Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#133: Hot Wheels Batmobile (Brave and the Bold)

I would say that every time Hot Wheels puts out a Batmobile, I will feel compelled to buy it, but that's not true. In the many months I spent looking for this version, they also put out one based on The Batman cartoon. I have seen it in stores multiple times, and I haven't bought it. It's not particularly batty, and almost looks like a regular car. This version, on the other hand, is based on the Batmobile from The Brave and the Bold and is suitably cool looking for my tastes. You look at it, and it's hard to mistake for anything other than Batman's car. This Batmobile seems to be either plentiful or non-existant depending on where you're shopping. I haven't seen one in a store yet, so once again it's thanks to James for finding one for me. Definitely worth picking up if you can find one.

#132: DC Universe Classics Power Girl

During Power Girl's initial release as a Wal-Mart exclusive I was amused that a figure with such prominently displayed cleavage was being sold in the toy aisles for any kid walking by to see. Because of that novelty, I kind of wanted to get one, but not enough to actually buy it. Then she was re-released in the All Stars wave, so my local Target had one. And then I got a free $10 gift card during Black Friday. And at the same time, Target has been running a 50% off sale on DCUC figures. So I was able to buy a Power Girl without actually spending any of my own money. And here she is. Mostly she's a good figure, but she is way too thin. Especially her arms. I don't know if it's Mattel's fault for not paying for a new female body sculpt or what. She got a new chest, forearms and lower legs, why not go all the way on the arms? Of course, I do think the Four Horsemen made the female arms too skinny for any of the female characters in the first place. Maybe it's because the first female DCUC figure released was Harley Quinn, who's more acrobatic than brawny, that every female DCUC figure is cursed with skinny arms.

Monday, November 29, 2010

#131: Star Wars The Clone Wars ARC Troopers

Among clone troopers, those that stand out are the ARC troopers. They're basically the most badass troopers, and they recently showed up in the cartoon. Getting this set was basically a given for me, since I'm so into collecting the clones. I was surprised to see this on the shelf, as I assumed it would be a quick seller. Still, it was the only one on the shelf, and I haven't seen another since, so it's good that I was there at the right time. The first figure in the set is Captain Rex. I already have two versions of him, one of which is very similar to this figure. Nothing exciting for me here, but he does have a different rifle.

The next figure in the set is an ARC trooper commander, but he seems to be based on Captain Fordo from the Clone Wars microseries. You may remember him as the leader of that really cool scene of the assault on Muunilinst. So this is basically a new animation style version of him, down to the double oversized blaster pistols. Apparently, they will be doing a "realistic" version of the character next year in the Vintage line (although for some reason he won't be specifically named on the card), but until then, this is a pretty cool version of the character.

The other two figures in the set are unnamed ARC troopers. They have different paint jobs and shoulder pauldrons, and they both look pretty cool. But what is really interesting about them is that they are wearing Phase II clone armor, which is what the clones were wearing in Revenge of the Sith. As far as I know, these are the first figures in the animated style to wear Phase II armor. Cool.

It's unfortunate that battle packs now come with four figures instead of five, but that is the reality of the situation. Four figures together are still a better value than buying them individually. In this case, even though I already have Rex, the other three figures are cool enough to make the set worth it for me.

#130: LEGO Bullseye

Target apparently likes making gimmicky gift cards; this year they had one that's a voice changer and this one which includes a small LEGO set of their corporate mascot Bullseye. My friend James had picked up a few of these and had some spares so he gave me this set. So basically what you see is what you get with this set. The other side of the dog's head has a regular eye. If you're giving someone a gift card, this is definitely cooler than the regular fare.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

#129: LEGO Toy Story 3 Army Man and Jeep

Like the mini X-Wing LEGO set I posted about a couple days ago, Target also has Toy Story 3 sets in their stocking stuffers section. I have been thinking about getting the four army men and jeep pack, but this is only about a third of the cost, so I picked it up on a whim. By comparison, the larger set has a better jeep and more men so it might be a better overall value. But on the other hand, this was only three bucks. I'm kind of dubious about the jeep itself because it's so simplified, but it works. The army man minifigure here is the real star. It's really cool that they included the little plastic base for the army man, that's nice attention to detail.

#128: Star Wars The Vintage Collection Rebel Commando

I tend to think of rebel forces as not being very exciting figures (although I do like the pilots a bit more), so I don't really have much in the way of nameless rebel troopers. Actually, I think this is my only one.The Imperials have style, and cool armor, so of course I have more of them. But they're mostly blaster fodder anyway. So I definitely wasn't planning on buying this figure, but then I was looking at a photo gallery over at Galactichunter.com, and it looked like it was a pretty cool figure. I happened to see the figure on a peg at Target the very next day, and after wavering on whether to get it or not for a few minutes, I decided to get it. I'm glad I did, because it really is worth having. He's got two blasters (a rifle and a pistol), his helmet and backpack are removable, and his trenchcoat is also removable. I think the trenchcoat is a large part of what I like so much about this figure. A lot of figures in the line have robes or capes which work with varying degrees of success. I'd say this coat is one of the better attempts at this sort of thing, and it even has functional pockets. Cool!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

#127: Star Wars Vintage Collection Gamorrean Guard

I think it's been a while since the last Gamorrean Guard figure. I certainly haven't bought a new one since the 90s. The green pig dudes are a pretty cool design and memorable lackeys from Jabba's palace, so it's definitely a figure I wanted to pick up as soon as I heard about it. And it's a pretty cool toy too. He comes with more weapons than he can hold, two axes and a force pike. The headgear is removable if you've ever wondered what a Gamorreans ears look like (they're small). The furry skirt piece is interesting and kind of sticks out too much. But whatever, because this is a really cool figure. It's definitely worth adding to your collection.

Friday, November 26, 2010

#126: Star Wars Vintage Collection Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight outfit)

Another Return of the Jedi wave, another Jedi Luke figure. I think I've mentioned before that this is my favorite version of Luke due to childhood nostalgia. So of course I feel compelled to get each upgraded version of this figure. Now, I've got three. When I first heard about this version coming out, I didn't realize it was all new, so I figured I'd be able to pass on it. As a likeness, and with proportions in general, this is a definite improvement over the previous versions. It's also the best articulated. Except for the waist (swivel) and neck (ball), every joint is a ball-hinge. The binders from the previous version and an unlit lightsaber are also included. So until they release the next version with a cloak (which is apparently due out next year), this is probably the best Jedi Luke you can buy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

#125: Star Wars Vintage Collection R2-D2

It seems like the Return of the Jedi wave has been my favorite from the Vintage Collection so far, since I've bought every figure except one (spoiler alert: I am not going to get Wooof). For the first time, Artoo has been made into a figure that specifically reflects his time as Jabba's cocktail waiter. So he's got a serving tray (all the cups are removable) and serving arm. His sensorscope is also included and removable, so you can pretend it's a lost-in-the-swamp-on-Dagobah Artoo as well. The spot where the sensorscope plugs in can also be used to store Luke's lightsaber. The third leg can be lowered and raised, and Artoo's computer interface jack can also pop out from his chest. It's cool that this Artoo can serve as either a scene specific figure, or a regular version. Maybe not so good for a young kid, with all the small parts, but it's definitely one of the better Artoos out there.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#124: Star Wars Vintage Collection Wicket

So far, Wicket is the only Ewok figure I've ever owned. Of course, I'm including the original Wicket from a long time ago, so this is my second Wicket. This is probably the cutest Star Wars figure I own. It's hard to beat a man-eating teddy bear with a spear. The headdress is removable, as the figure includes an alternate headdress and satchel that I gather are based on the Ewoks cartoon. It's kind of weird, but I don't remember watching the Ewoks or Droids cartoons. I was definitely of the right age to have watched them, but I remember watching other cartoons like He-Man, GI Joe, and Transformers. Oh well. If I had memories of watching the cartoon, I would perhaps be more excited about the alternate accessories. Wicket was originally planned to be paired with another Ewok in the same card, and I would have preferred that. Either way, this is a really nice looking figure, and definitely worth picking up if you don't have any Ewoks or Wicket in your collection.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#123: Star Wars The Clone Wars Jungle Camo ARF Trooper

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you may remember when I posted a bunch of pictures of this guy's cousin, the standard ARF trooper, for February. Given my tendency to buy pretty much any new clone trooper I can get my hands on, something different is always nice. The ARF trooper is mainly different by its helmet, which makes it reminiscent of the Imperial scout trooper, so I dig it. In this case there is additional camouflage on the armor, a surprising rarity among clone troopers. It's also basically the best articulated clone trooper, with the extra articulated wrists and hips, so it can ride a bike or whatever. A couple years ago, these guys made an appearance in the Clone Wars movie that was shown in theaters. I'm kind of surprised it took so long to get them out, even if they did release a white version previously. But they're finally out, and I'd say worth picking one up for your army.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

#122: Star Wars Vintage Collection Admiral Ackbar

During one of my frequent trips to Target I strolled by the toy aisle as always, and right on the end of a peg was Admiral Ackbar. I wasn't expecting the Return of the Jedi wave to show up yet, so it was a very pleasant surprise. I've been looking forward to the new version of Ackbar for a while, so I immediately grabbed it. This is a well made Admiral Ackbar figure, so it's pretty high on my mental list of the greatest thing ever. If you can find one, you should get one. Right now.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

#121: LEGO Star Wars X-Wing

So I was checking out the Christmas section at Target and in the stocking stuffer section I noticed these tiny LEGO sets. They had some generic city sets (a car, I think) and Star Wars. I passed on this when it was released before, but this time I decided to get one. For three bucks, it's hard to go wrong. Since it's so tiny, it's hardly the most accurate representation of an X-Wing, but it gets the point across. There's even a silver stud to represent the astromech droid behind the cockpit. Cool! If you've ever wanted your own X-Wing squadron but don't have the space and/or money for the larger toys, this could be the way to go.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

#120: Star Wars Vintage Collection Anakin Skywalker

So technically this is a Darth Vader figure, and Hasbro has made a running change to the cards reflecting this. But mine is from an earlier batch, so it's labelled Anakin Skywalker. You can tell it's the Sith version of Anakin because he has the evil eyes. I basically got this because it's an Anakin with all the proper articulation, meaning upgraded elbows. And he has the robe, I haven't bought a robed Anakin before. This one also has a new head as far as I can tell. The hair is a separate piece of plastic glued on to the head, so that gives it an interesting look.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

#119: DC Universe Classics Martian Manhunter

So around the time Martian Manhunter's long awaited figure was announced, I decided I should build a DCUC JLA. Unfortunately, this means I have to wait for a re-release of Wonder Woman or pay way too much for her in the secondary market. I'll be getting an Aquaman from the upcoming DCUC/MOTUC two-pack. So now that I have Martian Manhunter, I'm at 5 of 7 for the team. I dig the green they used for his skin, it's a bright shade that really pops out in comparison with my other DCUC figures. One of the interesting things about this figure is that it uses elongated shins to give it extra height. None of the other body parts are taller, so it does throw off the proportions a bit, although I think the buccaneer boots help hide that. It's pretty much exactly the type of solution I would expect from Mattel. Also, he comes with a button. The picture shows the Martian Manhunter and the Green Lantern... dancing? I'm not sure what's going on, it's probably some sort of action shot, but it's hard to tell with everything else cropped out.
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