looking. This has been appropriately weathered so that it looks like it has been through a lot. Unfortunately, some of the weathering on the defaced side is starting to peel off, you can see the big bright spot on the picture. Other than that, it's cool.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

#45: G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra Destro

I was at Target the other day, and they had their G.I. Joe movie figures on clearance (again), so I was looking through them in vain hopes of something interesting showing up. It was a bunch of Destros, Baronesses, Neo-Vipers, and Dukes, just like it has been for a while now. As I was looking at Destro, it struck me that he is an oddity in that while it is ostensibly a film version of Destro, this figure does not reflect his appearance at any point during the movie. I already have the movie accurate version (the SDCC exclusive from last year), but I think this existentially questionable Destro is pretty cool too.

The way his head is painted, it looks like a person wearing a mask, which is what I think we were all expecting him to be in the movie. A deliberate campaign of misinformation on Hasbro's part? I can't say. It seems more likely that they worried a dude in a suit wouldn't be a good seller, so they came up with something else for the main antagonist of the movie. The design is pretty cool, he looks both well dressed and ready for action. Also, he's wearing jodhpurs, which lets you know he's evil. Seriously, who wears jodhpurs except for villains these days? I think this Destro would make a good base for customizing a Red Skull, if one were so inclined. He's also well armed, as befits a successful arms dealer of Destro's stature. He's got one big gun that splits into two guns which can attach to the side of his thighs, as well as another gun that can attach the same way, and a pistol that fits in his chest holster. And the ridiculously oversized projectile launcher that I think is supposed to be a flamethrower.

This version of Destro may not reflect his actual appearance in the movie, but it is a cool version of Destro. He was an even better value since I got him cheap.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Zartan Zaturday!

Today is Zartan Zaturday, by decree of Bubbashelby, webmaster of Toyriffic!

Zartan is of course everybody's favorite swamp dwelling Aussie mercenary biker gang leader. Okay, probably the only one. Here's a zany Zartan anecdote for you: when I was a kid, although the facial markings are more Alice Cooper, Zartan reminded me of Ozzy Osbourne. Due to the animation of the cartoon, I always thought his hood looked like hair, and I was too young to appreciate the finer distinctions between an Australian accent and Ozzy's mumbling English accent. I'm not sure how I even knew about Ozzy when I was so young, but it was probably from watching MTV. This was when they would only show music videos.

Anyway. I never had a Zartan figure as a kid, but I have one from the recent retro-tastic G.I. Joe line that the movie line has replaced. So here's Zartan doing what he does best, infiltrating the enemy through his mastery of clever disguise.

"Nice abs Duke, have you been working out?"

"Snake Eyes, it is me, your sworn enemy Storm Shadow! Now we must fight to the death!"


"TK-421, aren't you a little tall for a Stormtrooper?"

"Execute Order 66."

"Aw, crap."

For more Zartan Zaturday fun, check out the following blogs:

(Zartan Zaturday graphic by Shawn of Branded In The 80s)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

#44: DC Universe Classics vs Masters of the Universe Classics Luthor and Skeletor

Previously I was able to get the Superman and He-Man two pack from Toys R US. Of course, you can't have a hero without a villain, so I wanted to get Luthor and Skeletor as well. Again, thanks to James I was able to get my hands on this Toys R Us exclusive DCUC/MOTUC set.

I've always dug the power armor look for Lex Luthor, since I had the Super Powers Luthor figure way back when, and that's what he was wearing. This Luthor figure is a re-release of the DC Superheroes version that came out a few ago. Since he wasn't Superman, he was pretty hard to find, and I only saw him on the shelf once. It's a cool figure, and I have been wanting to get my hands on one, so I'm glad this set came out. If it hadn't there's an upcoming Luthor/Supergirl two pack that I was considering, although I have no interest in a Supergirl figure. The first release of this figure had a gun that a piece of kryptonite fit into, and this version instead has four differently colored pieces of kryptonite: the standard green, red, blue, and gold.

Skeletor here is pretty great. The comic book style coloring definitely works in its favor here. See, the regular Skeletor release has the green shadows or whatever on the face, just as the original toy did. As a kid, that always bothered me because it didn't match the cartoon, which I held at the highest level of He-Canon. So as far as I'm concerned, this is the best version of the MOTUC Skeletor figure. Unlike his nemesis He-Man, he can actually stay standing, which is another huge mark in his favor. I only wish he had his ram's head staff, but he didn't have it in the comic, so of course it's not included here. I can always borrow that from my 200X Skeletor.

Of the two DCUC/MOTUC two packs, I would say that this one is better for character selection alone, although both are worth picking up if you're trying to avoid the ordeal of ordering through Mattycollector. I only hope that Mattel will release more MOTUC figures to retail in the future because these figures are cool and deserve to be more readily available.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

#43: Star Wars SDCC exclusive Stormtrooper Commander

It is a coincidence, but here is another figure from The Force Unleashed. Hey, don't I already have one of these? Why yes, yes I do. But this one was free! My brother is moving soon, and I guess he's getting rid of some figures he doesn't want because he asked if I would like to have this figure and another one I already have (Tycho Celchu). I'll never turn down a free Stormtrooper, especially if it's an exclusive version that's no longer available. I like the design of the stripes on the armor, so it is a welcome addition, even though I already have one. That's the beauty and the curse of armored figures like this.

Monday, May 10, 2010

#42: Star Wars Legacy Collection The Force Unleashed Figure Pack (2 of 2)

I got the first set, so of course I had to get the second set. It didn't hurt that they split up the characters I wanted into both sets, which I am sure was intentional. Fortunately, Toys R Us was doing a buy one, get the second 1/2 off sale for Star Wars toys at the time, so I was able to save some money.

The jumptrooper is another repaint from the original round of Force Unleashed figures, and it fixes a glaring flaw in the original. See, these guys have rocket packs, and in the game they fly around making nuisances of themselves. But the first figure had no rocket pack. This new version corrects that omission with a detachable Fett style rocket pack. Otherwise, it's a pretty cool figure, and an interesting variation on Stormtrooper armor.

The version of Starkiller in this set is from the Bespin level, and he's wearing some Mandalorian armor. Although he doesn't have a helmet in the game, it is included here. I'm not sure if the torso and legs are new sculpts, but the arms are definitely reused. The hands are clearly meant to be gloves, as they have cloth wrinkles sculpted on, but they are painted as bare flesh here. It's not something you would notice without looking closely, so it's not too big a deal. Wow, he looks short.

Probably the main selling point for this set is PROXY, Starkiller's training droid. He was one of the main characters that didn't receive a figure during the first wave of Force Unleashed figures, so his inclusion here is something I've been looking forward to. He turned out pretty well, and does a good job of reflecting his appearance in the game.

The Felucian warrior is another repaint, of the figure that came with the Felucian rancor originally. I already have that, so it's nothing too exciting. The color scheme here does match the war paint on the rancor better, though. The Felucians are really weird looking, so it makes for an interesting alien figure.

Hey, it's another shadow Stormtrooper, just like the one in the other set. In the preview images that showed up before these sets were actually on sale, it looked as if the shadow Stormies would be different from each other, one with more color to it, and one more clear. But hey, I like it, so I don't mind that they are both the same.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Movie time!

I've been looking forward to this for a while now. So for today, make mine Marvel! Excelsior!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

#41: Star Wars Legacy Collection The Force Unleashed Figure Pack (1 of 2)

When The Force Unleashed came out a couple years ago, most of the figures based on it had been in and out of stores months beforehand, thanks to the game itself being delayed. Fortunately, I was able to get all of them, because it was one of the few times I ordered an entire case of figures to make sure I got all of them. The game itself turned out to be cool, if a bit repetitive in its gameplay. But when that gameplay involves zapping Stormtroopers with Force lightning and hacking at them with a lightsaber, it's not too bad. Of course, there were plenty more figures to be made from the game, and eventually we got two multipacks that are exclusive to Toys R Us. Both sets follow a similar format of : a trooper made up for the game, a companion, Starkiller in a different costume, a non-Imperial enemy from the game, and a shadow Stormtrooper.

The Imperial EVO trooper was one of the figures from the first assortment of TFU figures, and this version is a repaint. It's supposed to be a trooper with armor designed to withstand extreme conditions, so it's basically a Stormtrooper's cousin. I'm not sure what tan camo on white armor is good for, maybe a desert. But it's a cool figure, with too many guns. It has the big flechette cannon and twin blasters with nowhere to store them.

There was also a Juno Eclipse figure the first time around, but it was dressed in a standard Imperial officer uniform, which she doesn't really wear in the game. Now this figure corrects that, so she is wearing the outfit she actually spends most of the game in. Somehow, I don't think showing that much cleavage is standard Imperial protocol, but she was answering directly to Vader, so there's probably some leeway. It's nice to have a figure that properly reflects the character's in game appearance. Except that they forgot to paint the back of her hands flesh colored, which they did on the first figure. Maybe I can swap the hands.

Galen Marek, or Vader's secret apprentice, or as I prefer, Starkiller, is the main character of the game. He has a new outfit in every level, so he is readymade for multiple figures. There was already an Evolutions set featuring him, so this is the fourth figure for him. It has been a while since I played the game, but I think this is the outfit he wore on Raxus Prime the first time he visited. Fortunately, the likeness of the face looks better than the previous figures, and I think it's a pretty cool design on the outfit. The big scarf doesn't limit the arm movement too much, so he's not going to be lifting his arms straight up.

Early in the game, you encounter one of the few remaining Jedi, who is attacking an Imperial facility with his own personal militia. This figure is one of the militia's elite, and is most interesting to me for his design which points towards future rebel alliance soldiers. It's actually a cooler figure than I was expecting. Unfortunately, the pieces or armor on his shoulder are easily removable, and I accidentally lost one while I was removing the figure from its packaging. It's a tiny piece of plastic and I have not had any luck in locating it yet, but I hope it turns up.

The final figure for the set is a shadow Stormtrooper. In the game, they have personal cloaking devices and shields, so they are a little more annoying to fight than the standard Stormie. This figure is presumably cloaked, so it is cast in mostly clear plastic, with some highlights painted on. It's similar to the holographic figures that are cast in blue plastic, but this is the first time I know of that a Stormtrooper has been given the clear treatment. It's pretty cool, and makes for a different trooper. It's the now standard Stormtrooper body with a non-removable helmet, so you know it is quality.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

#40: Star Wars Legacy Collection Willrow Hood

Today is Star Wars Day! May the 4th be with you! I went to Target today, and thought that picking him up would be a nice way to commemorate the day.

Willrow Hood, better known as the ice cream maker guy, is a testament to just how deep the Star Wars line of figures is. Some might think it's a bad thing that Hasbro is willing to make figures based on characters so obscure, but I think it's great that they've been able to go into such depth with character selection. I'd rather have all sorts of random, obscure characters than endless variations of the main characters, like "beach time fun Darth Vader" or something like that. Of course, there are obscure characters, and then there are obscure characters like Willrow Hood here. He appears onscreen very briefly during Empire, running through a hallway carrying an odd piece of equipment. Apparently it looks like some sort of ice cream maker, which is how he got his nickname. The official story here is that he was a rebel agent, and he was taking a computer memory core with him, but whatever. He's Ice Cream Maker Guy.

One of the cool things about this figure is that there was a sizable online campaign by fans to get a figure made of the character despite resistance from the powers that be on Hasbro's Star Wars team. I suspect it initially was some sort of joke, but it grew from there, and now we have a figure of one of the most obscure characters in a line with a lot of obscure characters. The figure itself is up to the standards of any other super articulated Star Wars figure, and is probably the only one with a potbelly. Naturally, the ice cream maker is included, and in a neat touch, the rebel insignia is carved on the bottom. He also has a blaster, because kids like their figures to be action oriented!

Willrow Hood watches his moment of cinematic triumph.
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