Friday, December 31, 2010

#150: Transformers Robots In Disguise Side Burn

Here it is, the final toy of the year, another gift from AJ, a character I've never heard of: Side Burn. The Robots In Disguise line was the line that returned Transformers to vehicle modes after Beast Wars, and Side Burn is a Dodge Viper. Not something that looks like a Dodge Viper, a Dodge Viper, it says so right on the packaging. So, a licensed altmode, neat. Kind of like Alternators, but smaller. Also like Alternators, changing Side Burn to robot mode from his altmode was quite a feat. I got about halfway through and abandoned the instructions as useless and looked at the picture on the card to guide me the rest of the way.

I wasn't expecting to have exactly as many entries this year as I did the previous year. I was actually expecting to have fewer, but I just ended up getting more toys during the last couple months than I thought I would, and here we are. It's kind of mind blowing that I'm getting toys at a rate of about one every 2 and a half days or so. Well, I'll see you all next year. Happy new year!

#149: Transformers Reveal the Shield Special Ops Jazz

I grew up with the original Transformers cartoon and toys, so I am pretty much always going to be a fan of G1 inspired toys in the modern lines. When they repainted movie Jazz in his original color scheme, I almost bought one, but the movie aesthetic was still just too much for me, and I skipped over the Animated version as well. But now Hasbro's finally put out what I consider to be a proper update of the original Jazz. The Reveal the Shield sub-line brings back one of my favorite G1 gimmicks: the rubsign, which we haven't seen since the Classics line a few years ago. It's on the roof hood of the car, which ends up on the robot's back. This version of Jazz has an altmode that's more of a modern street racer than the original Porsche. He also has these speakers that can fold out in either robot or altmode, as well as being attached to his rifle. Neat.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

#148: DC Universe Classics Zatanna

The third Wal-Mart exclusive wave has shown up, and once again there is only one figure that I want to get from it. Perhaps the most distinctive thing about this figure is that it's Mattel's second attempt at actual fishnets. I think they worked a little better on the Black Canary figure, and that is probably because Zatanna's entire legs are otherwise uncovered whereas Black Canary has boots on. Mostly it's on the lower legs and ankles where the fishnets here get all bunched up. For accessories, she gets a magic wand and a hat. Until Harry Potter, this is what I used to think of when I thought of a magic wand. The hat can sit on the head, but it doesn't stay very well, and so far I've had better luck leaving it in the hand.

#147: Star Wars comic pack Baron Soontir Fel and Ysanne Isard

Hasbro recently discontinued the comic pack line for Star Wars, which is too bad because it was a cool way to get characters made that are probably too obscure to be sold by themselves. There were a few left unproduced which have made their way to collectors as convention exclusives, and one last wave that was an Entertainment Earth exclusive. This set is one of the Entertainment Earth exclusives, and probably the last Star Wars comic pack I'll ever get unless they restart the sub-line.

Baron Soontir Fel is apparently an Imperial that joined the Rebellion. He was in a couple of novels that I've read, but I don't really know much about him. According to the included comic, he was apparently one of Han Solo's flight instructors at the Academy. His figure represents him in a standard Imperial officer uniform, but he also includes an X-Wing pilot helmet with the rebel insignia on it. Another Imperial officer is nice to have, and he looks suitably evil with his scowl and goatee. Oh, I could definitely pretend this is a Star Wars sized figure of the Master. This is actually the second action figure to be made of Soontir Fel. The first was also in a comic pack, but in an Imperial pilot uniform.

Ysanne Isard is the main reason I wanted to get this set. Michael Stackpole's X-Wing novels are some of my favorites, and she was the main antagonist for the series. Plus, she's a female Imperial, and figures of them are few and far between. The director of Imperial intelligence had a base that was a Super Star Destroyer buried in the surface of Coruscant. That's a totally ridiculous idea, but at the same time I think it's very cool. With her red uniform and differently colored eyes, she looks pretty much how I pictured her from reading the novels. Although unfortunately this particular figure has the eyes kind of askew.

#146: Iron Man 2 Armored Assault

This set has been sitting on Target shelves for a while, but now that Christmas is over it has finally gone on clearance. Originally selling for 20 bucks, I got it for half price which I consider a good deal. Since I only wanted two of the figures, the original price wasn't worth it for me. I figured it would be safe to wait for clearance because these didn't seem to be moving at all.

I already have the Mark V Iron Man, so Whiplash and the sea drone are what I wanted from this set. Whiplash has been released as a single carded figure, but I have yet to see one in person. The paint on the face is kind of iffy, and of all the sets on the shelf, I picked the one that looked the best. Actually, I think the whole head looks kind of small. Head aside, it's a pretty cool figure, and the whips are removable. It's nice to finally have a figure of the main antagonist from the movie, 7 months after it came to theaters.

In the interest of having other antagonists from the movie, I've been looking forward to the drone figures as well. I haven't seen the two (that I know of) singly carded drone figures yet, so for now there is the sea drone. It's a big military robot, and that's cool. There's nothing about it that looks particularly naval to me, unless it could be said to be a battleship gray. The big missile launches on the shoulders fell off right as I removed the figure from the packaging, but with some fiddling I was able to get them attached in a way that is at least somewhat firm.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

#145: Doctor Who Cyberman with Cybergun

So far all the Cybermen figures I have are from the modern Cybus Industries style or from the 60s. Those are cool and all, but I've been wanting an 80s style Cyberman. This version, from the serial Earthshock, came out a while ago, and I've finally bought one. It's a very cool looking figure, but I need to complain about the stuck joints.

The right bicep swivel and the right wrist swivel are stuck. When I try to turn them, there's a little give which tells me that if I put too much force into it, the joint will shear off. It happened earlier today with a different figure from the same company. That was after leaving it in the freezer for a while, so I'm not even going to try it with the Cyberman. It was even the same joint that broke, the right bicep swivel! I wish Character Options would make figures without stuck joints, especially since they're already more expensive and harder to come by due to the toys being imports. For the most part, it's not like I spend time posing most of my figures beyond the initial unpackaging, so I'm trying to not let it bother me too much. I'm trying to get a replacement, but the store I ordered it from referred me to the company that imports the toys, so I am waiting to hear back from them.

Anyway, as it says up there in the title, the Cyberman comes with a Cybergun. I'm not entirely clear on how it's supposed to be held, but it has a strap, so I currently have it hanging off the Cyberman's shoulder. The picture on the back of the package shows it being held in a way that I can't pose the figure to do because of the stuck bicep swivel. Annoying! In the end, it seems that my affection for Doctor Who in general is enough to make me overlook these issues with the toys.

#144: Bioshock 2 Subject Omega and Little Sister with "Bunny" Splicer mask

Just in time for Christmas, NECA released this Toys R Us exclusive set based on some of the downloadable content for Bioshock 2. I haven't downloaded it yet, so I'm not entirely clear on who Subject Omega is. As far as I can tell, it's a repaint of the Subject Delta figure, which I don't have. I don't even know what that weapon is that he has. It might be the grenade launcher, my style of play favored using plasmids and the drill so I'm not sure. Either way, this is a very impressive looking figure. The art design on all the Big Daddy characters is very cool, I dig the ominous dudes in old timey diving suits theme. NECA did a good job of adapting it into action figure form. The sculpt is very detailed and the paint is really well done. It has articulation, but it's not really useful for any dynamic poses. The limbs are pretty thick and don't bend too much, but it's enough to at least move the arms around and fine tune the stance for keeping it upright.

There is yet another Little Sister figure in the set, but this time she has a different dress. I'm assuming that accurately reflects her appearance in the downloadable level because all the Little Sisters in the game otherwise look exactly the same. Her lower left arm managed to pop off as I was positioning it, but fortunately I was able to reattach it.

The big selling point of this set for me was the full sized wearable bunny mask. It's basically a life-sized version of the one included with the splicer figure. I was expecting it to be pretty light weight, but there is a nice heft to it. It may perhaps be a little too heavy for comfort. There is an elastic band to hold it on your head. Because the mask isn't symmetrical, the band is at an angle. Unfortunately, that means that the mask won't always stay straight, but it still looks cool. Perhaps an askew mask is appropriate when dressing as a splicer.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

#143: Star Wars Mon Calamari Officer

Next up in my gifts for this Christmas is the Mon Calamari Officer from A.J. This is from the simpler time when Star Wars figures weren't expected to be articulated up the wazoo. This is my third Mon Cal figure, so it's nice to have someone for Admiral Ackbar to boss around. And to warn about traps. Unlike some of the modern figures, the gun fits securely in the hand, which is a nice bonus. Also, that hat thing is removable.

Monday, December 27, 2010

#142: G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Alley Viper

Another gift from James is the Alley Viper, which I've been looking for a while now. I originally saw it at a Target once a few months ago, but I was buying the AT-AT at the same time, so I didn't really feel up to spending even more money then. Unfortunately, I never saw it on the pegs again. I already have the Defense of Cobra Island Alley Viper from last year, which is the classic insane bright orange and blue color scheme, but I like them enough that I wanted to pick up this more sensibly colored version as well. This version is pretty heavily armed as well. There's a grappling gun (which plugs into the backpack), a sub-machine gun, and a tonfa which can be stored on the backside of the shield. In addition to the standard Alley Viper helmet (how do they see out of it when the visor is down?) there is another helmet with goggles and a gas mask.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

#141: G.I. Joe Cobra Flight Pod with Elite-Viper

A while back, they released the Cobra Flight Pod, I mean Trubble Bubble, in a two pack with the Ram Cycle, and I foolishly passed it up. Then the movie line came along, and they were to re-release it with a different color scheme as a Target exclusive. But for whatever reason, they never made it to Target, and that assortment of toys seemed to be lost. Then recently they started showing up at Ross stores, which has a history of picking up wayward exclusives. A couple days after I heard about these appearances, I happened to be in a Ross and saw one. Having learned my lesson passing over the previous release, I picked it up. At seven bucks, it's a bargain, since I doubt Target would have charged such a low price for it.

So this Elite-Viper is nothing exciting, but it does the job of being a pilot. It would have been cool if they had made a movie-styled version of the Tele-Viper that the Trubble Bubble traditionally comes with. The Trubble Bubble itself is pretty cool, and the new darker color scheme gives it a slightly more menacing look. There's a Cobra logo sticker that goes on the canopy, but it's red so it sort of blends in. Like I said, this set is being sold for a very good price, so it's totally worth picking up if you're at all interested in goofy Cobra battle technology.

#140: Doctor Who Davros

Christmas is over, so it's time to start blogging about the toys I received as gifts! The first here is from James, and it's Davros, creator of the Daleks. As is fitting the character, there is minimal articulation on the figure. The only thing that can move is his arm, and there are wheels in the base. This is a figure I've been wanting to pick up for a while, so it's cool to finally add him to my collection.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

#139: Doctor Who Ironsides Dalek

The episode "Victory of the Daleks" from the first series starring Matt Smith as the Doctor featured brand new re-designs of the Daleks. Naturally they have been made into toys, but I'm skipping those, as I don't like the newer versions as much. Also in that episode was this Dalek, the Ironsides Dalek. Apparently created to defend England during the Blitz, this Dalek has a military green paint job, its "ears" are wrapped in cloth, and is carrying some sort of utility belt. There's even a canteen on the back, presumably for other soldiers to use. There is even a tiny Union Jack right below the eye stalk, a bit of design that I really dig for some reason.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#138: Star Wars The Clone Wars R4-P17

I have the Revenge of the Sith version of Obi-Wan's Jedi starfighter, which includes the upper half of R4-P17 to plug into the droid socket, and since then I've been meaning to pick up an actual droid to put in it. Unfortunately I've missed out on both of the realistic releases of the figure. The Clone Wars version has proven easier to find, but it turns out to not fit very well in the droid socket. Oh well! Since this is a repaint of the Clone Wars R2-D2, there are a few gimmicks. There are a couple of arms that are hidden behind panels on the front of the body, and on the back there is a tow cable that can be retracted by spinning the droid's dome. Also, the third leg is removable. Since it's based on the animated version, it looks kind of wonky next to other realistic astromechs, but not so much that it looks completely out of place.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

#137: DC Universe Classics Wonder Woman

I decided to get the seven main members of the JLA after Wonder Woman's original run in stores, so I was worried I wouldn't be able to find her without paying ridiculous secondary market prices. Fortunately, Mattel put her out again in one of the World's Greatest Super Heroes waves. Now all I need is that fishy guy.

Time to complain about QC issues! The right hip won't allow the left leg to positioned fully inward, so as you can see in the picture, Wonder Woman's stance is leaning a little to the right. And like every other female DCUC figure, the arms are woefully thin. Aside from that, it's a good figure. The axe and shield seem pretty non-essential, I think a detachable (or maybe a couple of different versions of the) lasso would have been a better accessory.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

#136: Star Wars Vintage Collection Sandtrooper

Target was having a sale for $6 Vintage figures, and I can't resist an Imperial trooper, so that is the third sandtrooper in my collection. My others have a black or orange shoulder pauldron, so as least none of them look too much alike. This guy has the standard big rifle with a strap, as well as some other crazy looking rifle I've never seen before. What really sets this version apart are his hips. They are the ball hips, so I suspect this may be a re-release of the sandtrooper that was packaged with the dewback they put out last year. I passed on buying one of those, but this figure is cool.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

#135: Masters of the Universe Classics Battle Cat

So, a funny thing happened. Mattycollector was having its Cyber Monday sale, and Battle Cat was one of the items up for sale. I thought it would be cool to get one, but assumed that it would sell out pretty quickly. I had to be at work, so I figured there was no way I would get one. Shockingly, I got home something like seven hours after the sale started, and Battle Cat was still in stock. Even more surprisingly, I had no problems placing my order. No White Screen Of Death! Ragging on Mattel is quite fun, but I will give credit when its due. Congratulations,, you have finally achieved adequacy! I don't know if they upped the production numbers, or if most people that wanted a Battle Cat already had one from the first time it was on sale or what, but whatever it was it worked.

Anyway, Battle Cat is pretty cool. Pretty damn cool. When Mattel isn't messing around, they are capable of doing great work, and Battle Cat is an example of that. The original was completely unarticulated, while this one has all the articulation you could ask for. Even the jaw is articulated, which is always a cool touch. The sculpt on Battle Cat is great, with detail all over. Even the bottom of his paws are sculpted. Another improvement over the original is the paint, with even the armor getting some subtle touches which really save it from looking flat and boring. The helmet fits on the head somewhat loosely (it arrived askew in the package), but that's no big deal.

Of course, the best part of this all is that my gimpy He-Man figure (he can't stand on his left ankle) will have a Battle Cat to sit on.

Monday, December 6, 2010

#134: Pop! Heroes Batman

So a while ago, I ordered this Batman on a whim when I placed a pre-order at Entertainment Earth. When it showed up, I had received the chase variant which featured a metallic paint on the parts of the costume that are normally grey. I wasn't digging that, so I sent it back for a replacement, and fortunately this time received the normal version. I'm not really into the whole super-deformed vinyl toy thing (I do have a couple Mighty Muggs) for the most part, but this is Batman, and it's totally cute so I decided to go for it. Since this is a vinyl figure and not an action figure, there's almost no articulation at all. The head swivels back and forth a little, but that is it. It's about four inches tall, so it won't take up a lot of room on your desk or your shelf or whatever.

I kind of wish I'd ordered the Batgirl too. And the Joker...
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