Wednesday, June 30, 2010

#59: Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Bludgeon

There are some Transformers I like because I remember them fondly from my childhood. Some I like just because I think they are cool. Some are just so insane that I can't resist, and Bludgeon mostly falls into that category. My exposure to Transformers media as a child was limited to the cartoon, so I missed out on all the comic stories and characters, including Bludgeon. The original Bludgeon toy was a Pretender: a little transforming robot inside a human shell. Well, in this case not human exactly, more of a skeleton wearing samurai armor. The inner robot turned into a tank. Now for the 21st century, we have an update that is pretty faithful to the original: a tank that turns into a robot mode that looks like a skeletal samurai. That's basically enough to make me want one. I haven't seen this in the stores yet, but I was able to get one from Hasbro's webshop, on sale for 5 bucks off. I'm kind of surprised they made him a Voyager class figure, but it's cool that he's got a big figure since he was so prominent in the comics. The toy itself is pretty cool. The swords can be stowed on his back, or at his waist. I think having such an oddball character really allowed the designers to have fun, and it shows. Even though it's in the movie line, it doesn't look too much like the movie's aesthetic of weird gangly robots, so I think it has a good look. If you can find one, I'd recommend picking up Bludgeon.

#58: A-Team van

Like most children of the 80s, I was a fan of the A-Team. Like many hit TV series, the A-Team was recently updated with a new film version, which I have not yet seen. Fortunately, someone decided it would be a good idea to make a toyline based on the movie. You can't have A-Team figures without the van, or you really shouldn't, so as I was looking forward to picking this up as soon as it was announced. The figures themselves are skippable, so I'm only getting the van. As a companion to my DeLorean, I'm getting a nice garage of cool 80s vehicles for my figures to ride.

The van is pretty cool. It looks like you'd want it to. The wheels turn, the front doors open. There's a sliding door on the side that opens as well. There is seating for four figures. There's also a sound effects and voice feature, but I haven't tried it out yet. It requires unscrewing a compartment and adding batteries, but I'm not so excited to hear whatever sounds it makes. I would have been totally cool if they had left that out, which might have made it cheaper. At 25 bucks, I think it's a little overpriced. But this may be the only chance to own an A-Team van that's the right size for Han Solo to drive. If you can pick this up on sale, I'd say it's a definite buy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

#57: Mario Kart micro remote control Mario

This year, I only received one birthday gift that was a toy, and here it is. Thanks, James! This line is a Target exclusive, and I don't think I've seen them on sale since around Christmas, so you may be out of luck if you're inspired to go looking for them. It's hard to tell from the picture, but this is pretty small. Fortunately, batteries are included, so I was able to take it for a test run on the kitchen floor. It went faster than I expected, which was a nice surprise. The banana and red shell obstacles are nice accessories. The banana might make a cool hat for another figure.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

#56 Hot Wheels '40s Woodie

I am still in the habit of checking out the Hot Wheels section because I am on the lookout for that Brave and the Bold version of the Batmobile. I'm not sure if that is still an upcoming release or if I have just missed it. Recently, I have been seeing some new cars showing up on the pegs, and the Woodie was one of them. I've always thought woodies were cool, given the unusual wood siding from which they get their name. I had a Hot Wheels woodie before, but if I remember correctly it was different from this one, with no surfboards on the roof and a bright pink paint job. Really though, this was an impulse buy. Frustrated by the continued absence of the later waves of Iron Man 2 toys, I picked this up to avoid going home empty handed yet again. For less than a buck, it's a cool little car, so I don't regret buying it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

#55: Star Wars Legacy Collection BG-J38

The best thing about the Legacy Collection was its pack in gimmick: droid pieces. They are much cooler than little holographic figures or coins. You can mix and match the pieces to come up with weird combinations, and you can get droids that are unlikely to get made otherwise. The final Legacy Collection droid is BG-J38, which is a unique mold and only available in this wave. I had to look up where this droid comes from, and it a resident of Jabba's palace, so I guess it shows up in the background of some shot during Return of the Jedi. The buildable droids were mostly astromechs or protocol droids, so it is cool to get such an oddball looking droid. This one is particularly distinctive with its spindly limbs and insectile appearance. I really like how odd this droid looks, it definitely will stick out.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

#54: Star Wars Legacy Collection Shaak Ti

The final regular figure of the Expanded Universe wave is Shaak Ti as she appeared in the video game The Force Unleashed. Many years after the fall of the Republic, she has been on the run from the Empire, ending up on the planet Felucia. Naturally she is no longer wearing her Jedi robes, instead opting for some sort of living in the wild ensemble. Either that, or she's dressed for the nightlife of lower Coruscant. Shaak Ti was really cool in the original Clone Wars series, so I've always liked her since then. I have the standard version of her, and it's cool to have this version as well. She's completely new, even her head is a different sculpt, with her lekku in different positions. This is a very well done figure, and as the final regular figure in the line, a nice send off to the Legacy Collection. I'm looking forward to the Vintage line hitting stores in the next couple of months!

Friday, June 18, 2010

#53: Star Wars Legacy Collection Jaina Solo

Completing the set of twins is Jaina Solo. Unlike her twin, she doesn't get any oddball accessories, just her lightsaber. Which is pink, for some reason. It's my understanding that she normally carries a purple lightsaber. I'm not sure what appearance the outfit is based on, but it is nicely reminiscent of a classic Jedi outfit, which is fitting for a post Imperial Jedi. The face isn't as pretty as illustrations of her tend to be, but that is hard to pull off on figures this size so I'm not complaining. The hairstyle is very Leia-esque in that it is long brown hair with some random braiding. It hangs loosely enough that it doesn't hinder her head movement too much.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

#52: Star Wars Legacy Collection Jacen Solo

Although Leia never showed much Force talent in the movies, she still had the potential, so of course here kids grew up to be powerful Jedi. Jacen was the second born of Han and Leia's twins, whose life in some ways mirrored that of his grandfather Anakin. This figure is based on Jacen's younger heroic days during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. Apparently Jacen is the Star Wars version of Dr Doolittle, as he can communicate with animals, which is demonstrated by this figure wearing Vong amphistaffs as armor. I do seem to remember that happening in one of the books, so although it looks kind of goofy, it is cool that they are throwing in obscure nods to the source material. Weirdo accessories aside, it's a pretty good figure. A lot of the cover illustrations depicted Jacen wearing a brown jumpsuit which allowed Hasbro to re-use parts of Bespin Luke's molds. The illustrations I've seen of Jacen's face have been all over the place, but I like how it turned out for this figure. I think he actually looks like he could be related to Harrison Ford.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

#51: Star Wars Legacy Collection Spacetrooper

Another all new figure in the expanded universe wave is the Spacetrooper, which I guess showed up mostly in the comic adaptation of the Zahn trilogy. Whatever, it's a big crazy looking Stormtrooper, so I dig it. The hands look like they are sculpted to hold guns, but none are included. I don't know if the figure was intended to come with guns, or if that's just so that you can have it hold guns from other figures. As it is, the only accessory is a removable jetpack. It's a cool figure, but it seems like the helmet could stand to have some more black on it. It seems a little plain, especially since a standard Stormtrooper helmet has more markings on it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

#50: Star Wars Legacy Collection K'Kruhk

The next figure in the final Legacy Collection wave is K'Kruhk, a Whiphid Jedi. He's apparently been quite prolific in the expanded universe, but I only know him from the original Clone Wars cartoon (he's one of the Jedi that gets a severe trouncing from Grievous). Apparently he usually wears a hat, so a lot of fans are upset that it's not included. He didn't wear a hat in the cartoon, so I really could not care less about its exclusion. As far as I can tell, it's a completely new figure, and it's also really tall. He's about the same height as the Dark Trooper I posted about yesterday, but not so thin, so he looks more imposing. He's well articulated, and his robe is removable. K'Kruhk is another really cool figure, so it's a shame he won't be easy to find if you're looking for him.

Monday, June 14, 2010

#49: Star Wars Legacy Collection Dark Trooper Phase I

It's here, the end of the Legacy Collection! The final wave is composed of expanded universe characters, and is sure to be popular with collectors. So of course, it is very hard to find. Last year, when the Legacy Collection transitioned out of the Stromtrooper helmet cardbacks to the current look, the final wave (with fan favorite HK-47) was hard to find, and so I pre-ordered it from an internet shop. This year was even more unkind to the final wave, being produced in even smaller numbers, so that it was exclusive to Toys R Us and web retailers. I wanted to get all of the figures in this wave, and the build a droid is pretty cool too, so I pre-ordered a case from Entertainment Earth.

The first figure from the wave is the Phase I Dark Trooper from the classic game Dark Forces. While not as imposing as the final Dark Trooper design, the Phase I is pretty tall, about the same height as a Wookiee figure. Its skeletal frame, combined with the exposed piping (or hosing) definitely gives it the look of something that's not quite finished. So basically, it looks really cool. I think it could give any Separatist battle droid a run for its money in a fight. The vibrosword and shield are both removable, in case you want it to fight hand to hand. Of course, it has all the articulation that is the standard for Star Wars figures. Aside from very dark red eyes, it's only two colors, and overall it's a cool look. It's always nice to get a completely new figure, and when it comes out this well on the first attempt, that is another bonus. This figure is really cool, and it's too bad that it's so hard to find. If you have a Kyle Katarn figure, this will give it another enemy to fight.

Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup!

Today marks the first day of the World Cup, the world's most watched sporting event. To honor the beginning of the month long tournament, here's a picture I took a while back.

Portu Troops

I would like the US to win, of course, but my favorite team is Portugal.
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