Saturday, December 31, 2011

#146: LEGO Harry Potter - The Lab

This set was in the stocking stuffer area at Target, but it was four bucks and I wasn't willing to pay that for basically just a Harry Potter minifigure. Then after Christmas, that whole section got marked down to half off, and two bucks sounded like a good deal. The set isn't named on the package, but there's a number, so I looked it up on Brickipedia, and this is the name they went with, so it's good enough for me. Basically I just got this set for the Harry minifigure. He's got a head with two expressions: one side is worried looking, and the other (pictured) has a kind of smirk. The wand seems a bit long, almost long enough to be a broomstick. The other part of the set is some sort of potions rack. There's a hollow space in the middle where a letter to Harry and a fang (I'm guessing it's a basilisk fang) are held. It seems kind of weird. Also, there's a spider!

Friday, December 30, 2011

#145: Minecraft - Foam Pickaxe

It's all well and good to have a good idea what gifts you'll be receiving for Christmas, but when you get something that's a total surprise it's like being a kid again. This gift is from my brother and I wasn't expecting it at all. It's totally cool.

In case you aren't familiar with Minecraft, it's an independently produced game from Sweden that basically involves wandering around some mysterious landscape mining and building. And watching out for monsters, of course. This video is a nice introduction to the game, so you can go check it out. I'll wait.

Think Geek has a habit of coming up with really cool products (like the Tauntaun sleeping bag for a while back) and this is another great idea. Minecraft has a low-res look to it, and this pickaxe is an accurate reproduction of the in game item. I think I'm going to go mine for some diamonds...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

#144: Batman The Brave And The Bold - Sea Spear Aquaman

Another Christmas gift, this one is from AJ. The Brave and the Bold was a great cartoon, but I never bought into the toy line because with all my DCUC figures, I don't need more of the same characters in a different scale. For what it's worth, I do feel that the BatB version of Aquaman is my favorite take on the character, which of course is helped by the voice work of John Di Maggio. So even though I already have the DCUC Aquaman, this is a cool figure to have as well. Like all BatB figures, Aquaman has holes along his arms, legs, and on his back allowing different weapons to be plugged in. If you have a lot of figures from the line, you can come up with your own variations, which I imagine would be fun. Aquaman comes with a trident, and there is a certain amount of amusement to be had by plugging it into his arms or legs, which just looks absurd but is rather funny. I'm not going to start collecting this line, especially since it's on the way out now, but Aquaman is cool.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#143: Thor The Mighty Avenger - Ram Smash Volstagg

Since I was unable to find a Volstagg figure, I was beginning to think I would have to use a Punisher figure to fill out my Warriors Three. Fortunately James had seen several of them and gave me one for Christmas. Thanks, James!

I think Volstagg officially is the winner of the facial hair contest of my collection with that awesome beard. It barely even gets in the way of moving his head, which is a nice bonus. Like all Thor toys, there's the standard oversized goofy weapon. In this case it's a spinning axe ram. So when you push in the piston, the axes spin. Okay. Fortunately, Volstagg includes a proper battle axe. All told, it's a good figure, even if the legs are a bit hindered by the armor. Now if I can find Sif...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#142: Mega Bloks Hello Kitty - Hello Kitty with lollipop

I wouldn't say I'm a Hello Kitty fan, exactly. But it's something that's iconically cute, with an insane amount of branding. Have you seen the Hello Kitty microwave at Target? Yes, it's something that exists, and it is hardly the strangest officially licensed Hello Kitty product out there. So you combine that with the appeal of the LEGO blindpacked minifigure craze? Well, I caved. There's something compelling about having a LEGO compatible Hello Kitty minifigure. This is the first one I pulled from the display, I felt the packaging to see which accessory was included, and figured this would be a good one to have. I like that the lollipop is so ridiculously oversized, although I suppose it could also be interpreted as a table tennis paddle. Unlike the display plates for the LEGO minifigures, Hello Kitty has a brick to stand on. Only her neck and shoulders are articulated, but that's all that could really be expected of a character with such odd anatomy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

#141: Transformers Generations - Sergeant Kup

Recently Target had Generations figures on sale for $6.99, which is almost half off the normal price. That's the kind of deal I can't resist, so I decided to pick up Kup. Overall, he's pretty cool, although the arms are a bit wonky. The articulation on them is kind of hard to deal with, there are just too many joints in the elbow area. Also, the huge panels hanging off the lower arms kind of get in the way. Otherwise, he's cool. I like how they incorporated the gun into the altmode, where it plugs into the bottom of the truck and the end of its barrel functions as an exhaust pipe. Neat!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

#140: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Boba Fett (Prototype Armor)

Another year, another mail away figure. Another mail away Boba Fett. As I've mentioned before, I'm a total sucker for this sort of thing, as mail away figures are a fond memory of childhood. Previously there has been a small subline of figures based on concept art, but this takes a slightly different approach. Basically, this is a white Boba Fett, like the concept art Boba Fett figure, but this is based on the actual prototype costume that was made. Black repaints have been a longstanding trend, maybe this will start a wave of white repaints. Since it is just a repaint, it's fortunate that they picked one of the better Boba Fett molds to work with, unlike the one that's currently available in the Saga Legends line.

Maybe next year, we'll get a clear plastic "stealth" Boba Fett as a mail away figure?

Friday, December 23, 2011

#139: Star Wars The Clone Wars - Stealth Ops Clone Trooper

So a few months back a variation of this figure was a Toys R Us exclusive. I had no idea they were releasing a non-exclusive version until I saw one on the pegs at Target. Although lately I have been less enthusiastic about collecting ever more clones for my army (there are a couple I have passed on recently), the fact that Clone Wars figures were on sale and this clone looks markedly different from the rest moved me to buy it. The Vader-esque breathing apparatus on the chest is removable and indeed comes packaged separately. In order to put it on the figure, you have to remove the head and slide it over the neck peg, which is a bit odd. The ridiculous rocket launcher pack plugs into the back of the chest piece, and I'll be leaving it off for display purposes because it's so bulky and goofy looking. Also, he's got a totally weird helmet, with some sort of wrap around padding thing going on. Not sure what that's all about. But at least it's distinctive. It's definitely cool to have some variety in the ranks.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

#138: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Jack Sparrow

After I got the other two Pirates of Caribbean figures, I wanted to get a Jack Sparrow too, since I don't already have one. Ultimately, I was just too cheap to get one and figured I could wait until they went on clearance. Target is apparently eager to get a jump on the post-Christmas clearance season, so they recently marked their PotC figures. The first series didn't sell very well, so the second series only showed up when they put it on one of the clearance end caps. I opted for the second series version of Jack, which has the overcoat. Like all the other figures in the line, he has that black light gimmick, and Jack's light is a ring. He comes with two pistols and a sword, and can hold or store all of them at the same time. Nice! Also, the hat is removable. It's not the greatest likeness, but it's obvious who this is.

Johnny Depp has had many different action figures made based on his characters, so I'm kind of surprised that this is my first. Off the top of my head, there's been Edward Scissorhands, Ichabod Crane, Willy Wonka, whats-his-face from Corpse Bride, the Mad Hatter, and of course Jack Sparrow. Probably more that I'm forgetting.

Friday, December 16, 2011

#137: Star Wars The Clone Wars - Clone Commander Colt

A couple months ago at the toy show I went to, Clone Commander Colt here is one of the figures I saw available for sale, but I passed because I wasn't willing to pay inflated prices for him. Fortunately, my patience paid off and I finally saw the figure at Target while Clone Wars figures were on sale. So basically, he's just another ARC trooper. I think the shins and feet are newly sculpted pieces. I dig the grey and red color scheme, and he's got a backpack that's similar to those that sandtroopers wear. One of these days I'm going to have to take a count of how many clone trooper figures I've got, I bet it's over 100 by now.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

#136: LEGO Star Wars - Republic Attack Cruiser

Lately I've been playing LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. Then I noticed this in the impulse area by the checkstands at Target. And I kept seeing it. And hey, it's a proto Star Destroyer, so eventually I just gave in and bought it. At this reduced scale, it's not the best likeness, but it's still neat looking. If they made a micro scaled Star Destroyer like this, I'd be all over it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#135: Star Wars The Clone Wars - ARF Trooper

Hoverboard! That's the only reason I got this figure. I've already got a couple of ARF troopers, and they are my favorite clone trooper figures, but I don't really need more. But the hoverboard is cool enough to make me get another one. This figure also oddly includes a gun rack. I couldn't figure out what it was supposed to be until I checked out the photo gallery at I thought it was some sort of flight stand for the hoverboard, but couldn't get them to connect in any way. A flight stand would have been a way cooler accessory than a gun rack. The back of the packaging says that these are useful on the ocean planet of Kamino, allowing troopers to get around. Now, as we all know, hoverboards don't work on water UNLESS YOU'VE GOT POWER, so it's good to know that the Republic is equipping the troopers with high powered equipment.

#134: LEGO Ninjago - Ninja Training Outpost

As an 80s child, it's pretty much natural for me to think that ninjas are cool. Since I missed out on the first series of LEGO minifigures, I figured the Ninjago line would be a good way to get a ninja minifigure. Since I think of a ninja wearing a black outfit, it was fortunate that the black ninja minifigure was included in the smallest set, since I didn't want to buy a big set for just one minifigure. Even so, it always seemed a bit too pricy for my tastes, but the set was recently on sale, prompting me to buy it.

The ninja is pretty much what I would expect from a LEGO minifigure. One cool feature is that there is a c-clamp on the headpiece, so you can attach weapons back there. The set itself aside from the ninja is an archery target and some sort of weapon rack. The base is in the shape of a quarter circle, and it appears to be designed to interlock with other small sets. The rack itself looks like it might be a stylized animal face of some sort. A fox, maybe? I don't know anything about the Ninjago lore other than it's about ninjas vs skeletons. Also, there's a scorpion. Looking at the prices on Ebay, buying the series 1 minifigure would have cost more than this set, so this was a good deal. Now I need a pirate for him to fight!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#133: G.I. Joe - Sgt. Stalker

This is probably a first, but I mainly was inspired to buy Stalker from a post I saw on Tumblr. Seeing a Stalker figure playing a video game made me realize that it was a good looking figure, and one of the fairly important Joes that I don't have a figure for yet. I might break down and buy one of those replica video game cabinets myself. They're more expensive than the Hallmark ornaments, but there is a better selection of games.

Anyway, Stalker is pretty cool as one of the more realistic looking Joes. He looks like he wouldn't be out of place in a line of figures based on real military members. It makes for a nice contrast with any random Cobra oddball. With a sub-machine gun, a pistol with a detachable silencer, a machete, a couple of knives, and another pistol (not pictured here because there's nowhere else for it to fit) Stalker is a well armed guy. If only there was another spot to stow a weapon so that he could hold everything! Oh well, I guess we're used to being spoiled with too many accessories in the current Joe lines these days. Overall, this is definitely a solid offering.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

#132: Gremlins - Flasher Gremlin

The original Gremlins came out in 1984 when I was four. I'm not sure when I first saw it, but I'm pretty sure it was before 1986, when we moved into a different home. I never really had a problem with "scary" movies, and it was one of my favorites. NECA made a line of Gremlins figures before, but I missed out on them. Now they're back with a new line of Gremlins, based on the second movie, so I figured it was a good time to pick one up. Currently, there are some mogwai and three gremlins available. Mogwai are cute and all, but the gremlins are the real stars, so that's what I wanted to go with. Of the three currently available, George, Daffy and the flasher, I felt the flasher best represents the humor of the series. Fortunately, the Toys R Us website was running a free shipping on all toys deal (which is still going on), so I was able to pick this up without a hassle.

Basically, this is a great looking figure. The sculpt is the typical high quality detailed work you would expect from NECA, full of texture and detail. Articulation is kind of hard to judge. Because of the coat, the arms don't really get much movement, but you can adjust them a bit. I think the only way to get the coat off would be to pop the arms out, and I'm not going to try that. Otherwise, the legs are articulated at the hips, knees, and ankles, so you can adjust his stance. The head isn't super mobile, but it can be adjusted as well. Since the coat isn't easily removable (if at all) I don't count it as an accessory, to the flasher gets two accessories: sunglasses and a cigarette. The sunglasses are easily held in place by the spikes around the eyes, and the cigarette fits between the teeth. The cigarette doesn't stay in place tightly, so it would be easy to lose.

Assuming the Gremlins line continues, I would like to get some more of them, pending character selection. They showed a spider gremlin recently, which would be really cool to have.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

#131: DC Minimates - Batwoman (modern) and The Question (modern)

I've been reading Batwoman's solo title that started with the recent new 52 reboot that DC did, and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. It's well written and it features some of the most beautiful artwork out there in comics right now, so it's definitely worth checking out next time you're in your local comic shop. Unsurprisingly, I began wondering if there were any Batwoman figures to be had, so I looked into it on the internet. There's a DC Direct version that's too pricy, and a DC Infinite Heroes version that I passed on because those aren't very good figures. Fortunately, there's a Minimate version that I was able to find for a decent price.

This set was made a couple years ago, so it's not entirely accurate to Batwoman's current appearance. Now her wig is the same bright red as the accents on her costume. Also, she's currently depicted as being super pale but the Minimate version has a more healthy looking skin tone. I guess back then her hair actually was exposed as part of her costume, because there is an alternate hairpiece (the same one that came with the Batgirl) for an unmasked Kate Kane that is the same shade and length. Don't let my complaining fool you, I'm glad to have a Batwoman for my collection.

Harley Quinn is probably the most notable character to be created for the classic Batman animated series who made it into the world of comics, but Renee Montoya is an important character as well. Before the new 52 reboot, she had taken on the role of The Question as seen in this set. This is a good themed set because the two characters had a romantic relationship. There is a face painted on the other side of her head, so you can choose whether to display her as faceless or not. Options are always nice!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

#130: Hot Wheels - A Team Van

I didn't even know a Hot Wheels A-Team van was available until James posted on his blog about finding it a couple weeks ago. Naturally, when I saw it, I started looking for it. After many fruitless trips to the Hot Wheels section, I finally found one. So far, it's the only one I've seen (which, to be fair, I stopped visiting the Hot Wheels section after I found it), so it's probably best to buy one as soon as you see it if you're at all considering it. It's a very nice, well detailed miniature version of the A-Team van. I think if they had put this out at the same time as the movie, I could have skipped the 1:18 scale version and saved myself 25 bucks (should have waited for clearance!). Mattel probably didn't have the rights at the time, though.

Monday, October 31, 2011

#129: Thor The Mighty Avenger - Harpoon Blade Fandral

As I mentioned before, Fandral was also on the pegs. Beforehand, if I had only been able to pick one of the Warriors Three to get, this is the one I would have chosen. I dig the Errol Flynn, dashing sword fighter sort of character. When I was looking at it in the store,  my first thought was to wonder what's up with his moustache. It's totally crooked, which I'm assuming is meant to be a roguish smirk, but it just doesn't work. Otherwise, it's a a cool figure. The cape is removable, which is nice. It just slips on over his shoulders and stays put pretty well. Then of course there is the ridiculous huge weapon. As his name suggests, this is apparently a harpoon. Why? In case he wants to engage in some Asgardian whaling? A display base would have been a way better pack in here. Also, the sword is bent from the packaging. If I ever find Volstagg, we'll see how he fares in my opinion, but for now Hogun is my favorite.

#128: Thor The Mighty Avenger - Blade Battle Marvel's Hogun

Happy Halloween! Let's celebrate by looking at some Thor toys. On a recent trip to Target, I happened to glance at the Thor toys and saw Hogun right on the end of one of the pegs. I haven't been paying much attention to the Thor toys lately because they never seem to put out any of the figures beyond the first wave. So that was a pretty big surprise. Hogun and Fandral were there, but no Volstagg. I'm assuming they're all packed one to a case, so I guess someone was a Volstagg fan, but didn't care about the rest of the Warriors Three. Personally, I'd rather have all three. I'm all for team building if there are so few members.

I haven't bought any of the movie Thor toys before because I already have a Thor, and I don't want unhelmeted versions of Loki or Odin. First off, because this is a Hasbro movie line, we get big goofy weapons for all the characters. So Hogun gets a giant axe with detachable blades which can in turn be held in his hands. As a giant axe, it doesn't look too bad, although it is clearly oversized. It's not too offensive, fortunately. For more proportionately sized armament, Hogun also includes a mace. He's a pretty good looking figure, and decently articulated. If there is a weak member of the Warriors Three, Hogun isn't it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

#127: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Ponda Baba (Walrus Man)

After literally months of waiting, my local Target FINALLY put out some new Vintage figures. I missed out on casemate Bastila Shan, but Ponda Baba was sitting right on the end of a peg, and I grabbed it immediately. Along with Dr Evazan, I've been waiting for the new Ponda Baba figure for a while, and I'm glad to finally have it, because it's pretty damn cool. The best part of this figure is the accessories. Apparently in the movie, he has some weird paddle hands up until the point Obi-Wan cuts his arm off, and in the close up of his severed limb, the hand is furry. Since that close up is the best look we get at his hands, that's what I consider the proper look, so those are the hands I'll be using for display (and it's the only set that can hold the glass). In addition to that, there are two swappable right arms. One is regular, and one has can be split in two for post Obi-Wan tussle action. They even added paint apps to the ends of the stubs to match the blood. It's true, lightsabers cauterize, but in the movie there is definitely a bit of blood present in the close up. So basically I really like this guy, and I think it makes a good addition to any collection, if you can find one.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

#126: DC Universe Classics - Hawkgirl vs Gentleman Ghost

Also in the Wal-mart clearance aisle were toys that actually were on clearance. Since the single carded Gentleman Ghost wasn't something I ever came across in stores, this was a good set for me. The set was marked down to 19 bucks, which is way cheaper than the single carded Gentleman Ghost is going for these days. Now, I've already got a Hawkgirl figure, so I wasn't super excited about having a duplicate. Even so, I'm just glad to finally have the Gentleman Ghost figure. Hawkgirl is pretty great, those wings are badass. Gentleman Ghost I mostly know from his appearances on Batman: Brave and the Bold, but I really dig the look of the character, and I think he makes for a figure that stands out. I dig the way they gave him a high collar to rest the hat and monocle on, its very cool having a figure with an invisible body. I think I would have preferred if they had made him a solid white rather than having him fade to clear plastic, though. Either way, I'm glad to finally have Gentleman Ghost. Now to figure out what to do with a duplicate Hawkgirl...

#125: G.I. Joe - Hazard-Viper

So I was checking out the toy section at Wal-Mart and the aisle right next to the toys has a big clearance banner on it. Naturally, that's where the G.I. Joe figures were, at normal price. And they were all new figures, from the new wave that includes the Renegades figures and some Cobra troop builders. I've been waiting to pick up the Hazard Viper for a while now, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it on the peg. Hasbro's still doing that thing where they give the Joe figures way too many accessories for them to be able to hold them all. So if you put all the canisters in the suitcase, and have him holding the suitcase and big spray gun, that leaves you with two pistols and the other weird pistol thing with nowhere to go. Alas, there aren't holsters. Basically, I'm into this figure for the look and the concept of a Cobra trooper that has to deal with hazardous materials. It's definitely a cool looking figure, so it's too bad he can't hold all his weapons.

Friday, October 28, 2011

#124: Star Wars The Clone Wars - Clone Commander Wolffe

Hey, it's another clone commander! Even my clone mania has subsided a bit, I recently passed on a couple different clone figures that I don't already have. But commanders are always cool in my book. Aside from the cool dueling scarred right eye, he's basically Captain Rex with a different paint job and Cody's shoulder antenna. Like all Clone Wars figures, he comes with a stand and die, as well as a playing card (at least they're not worthless, I Ebayed all mine  a while back and someone actually paid 5 bucks for them). And the requisite giant projectile launching weapon. The paint job is pretty cool, if not something that's super eye catching. Short of laterally moving hips, he's got all the articulation you can hope for in a Star Wars figures, including the wrist swivels.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

#123: Marvel Universe - Magneto

Lately my Target has been surprisingly frequent at putting out new Marvel Universe figures. Not too long after I picked up the last three Marvel Universe figures, I saw even more new ones and picked up this Magneto. I would have already had a Magneto, but he was previously released in the comic two pack, and I didn't want to pick up the black costumed Spider-Man he came with since I already have that one. They have been re-releasing some of the comic pack figures like Doctor Doom, so I figured I could wait. Granted, this is the Ultimate Alliance version of Magneto rather than the regular one I'm more familiar with, but I dig this costume too. I think my only complaint is the face. It's painted so as to appear covered in shadow, but I don't think it's 100% effective. You can see what they're going for, but it just ends up looking kind of weird. Otherwise, it's cool looking and the articulation is good.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

#122: Doctor Who - The Eleventh Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver

I've been meaning to pick up a sonic screwdriver for a while now, but they're usually at least 25 bucks (plus shipping) so that has been holding me back. Fortunately, Thwipster was selling them briefly for a cheaper price than I'd seen anywhere else, so I figured it was time to finally order one. It's a nice looking replica of the prop used in the series. It lights up and makes appropriate noises, and the claw tip extends. Unfortunately, when the tip is extended, the regular activation button can no longer be used, and you have to use one hidden in the base which is kind of in an awkward position. It would have been a huge improvement if this problem had been avoided. Still though, this is loads of fun to wave around and point at things and just in general play Doctor. Plus, it's more portable than a lightsaber. Totally worth picking up for a Who fan, and if you don't like the design, there is a variety of models to choose from. Hopefully you can find one for a decent price.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#121: Star Wars - Republic Commando: Delta Squad

So this was a Toys R Us Comic Con exclusive that immediately sold out when it was made available on the website. A couple months later, they finally got more in stock, and I was finally able to order it. I never played the Republic Commandos game for the original XBOX, but I'm a clone fan so this is a set I wanted to get. Plus it makes up for the fact that I never got my hands on a Scorch figure way back when it was originally released. Now I've got a better version, so it worked out. 

The original Scorch figure had no knee or ankle articulation, but Delta Squad all have full leg articulation. They're all the same body, differentiated by paint, backpacks, and guns. Also, there's a Geonosian warrior. I've never had a Geonosian figure, so I'm not sure if it's a new sculpt or anything, but it's well articulated. Even the wings can fold out, so they can be spread or tucked behind the back. It's a good enough figure, but I'm not really into them, so something else could have been put in its place and I wouldn't miss it. Overall though, the set is pretty cool for clone collectors. Currently it's in stock at, and it's a few bucks cheaper than when I got it. Geez. Thanks a lot, TRU.

Monday, October 24, 2011

#120: Marvel Universe - X-23

So a couple weeks ago, I played Marvel vs Capcom 3. I'm not really into fighting games, especially the kind that you have to learn long combos to do well in, so I played it for about 2 days and grew tired of it. I finished story mode a couple times, once with Deadpool, and once with X-23. I tend to favor female characters in fighting games, because they're usually faster and more agile which seems to be a fighting style that works for me, which is why I ended up playing as X-23 (usually with Chun Li on my team as well). I haven't seen any of the cartoons she's appeared in, and I haven't read any comics with her, so pretty much all of my exposure to X-23 is from the video game. I'm not sure if her costume in the game is typical for her comic appearances, but this figure is based on her X-Force uniform. It's totally weird to me that X-Force has a uniform because when I was reading the X-books, X-Force was a bunch of kids lead by Cable, and they just wore whatever.

The Marvel Universe line has kind of a spotty record with female figures, but I think X-23 is one of the better females so far. I think what really helps is that there is some unique tooling for the gauntlets, the boots, and the belt. And the claws, of course. There's a bit of a paint splatter on the front of the thigh, but otherwise the paint works pretty well. The base body is the newer one, so the articulation is pretty nice, although the hips don't have as much lateral movement as I'd like. I think it would have been cooler if her foot blades were extended too, as they're one of the things that really set her apart from Wolverine.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

#119: Marvel Universe - Sub-Mariner

At the same time that I bought Ultron, I also found Sub-Mariner and picked him up. He had a previous single carded release, but it wasn't in his classic Speedo look, so I passed. Fortunately, he's a much better figure than Ultron. Articulation is improved, and none of the joints are super loose. It's nice that they didn't cheap out and paint everything on Namor. His gauntlets are sculpted on, and his trunks are textured. His head looks good, they got his crazy eyebrows and widow's peak down, and his expression has a great pissed off, regal look to it. He even gets an accessory in a crazily ornate trident. Apparently there is a variant of his display base. Either it says Sub-Mariner like mine, or it says Imperius Rex, which is pretty cool. The Sub-Mariner is a good figure, and an important part of Marvel's history, so I'd say he's definitely worth adding to your collection.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#118: Marvel Universe - Ultron

It seems like Marvel Universe is the only line I'm keeping an eye on that my local Target seems to stock lately. It seems like they have been putting out new stock with some regularity, so a week or so back the pegs were well filled, with some new figures. From series three, Ultron was one of the figures I wanted. I had always passed on the two pack that included Ultron and Mister Fantastic, and it hasn't been in stores for a while. So even though I've never read any comics with Ultron (I'm pretty sure I've never read any Avengers comics, unless you count the Ultimates), I'm always a fan of killer robots. Although it looks cool, the articulation is a bit of a let down. Since it is a repaint of an older figure, it does have the older style of MU articulation. Also, the arms won't go down any further than you see in the picture. It's good for megalomaniacal gesturing, but they won't be hanging down at his sides. The torso on mine is kind of loose, but that may just be an individual problem. The green highlights in Ultron's seams look pretty cool, like he's glowing from internal power. Ultron's not the best figure to play with, but might be worth it if you like the way he looks enough.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#117: Batman: Arkham Asylum - Poison Ivy

Just in time for the release of the new game Arkham City, here's Poison Ivy from its predecessor Arkham Asylum. With all the brouhaha about Mattel's Club Infinite Earths and its pre-orders, I thought that I might have to end up getting one of the DC Direct versions of Poison Ivy to fill that hole in my Batman rogues gallery. Then as luck would have it, I won the monthly comment contest at Action Figure Blues and was able to choose Poison Ivy as my prize. I would have posted sooner, buthad all those LEGO minifigures to get through first, and the timing worked out well to coincide with the game's release.

So as I mentioned, this is a DC Direct figure, and true to form it looks great but has lower levels of articulation. Seven joints total: neck, shoulders, elbows, and hips. The figure does a good job of capturing the look of Ivy from in the game, down to the intricate pattern of vines growing on her skin with leaves sprouting here and there. It really emphasizes her plant powers. In the game, her hair seems to defy gravity and sort of floats along behind her, and for the figure this is represented by having her hair basically sticking straight backwards. It's kind of odd and makes her look rather windswept, but it does mean the hair doesn't get in the way of her head's movement.

Overall this is a good figure, but I will still be getting the Mattel version of Poison Ivy whenever they release it, due mainly to the issues of articulation and scale. This Poison Ivy is too tall to fit in with my DCUC figures. I'm not planning on getting any more DC Direct Arkham figures, so for now this is going to stay on my desk by itself rather than going on the shelves with my DCUC figures.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

#116: LEGO Minifigures - Gangster

Finally, we get to the last of the minifigures I bought from series 5 (I couldn't find any of the evil dwarves, oddly enough), the gangster. What really sold me on this one is the violin case. Too bad he comes with a pistol instead of a tommy gun that could fit inside the case, because that would have been way cooler. I thought that the violin case would be the easiest piece to identify the gangster by, but it ended up being the pistol.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

#115: LEGO Minifigures - Boxer

The boxer was the first of the series 5 minifigures I found. It was the lonely one sitting in the action figure aisle that alerted me to the presence of the rest of the wave at my Target. Figuring out which minifigure it was turned out to be pretty easy due to the boxing gloves. Instead of regular hand pieces, the boxer has the boxing glove pieces attached to the arms. I've heard that some people have found the boxer with the gloves unattached, but all the boxers I found while searching through the display had the gloves attached. One of the cool things about the boxer is that there are two faces painted onto the head piece, allowing for different display options. The face not displayed in my picture has a cocky grin. So if you have two boxers, you can make one winner and one loser.

Friday, October 14, 2011

#114: LEGO Minifigures - Detective

The detective seems to be one of the most popular minifigures from this series, and was one that I most wanted. As I guessed, he was easy to detect in the packaging due to his magnifying glass's distinct shape. A tiny functioning magnifying glass is a pretty cool accessory. With his deerstalker hat and long sideburns, he has a very Holmes-ian feel. Although my favorite detective dresses up like a bat, Sherlock is right up there with him.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

#113: LEGO Minifigures - Zookeeper

 A LEGO minifigure that comes with a baby chimp? Of course I'm going to get that. You can tell she's a zookeeper and not an anthropologist in the field because her shirt says "ZOO" right above the pocket on her shirt. I assumed that the chimp would be the easiest piece to identify this set by, but it turned out to be the banana for me. At first I had actually confused the banana with the gangster's pistol, so I thought I had found that instead. Also, that's the same banana piece that came with the gorilla suit guy a while back. The LEGO monkeys have articulated limbs and hands, so it is a little disappointing that the chimp is just a solid piece of plastic. At least it gets some paint apps. It's certainly the cutest accessory from this series.

Monday, October 10, 2011

#112: LEGO Minifigures - Lizard Man

Since Series 5 doesn't have a monster like the last few have, the Lizard Man is the next best thing. Or maybe the clown is meant to be the monster, like Pennywise from It? Either way, I passed on the clown, so Lizard Man is my monster figure for this wave. Of course, he's actually a guy in a costume, like the gorilla suit guy from a previous wave, so maybe that will be an ongoing theme. I suppose you could pretend all of the LEGO minifigures are people in costumes and make costume party dioramas. If I had some more general purpose building blocks, I would totally do that. Anyway, Lizard Man was one of my must haves from this series. He's pretty easy to identify in packaging due to his pointy tail piece which works like a cape. I'm not sure what the expression on the face beneath the mask is, but it has a sort of good natured embarrassment feel to it. Hm, if you had a blank red or pink head to go beneath the mask, it might like an actual lizard monster rather than a guy in a suit.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

#111: LEGO Minifigures - Ice Fisherman

Apparently if you include a fishing rod with a LEGO minifigure, I will buy it as I already have the previous fisherman and the dwarf. The rod is always easy to find in the blind packaging, so it is an easy figure to identify.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

#110: LEGO Minifigures - Royal Guard

As an American, the concept of those British royal guards that supposedly aren't allowed to react to anything has always proven fascinating as an example of something bizarre and quintessentially British. So naturally I wanted to pick up the LEGO version. With that giant helmet, it's pretty easy to find this one in the blind packaging. I dig the dour expression on his face. It's too bad that the chinstrap mostly prevents  his head from being swapped onto another body. I thought that he should be wearing gloves, but my quick image search of actual Queen's Guards seems to indicate they don't wear them. If you're so inclined, this would be a good army builder.

Friday, October 7, 2011

#109: LEGO Minifigure - Gladiator

The gladiator is pretty easy to find because of his huge and oddly shaped helmet. He's got a nice scowly face with stubble underneath the helmet. The paint for the armor goes around to the sides of the legs, and even on one of the arms. I decided to get this guy mainly because he looks cool. The sword is different from the one they used to include with all the pirates, knights, and anyone else that included a sword. This one is actually pointy. Maybe it's more historically accurate, I have no idea.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

#108: LEGO Minifigures - Graduate

So I finally found the fifth LEGO minifigure series! I was beginning to lose hope that they would ever show up at my Target. I only actually found them accidentally. I've been checking the LEGO section and the Halloween section lately keeping an eye out for these, with no success. Then I happened to see one of the minifigure bags sitting on the shelf by the GI Joes. I checked the LEGO and  Halloween sections with no sign of the minifigures. So I did an aisle by aisle sweep of the entire toy section. Finally, I found the display box. Next to the Littlest Pet Shop toys. Yeah, they were on an aisle where basically everything else was packaged in bright pink. What the hell, Target?

So like the last couple times, I spent way too much time standing around feeling minifigure pieces through the packaging to find the figures I wanted. The graduate was pretty easy to find due to the diploma, which is the only flat square shaped piece in the series. I like the idea of having a LEGO guy in a mortarboard which is the main reason I picked this one up. The robe works well enough, as a stiff cloth piece that fits on the neck peg and has to be folded into shape.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Articulated Monster, episode 17

Hey all, the latest episode of Articulated Monster is up! Check it out!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

#107: Transformers Reveal the Shield - Lugnut

I happened to be up late one night, so at midnight I checked on the new figure at, and saw that it was the Reveal the Shield version of Lugnut. Since it was released in one of those waves that most people never see on the shelves, I figured it was my best chance to own one without paying ridiculous online prices or shipping. It's a good thing I acted fast, because as I later found out via a Twitter exchange between FOTD and OAFE, there were only six in stock. Good timing!

Lugnut started out as an Animated character, but the original toy was way too short in bot mode, which held me off from ever buying one. Fortunately, Hasbro has been willing to re-make Animated characters in the more "realistic" style, so I was looking forward to getting this version of the character. As in the original Animated toy, Lugnut's alt mode is a World War II-esque bomber. Now the color scheme is a bit more realistic, with a mostly olive green all over the body. The wingspan on Lugnut is pretty massive, about a foot from the tip of one wing to the other. The ID numbers painted on the tail fin are LU-6 NU-7, in case anyone forgets who this is. It's also got the cool open mouth paint job along the sides of the nose cone. There's a missile launcher that when in alt mode fires backwards from the rear of the fuselage.

As I mentioned earlier, the Animated toy was way too short in bot mode, but this one makes up for it by being at least a good seven inches tall. It keeps to the same general appearance of Animated Lugnut, but with longer legs. It's pretty cool looking, and it's got pretty decent articulation. They even kept the appearance of his head largely the same, which is cool. The jaw mouth can even be opened and closed. The rear section of the plane hangs off his back, but he is well balanced enough that it doesn't make him back heavy. It might have been cool if that detached and became a weapon like in the Animated toy, since there aren't any other weapons included here. The arms do have an action feature that when you push a button they extend via a spring loaded mechanism. Super punch! It's cool enough and doesn't detract from the toy otherwise, so it works as an action feature in my book.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

#106: Predators - Classic Predator

A couple weeks ago, was doing one of their occasional themed days, where they offer different figures from a single property throughout the day. Since they were doing a Predator theme, I hoped that they would have the classic Predator available, and towards the end of the day they did, so I ordered one. There are also two different unmasked versions of the classic Predator, but I like the masked look best, so I'm glad it's the one that was available. I haven't had any sort of Predator figure since the 90s Kenner line, when I had the Alien vs Predator two pack. Although I still have that xenomorph, the Predator figure has since disappeared. For whatever reason, I never got the more recent NECA Alien vs Predator two pack, but I figured it would be cool to have a modern take on the Predator.

At nearly 8 inches tall, this is a pretty imposing figure. It's in that weird scale NECA uses for movie figures, so a normal person would be around 7 inches. I don't have a lot of NECA figures, so that means Harry Potter vs Predator! Overall the classic Predator is pretty damn cool looking. The sculpt is very detailed, all the way down to the fishnet bodysuit (what's up with the fishnets, do Predators hang out in goth clubs when they're not hunting?). All the armor bits have mechanical details and signs of wear, and the bare skin has some nice texture to it. For the most part, the paint looks pretty great, although it's not 100% perfect on the fishnetting. There is a pretty good amount of articulation for a NECA figure. Aside from the hips, which are a v-crotch, everything else is a ball or ball-like joint. Even the shoulder cannon has articulation, so it can be aimed. The shoulder cannon is detachable, and the other weapon for the Predator is the dual blades on the right gauntlet. The blades can be extended, which is a nice touch. There are a couple of bone bandoliers, although the string on the skull one was broken on mine. Fortunately, I was able to hang it in a way that still looks pretty natural, but I may go back and glue it later on.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

#105: Batman Legacy - Batgirl

Finally, Batgirl! Mattel originally released Babs as a two pack in DCSH, before I was collecting. Then they re-released her in a two pack with Azrael which I never saw. Both versions are currently way too pricy on the secondary market. So, of course when Batgirl is released in the second wave of Batman Legacy, it's hard to find, showing up at K-Mart first. I still haven't seen one in stores, but I was able to order one from Amazon for the same price as retail (and combined with something else to get free shipping), so no complaints there.

As is unfortunately common, QC isn't to as high a quality as one might hope. The right leg is bent from the packaging, but at least it's not so horrible that Batgirl can't stand. Also, her right bicep swivel was stuck in place, but I was able to take care of it with some time in the freezer. Since this is an old sculpt it reveals that the problem of skinny arms goes all the way back to DCSH days. It's as ridiculous as ever.

Aside from those complaints, if you're at all familiar with DCUC figures, you know what you're getting. There aren't any real accessories aside from the stand and mini-poster, but Batgirl's hands aren't sculpted to hold anything, so a Batarang would have been useless anyway. I'm glad to finally have Batgirl as a six inch figure for my collection, so I'm pretty stoked.

Monday, September 19, 2011

#104: Transformers Reveal the Shield - Megatron

Although my original plans to acquire this tiny version of Megatron were thwarted when Entertainment Earth was out of stock, then later cancelled my backorder because Hasbro wasn't sending them any more, I eventually picked one up from Amazon. True, it was a few dollars overpriced, but since it was a part of an order with free shipping, I was willing to pay a little bit extra. So aside from its adorable size, the main reason I wanted this is because it's the first Megatron in a while that turns into a gun!

I never had Megatron as a kid, and I unfortunately passed up on the Classics version of Megatron a few years ago. Also, I'm too cheap to buy the Masterpiece Megatron. So this is a good opportunity to have a Megatron that turns into a gun. Naturally, the conversion is pretty simple, and the gun totally looks like it's got a chunk missing from the handgrip, but it's still pretty cool in my book. What's the deal with the orange tip on the barrel? There's no way somebody's going to mistake this for a real gun! Stupid safety laws.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

#103: Big O - R. Dorothy Waynewright

So remember a few months ago when I found out about the Figma R. Dorothy figure? After some thought and some searching around to find the best price, I did end up pre-ordering the figure, and now it's finally here! This is my first fancy import Japanese toy purchase, and while that means it's not cheap, I'm pretty impressed. Dorothy is made by Figma, which as far as I can tell is pretty similar to Revoltech in style.

Dorothy comes packaged in a nice window box that shows her and her accessories off pretty well. Most of the text is in Japanese, so I have no idea what it says. The back of the box has a few pictures of Dorothy, a lot more text I can't read, and a sticker from the importer. Dorothy and her accessories are all packaged in a plastic tray and held in place by a cover rather than rubber bands or ties. She comes with a nice range of accessories. There is an alternate face, so she can either be looking straight ahead or to the side, either way with her trademark dour expression. There is an alternate hair piece that has the hairband/disk drive extended like in the show. There is a broom (because she works as Roger's maid?) with articulated bristles. There are five interchangeable sets of hands: fists, pointing, open, holding, and open with fingers splayed. So the extra hands don't get lost, there is a plastic holder for all of them for when they're not attached to Dorothy. Also included is a non-articulated version of Dorothy's ill-fated pet cat, Pero. There is also a stand with a segmented, articulated rod that can plug into her back (I had her in a flying pose for a while just for the humor of it). Unfortunately, the plug is a little too large to use with GI Joe figures. Also, there is a plastic zip bag included to store all the accessories.

The Dorothy figure itself its pretty cool. It is a good representation of her appearance onscreen, capturing her look well. There's not a lot of paint, but what there is all looks good. I would think that the lines beneath her eyes could be slightly thicker, but that is being picky. Dorothy is no statue, and she has plenty of useful articulation. Her points of articulation aren't all perfectly hidden, but they are integrated into the sculpt better than on some other figures. All her joints move well, none were stuck, and it doesn't feel like she's going to fall apart. I'm not exactly sure what scale she is in, but I think it is somewhere in the six inch range. She isn't a tall character, and I think she looks appropriately sized next to Batman (probably the closest I'll get to a Roger Smith figure). All in all, this is a very nice figure. A bit pricy, but I think it was worth it for something that's never likely to be released stateside, and of high quality.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#102: Alice: Madness Returns Minimates - Alice

American McGee's Alice was a computer game featuring a twisted, more "mature" take on the further adventures of Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. I think it was a better Tim Burton style take on the story than Tim Burton's actual film turned out to be. As a life long console gamer, I found the controls somewhat clunky and annoying, so I never got around to finishing the game. Earlier this Summer, a sequel to the game, Alice: Madess Returns, was released for consoles and computers. I got the XBOX 360 version for my birthday and enjoyed it. To commemorate this, Alice was released as a Minimate, but only as an exclusive for San Diego Comic-Con. Fortunately, a friend of a friend was going and willing to pick one up for me, which is how I ended up with mine (they are ridiculously overpriced on Ebay now, but you can buy one for five bucks at Diamond Select's webshop). Incidentally, mine is labelled 321 out of 1,000 on the box.

As far as I can tell, this is the only Minimate based on the property that will be made, although there is an upcoming line of larger scale action figures that will be released in the future. So depending on how that turns out, this may be my only Alice toy. This is a good adaptation of Alice's in game look to Minimate form. Perhaps since it's an exclusive rather than a normal release it has a nice amount of paint apps, which includes the back of her dress as well. The only complaint is that she doesn't have any accessories. At least a Vorpal Blade (it goes snicker-snack!) should have been included, as it's her main weapon throughout the game. I'm kind of surprised they're only doing this one version of Alice in Minimate form. Maybe the character designs in the game didn't seem like a good fit for Minimate bodies (which is pretty reasonable), but they probably could milk the license a little more with variants on Alice, since she wears a  few different costumes during the game.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#101: TRON Legacy - Light Cycle: Kevin Flynn

For a while, I've been meaning to get the classic light cycle from the TRON Legacy line, but they've always been priced higher than I was willing to pay. Despite the clearance prices on most of the toys in the line, this one never went on clearance. Finally, they dropped the price at Target, so I was willing to buy one. The light cycle sequence from the original TRON is one of its most iconic scenes. Since the newer (and more expensive) versions of the light cycle look different, this is the one I wanted. It does what I need it to do, so it rolls and you can put a figure in the cockpit. It's too bad the figure line didn't include any classic styled figures, because it would be cool to have a young Kevin Flynn to pilot it. It also lights up when there is a figure inside, or the lights can be activated by a button on the side. Now if only it left a light trail, too.

#100: Marvel Universe - Cable

Remember how I said I finally found Thanos at Target after buying him at the toy show? Well, I saw a few Cables at the toy show too, but didn't want one enough to pay inflated prices, so I passed on them. When I saw Thanos at Target, I also saw Cable, and picked it up then. Fortunately, that $6.99 sale was still going on, so it was a decent price as well. Now, there is a variant of Cable that comes with a baby in a harness. I find that incredibly amusing as an accessory, so I would have preferred that version. As it goes, this was the only Cable on the pegs, so I went with it. The accessory wasn't a big enough deal to make me hold off. The accessories Cable does come with are naturally all weapons. There's his requisite giant gun which pegs on to his back, a pistol which has a holster, and for some reason a spear. I'm not sure what that's about, as I associate Cable more with giant guns and vaguely defined telekinetic mutant powers rather than hand to hand combat. He's also a pretty tall figure, right up there with Colossus. It's good to have another mutant to help fight off the Sentinel, so Cable was a good find.
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