Friday, July 23, 2010

#65: Bioshock 2 Big Daddy

As I mentioned in my entry about the Little Sisters, Rapture can be a dangerous place, so the Big Daddies were created to protect the Little Sisters. Grafted into armored diving suits, and mentally conditioned to protect the Little Sisters, the Big Daddies are not someone you want to face in a fight. Probably the most recognizable of the Big Daddies are the Bouncers, and fittingly they were chosen to be the first figure produced for the Bioshock line.

Without anything to provide scale in this picture, it is hard to tell but the Bouncer is massive. It isn't just tall, it's wide and thick, with a nice heft to it. No cheap rotocast plastic from NECA, apparently. Accordingly, it is a few dollars more than the other figures in the line, but it's worth it. The articulation is a little more plentiful here, enough to vary the stance a bit, and rearrange the arms. With all that weight, it's probably for the best that the leg articulation isn't more extensive, but it should remain standing. It would be cool if the drill bit could spin, but hardly necessary. The sculpt on this is great, it's very detailed, and the paint job does a good job of bringing out the detail.

There's just something about this figure. I really, really like it. Unlike the other figures I have from this line, I think it would make a good addition to any collection regardless of whether you are familiar with the game it's from.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

#64: DC Universe Classics Fists of Clay

DCUC's precursor, DC Super Heroes, was basically focused on Batman, Superman, and their associated characters. Like DCUC, it was pretty hard to find the figures, perhaps even harder in the later waves. Clayface was originally released in the DCSH line, and the only time I ever saw one was when I picked one up for my roommate. These days, it's hard to find, and expensive when you do. Fortunately, they did a re-release in this two pack. Unfortunately, they included this ridiculous Batman, so paying 30 bucks seemed like kind of a rip-off. Eventually, I found one on sale online for 15 bucks, and I figured that's a good price, so I went for it.

Clayface is pretty interesting. He has a really cool sculpt that makes him look very fluid. He's very strongly influenced by the animated version of the character, I can definitely imagine Ron Perlman's voice coming out of his mouth. It's a very top heavy figure, and the feet are kind of small, but it seems to be able to stand on its own pretty well. My only complaint is about the arms. Rather than the standard plastic, they are soft and rubbery with a bendy wire inside so they can be bent that way. I would have preferred the regular hard plastic and joints, the rubbery stuff feels like it could rip easily.

Batman is a very unfortunate repaint of the DCUC Batman from the first series. It's the black and grey costume, which is cool. But the brown splatters basically ruin it. I get that it's supposed to make him look dirty from fighting Clayface, but it just doesn't work. You don't have to be very immature figure out what a lot of people think the brown splatters look like, but I will leave the jokes about them to your imagination. At least he has a batarang.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

#63: Bioshock 2 Young Eleanor and LIttle Sister

One group of notable residents of Rapture is the Little Sisters. They are young girls implanted with a sea slug, which allows them to produce the valuable ADAM, gaining amazing regenerative powers as a result. As mobile ADAM factories, they spend their days wandering the streets of Rapture, searching for corpses from which they can extract ADAM and ingest it, thus recycling it for further use. Although they are basically invulnerable, they can be killed by removing the surgically implanted sea slugs to get ADAM. Which is exactly what the Splicers would like to do. That's where the Big Daddies come in...

Eleanor Lamb, daughter of Bioshock 2's main antagonist Sophia Lamb, became a Little Sister while her mother was in jail. Eventually she is rehabilitated, and she is only shown as a Little Sister in the intro to Bioshock 2 which is what this figure represents (a grown up Eleanor figure is one of NECA's SDCC exclusives this year). Naturally, it looks very good. Fortunately, it is better articulated than the larger Splicer figure, and can even stand on its own. Both girls include an ADAM extractor like those they carry in the game. Eleanor also has a Big Daddy doll (NECA also makes a life sized replica) which is a very cool little accessory.

Every other Little Sister in the game looks like the other figure in this set, so I kind of like it more because it's more iconic looking. A two pack of identical Little Sisters would be kind of boring, so it is cool that they included Eleanor as well. However, if you want an army of Little Sisters, it might not be great to have so many extra Eleanor figures.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

#62: Bioshock 2 Ladybird Splicer

So far there are only two games in the series, but I think Bioshock ranks among the great video game franchises of today. Set in a dystopic alternate history art deco underwater city, these games have atmosphere out the wazoo and are populated with memorable characters. So of course I wanted to get some of the toys based on the games.

Most of the enemies you have in the game are splicers. Basically they are people addicted to ADAM, a substance that allows the user to rewrite their genetic code and gain new abilities. Unfortunately, ADAM addiction can lead to insanity and disfigurement/mutations. There are a few character models for splicers, and they show up over and over throughout the game. Judging by the weapons she comes with, this splicer can show up as a thuggish splicer (melee attacks) or a leadhead splicer (shoots you). The thuggish splicers only show up early in the game, so I'm not entirely sure if that's why she comes with a rolling pin, but she definitely shows up as a leadhead with her tommy gun.

NECA did a great job of capturing the character model from the game in all its ugliness. It's all very well sculpted, textured, and painted. That's what NECA does, make great looking figures. Unfortunately, they also make figures that aren't as well articulated as you might hope. The elbows are the unfortunate 45 degree angle swivels. I think it would at least work better if the wrists rotated. The mask is removable, and attaches by a small clip on a lock of hair, so it looks good even without the mask on. Well, looking good being a relative term here, as the face underneath is quite hideous. Also included is a stand, which is necessary in this case. Due to the design of the character (one foot in a high heel, the other some mutated freak hoof) it would be about impossible to get the figure to stay upright without a stand.

So it's a very well done representation of a freaky looking character, with not the best articulation. I think whether you will want one of these or not depends on whether you're a fan of the games.

Monday, July 19, 2010

#61: Transformers Animated Arcee

I think Arcee is the pinkest toy in my collection. Possibly the pinkest thing I own. If you're lucky, you may or may not be able to find an Arcee to pink up your collection as well. As a Toys R Us exclusive, Arcee has been hard to find. Unless you're at the right store. James picked this up for me from a TRU that had a done of Arcees on the pegs, so maybe it is showing up in greater numbers now.

Animated Arcee may be the closest thing we get to a G1 version of Arcee anytime soon, so for that reason alone, she is worth picking up. As always, the Animated line does not disappoint, and Arcee is a cool toy. She turns into some sort of futuristic car that may be of Cybertronian design. Her swords are supposed to stow away in her "backpack" but it's a difficult fit, it would be nice if they had made them fit a little more easily. It's been a while since the last time I got a new Animated figure, and this may well be the last one I ever get.

Monday, July 12, 2010

#60: G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra Mole Pod

So I've been meaning to pick up one of these for a while now. I don't remember exactly when the movie toys started showing up, but it's definitely been a year now. For whatever reason, I didn't get around to actually buying the Mole Pod when it was first released, and then I saw that they were coming out with a repainted version called a Lava Pod. I decided that looked cooler and decided to hold off and get that version. Naturally, that release eventually got cancelled. I saw this on clearance a couple weeks ago at Target, for about 10 bucks, but it wasn't quite low enough to entice me to finally buy a Mole Pod. Today, it was down to less than 8 bucks which is apparently the right spot to inspire my purchasing impulse.

Like all good G.I. Joe vehicles, the Mole Pod has a sticker sheet, allowing you to spruce up your toy with further decoration. Oddly, I noticed that some of the stickers had been removed from the sheet and applied to the Mole Pod already. I was worried that someone had bought it and returned it, but it seemed to be in good shape. I checked the Mole Pod's entry on, and their image gallery showed the sticker sheet with missing stickers too, so I suppose it's like that for every Mole Pod. Which seems really weird. I can't think of any other Joe vehicle that has some stickers from the sheet pre-applied.

The Mole Pod comes with a Terra-Viper to drive it. He's basically a repainted Croc Master, but he looks decent enough. He fits into the cockpit easily, no worries there. Instead of a point like you might expect, the end of the drill has a launching missile. I guess that is more kid safe, and an excuse for a launching missile to be included. What's really cool about the drill is that it rotates as you roll the Mole Pod along the floor or whatever. I think that may be my favorite feature of the toy.
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