Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Articulated Monster episode 8!

The latest episode of Articulated Monster is up. Be sure to send in listener questions to articulatedmonster@yahoo.com!

#60: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Angelica

At the same time I got Blackbeard, I picked up the figure for his daughter Angelica. Yeah, the Penelope Cruz figure. The likeness could be better, but the resemblance is there. While there were multiples of the other figures on the pegs, there was only one of these, so I decided to pick it up then rather than wait and possibly miss my chance later. As a figure, she has the same articulation as Blackbeard and essentially the same accessories. The flintlock pistol is exactly the same, and she has her own versions of sword, hat, and black light accessory. The black light is a ring (I'm not sure if it's meant to be one that she wears, or one that Jack Sparrow wears) which is too small to wear. Well, I did manage to slip it on my little finger, but then it got stuck and pulling it off wasn't exactly fun. Her legs are a bit skewed, so the lesser articulation is particularly a bummer in this case. At least she is capable of standing.

Monday, May 30, 2011

#59: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Blackbeard

Last week, I watched the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. If you enjoyed the previous Pirates movies, you ought to enjoy this one. As a bonus, its plot is less needlessly convoluted. Also, I'll take Penelope Cruz over Keira Kneightley any day. Anyway, the day before I saw the movie, I decided to pick up a couple of the figures from the movie. Naturally, I went with Blackbeard because he's based on an actual historical figure, one of the most well known pirates of the time.

The gimmick for this line is that each figure includes a little blacklight that reveals some sort of skeletal features on each figure. I'm assuming it's a callback to the first film, because it makes no sense in the context of the new film. It's not that exciting of a gimmick after the first couple of seconds, and I think it would have been a good idea to have left it out, possibly keeping the price lower at the same time. The good thing is that the extra paint is entirely unnoticeable in normal light. Blackbeard's light is a ship in a bottle which does make sense for him, but you'll have to watch the movie to find out why.

The figure itself is pretty cool. It looks good, although the articulation could definitely be improved. The shoulders are merely swivels, and the elbows are hinges. Ball shoulders would have been good for more fighting poses. The legs are somewhat hindered by the coats, but he stands easily enough. The joints seem a little on the loose side. The flintlock pistol he comes with doesn't exactly have a holster, but it does tuck into a hole in his coat, so that works. His sword has a scabbard, so all his weapons have a place if you want him empty handed. Unfortunately, he can't hold both at the same time as the left hand isn't sculpted to hold anything. Also, the hat is removable. It is a slightly loose fit, but his head manages to look good with it on or off.

I don't think these are the best figures, but neither are they the worst. But they are, like all figures in the scale these days, a bit pricy. So how you feel about pirates in general, or the movies and characters specifically, will help you decide whether they're worth it for you.

Friday, May 27, 2011

WANT: Figma R. Dorothy Wayneright

A few days ago, there was a big to-do about two different upcoming versions of Robocop. One is from NECA and one is from Figma, which as far as I can tell makes toys along the same lines as Revoltech: highly articulated toys from various licenses. But I'm not posting today to talk about Robocop, although if I were to get one, it would be the NECA version because it's cheaper. That's right, Figma figures aren't cheap. They run around 40 dollars or so, depending where you get them from. As I was browsing the Robocop gallery, I noticed links to other figures in the wave, and one of them is Dorothy.

I'm not a big anime fan, so most of the anime I've seen was what Cartoon Network showed on its Toonami and Adult Swim programming blocks. Big O is set in a noir-ish future in which some unknown cataclysm has left people without memories and the technology of the past keeps resurfacing to cause problems. There's also a healthy dose of influence from Batman: The Animated Series. R. Dorothy Wayneright is one of the main characters in the show, sort of a sidekick to the protagonist Roger Smith. The robot version of an inventor's daughter, she's disaffected and snarky. She's basically my favorite character from the series. So yeah, I'm really trying to decide if I want this figure enough to cough up its asking price. There's not exactly much in the way of Big O toys out there (there's a cool toy of Big O itself, but it's ridiculously expensive), so this is a good opportunity to get a figure from one of my favorite anime series.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

#58: Captain America The First Avenger Comic Series - Captain America Battlefield

Captain America Battlefield? Okay, who's in charge of naming these things? That's just terrible. Battlefield Captain America would be much better, although something along the lines of World War II Captain America would be preferable (or maybe even Ultimate World War II Captain America, to be more specific). Anyway, like the Wolvering and Iron Man lines before it, the Captain America line is divided into movie and comic series, which I continue to wholeheartedly agree with. I already have a six inch version of this figure (which I got mainly because it came with the Samuel L Jacksonesque version of Nick Fury), and it's a good figure, but I'm mainly into the four inch scale, so I figured I'd pick up this version too.

So, the good news is that it looks good. The sculpt is detailed and textured, and the paint is pretty good. The helmet is removable, and Cap is well armed with a machine gun, a holsterable pistol, and of course his trusty shield. Unfortunately the articulation doesn't work as well as one might hope. The main problem I have is with the arms. They don't go down far enough to the side, and from what I can tell that's an engineering issue rather than a production issue.

So it may not be the best figure out there for your Captain America needs, but it looks cool. Either way, unless I can find Red Skull, I think I've got all the Captain America movie figures that I want. Although, there is a paratrooper Captain America figure that would be a good birthday gift for someone's birthday next month. His parachute is shaped like his shield, and it's the classic non-Ultimate version which I don't have a toy of yet.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

#57: LEGO Minifigures - Hockey Player

While I was looking for the sailor, I decided that I also needed the hockey player. My interest in hockey is non-existant, but I like the minifigure. He's got a chest piece to represent his hockey pads (I hope he doesn't try to be a vigilante like Batman!) which bulks him up pretty well. The grill on his helmet flips up, revealing a truly angry face underneath. This guy isn't pulling any of his body checks. He also has skates that plug into the bottom of his feet, and a single stud for a puck. Due to his hockey stick, he's pretty easy to pick out in the packaging by feel. The punk rocker's guitar does feel slightly similar, but since it's a flying V design, it's easy to tell the two apart.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

#56: LEGO Minifigures - Sailor

I decided I needed to get the sailor too, because it seemed like the closest thing to a LEGO version of Shipwreck. When I was putting the hat on, I thought the anchor had been misprinted in the wrong spot. Then I realized it's meant to be a jaunty angle for the hat, and I dig that. Unfortunately due to the limitation of minifigure arm size, the sailor can't properly look through the telescope. Well, it can go up against his face, but it's still pointed down. Maybe he's squinting because he's trying to concentrate while looking through the telescope, or maybe he's winking at someone ashore. It's up to you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

#55: LEGO Minifigures - Kimono Girl

So I was back at Target, because I decided that I needed the sailor also. Naturally, as I was checking the various packages, I decided to get some of the other minifigures I had previously passed on, and so I ended up with the geisha, or kimono girl as she is officially named. One of the cool things about these blindpacked minifigures is that it seems they are given more decorative detail than standard minifigures. The design on the kimono is pretty involved, and there are even paint apps on her hair. Also, she has a fan.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#54: LEGO Minifigures - Soccer Player

Soccer is basically the only professional sport I ever watch, so I decided to get the LEGO representation of that. I'm not sure if the design of the jersey is meant to reflect any real life teams out there, but it's cool that they are sponsored by Octan, the fictional line of gas stations in LEGO world. It's too bad this player is in a club kit rather than a national kit, because a LEGO World Cup would be cool. As it is, this trophy is a bit cooler than previous trophies because it has a stand. A soccer ball would have been a cool accessory also.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Articulated Monster episode 7!

The latest installment of Articulated Monster is up, and you can check it out here.

Two of the three listener question prizes have been given away. So if you want a blindpacked series 4 LEGO minifigure, be sure to send in a question to articulatedmonster@yahoo.com and say you want the LEGO minifigure.


Monday, May 9, 2011

#53: Hot Wheels - Back To the Future Time Machine

A while back, Mattle put out a Hot Wheels DeLorean (then re-released it in two more versions, gold, then black). Naturally, I bought it (and the gold version, because that's just crazy). If it wasn't for Back to the Future, maybe I wouldn't even know what a DeLorean is, but I do think they're really cool looking cars, even if they aren't time machines. But of course, Mattel now has the license for Back to the Future toys, and the first one we get is the most obvious choice. Surprisingly, this isn't just a re-release of the previous DeLorean model with some plastic bits added on the back. The body itself has been re-sculpted to include the various pieces of equipment that Doc Brown added to the the sides of the car. Even the underside is a completely different sculpt. It's s very well detailed little car, from the DMC logo on the front to the classic OUTATIME license plate on the back. Now how long until we get versions from the second and third movies? It's a safe bet I'll buy those, too. Thanks to James for finding this and picking it up for me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Articulated Monster episode 6!

The new episode of Articulated Monster is up for all of you to check out, starring James, James, and me.

Want a free toy? Of course you do! Submit a listener question to articulatedmonster@yahoo.com and you can choose between a LEGO series 4 minifigure from me, a Minimate from James M, and a Halo Megabloks minifigure from James H. Just be sure to rank what your preference is.
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