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.

#99: Batman Legacy - Batman (Modern Age)

When I first saw images of the modern age Batman figure, I thought that the grimacing face was a bit much, and that I would skip the figure, even though I have been wanting a black and grey Batman without a yellow bat symbol on his chest. Thinking about it more, I decided that I can actually dig the face. Since this is a modern Batman, in my mind that means he is The Goddamn Batman, so it works for him to look really pissed off.

I believe this mold was originally used for one of the DC Super Heroes Batman figures, and there are certain details that help set it apart from the standard DCUC body, so that's cool. There are even bat symbols on the soles of his boots! He comes with a bat symbol base and a mini poster of Batman swooping around in a cave with bats flying around him. I think this is one of the better Batman figures that Mattel has made in the past few years, so for now I am considering it the definitive Batman in my collection.

#98: Doctor Who - The Master and Axon

When this set came out, it was the only way to get the original version of the Master, and it still is. Since it cost 40 bucks, I wasn't willing to pay that much because the Axon didn't interest me enough to justify the price. But Figureoftheday had it a couple weeks ago for 25 dollars, which was low enough to get me to spring for it.

The Axon figure pretty accurately represents the guy in a suit look of its TV appearance. It's my tallest Who figure, and definitely the bulkiest. The sculpt is pretty intricate, capturing all the somewhat disgusting texture of the Axon's body, with appropriate paintwork. Without elbows or knees, articulation is somewhat lacking. It's a big, weird looking alien, so it's cool to have around.

This Master is the first one to appear, played by Roger Delgado. I think this is one of the better likenesses on a Who figure, which is cool since the John Simm Master figure was a bit lacking in that department. All the standard Who figure articulation is here. He also comes with his tissue compression eliminator. He's pretty cool, and I'm glad I was able to get this set for a more reasonable price than it's original one. Last I checked, there are figures for three different incarnations of the Master, so it raises the question of how long it will be until an Eric Roberts version of the Master will be released.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#97: Batman - Ice Cannon Mr. Freeze

So when I went to that toy show a couple weeks ago, I saw some DC Super Heroes figures that were priced higher than I was willing to pay, including Mr. Freeze. Now, I don't want the current Batman Legacy release because I think the color scheme is pretty garish. So I checked on Ebay and found this guy for a reasonable price. What I realized after the auction had ended was that I had bid on the wrong figure. I was looking for the DC Super Heroes Mr. Freeze, but by not paying close enough attention, I had actually bid on the earlier release from the Batman line. Truly, there is a lesson there to not be so distracted by a low price that you don't realize you're not bidding on exactly the toy you want.

The main reason I wanted the DCSH version is due to its improved articulation. This version has no elbow, wrist, or ankle articulation, and the hips and knees are only swivels. Aside from articulation gripes, this is actually a pretty cool figure. One cool piece of articulation is that when you swivel the waist, the head swivels with it beneath the dome. That's a really cool way to have the head be poseable without removing the dome. Also, that huge gun? It squirts water. Yeah, an action feature. In this case, it doesn't really interfere with the aesthetics of the toy, because the hose is well integrated into the design.

Now that I have this Mr. Freeze in my collection, I probably won't be willing to shell out for the DCSH version, but if they re-release him again with a decent color scheme, I may end up with a replacement. For now, it's always good to have another member of Batman's rogues gallery.

Monday, August 29, 2011

#96: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Han Solo (Yavin Ceremony)

I bought this Han to fill another hole in my collection: a regular, classic Han Solo. The Han that came with the Millennium Falcon is similar, but has piloting gloves and a headset. This one has a scene specific touch with the medal, but it can be removed, so it is otherwise the classic Han Solo look. Most of the figures I've been getting in this scale lately have been from the Marvel Universe line, so it is interesting to get a figure with a more realistic physique. I think he may be slightly too thin, or perhaps his head is slightly too large. Either way, I'm just glad to have the classic Han Solo look for my collection.

#95: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Luke Skywalker (Death Star Escape)

Looking back, it's been about four whole months since my last new Star Wars toy. Damn that mid-year Star Wars toy drought! This Luke isn't even from one of the newest waves, but I never saw it in stores until I was visiting my home town a couple weeks ago.

Mainly I got this figure because I don't have a farm boy Luke yet. This one has the Stormtrooper belt, so he is kind of scene specific, but that's fine by me. The weirdest thing about him is that he doesn't come with a lightsaber. It's weird, because the only other Luke figure I can think of that doesn't include a lightsaber is the Luke in Stormtrooper armor. There's even one Luke figure that totally should not include a lightsaber which does anyway. They made a figure based on the final scene of  The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke is on the medical frigate, having just lost his hand (and lightsaber), and yet it still comes with one. But not this Luke! Instead, he comes with a grappling hook for chasm crossing, a blaster, and a comm-link that clips to his belt. Also, he's appropriately too short to be a Stormtrooper.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

#94: Batman Legacy - Catman

Word on the street is that K-Mart is getting the second wave of Batman Legacy earlier than other stores for some reason, but there have been reports of this wave showing up at Wal-Marts as well. Why K-Mart? Because Mattel, that's why. Whatever the reason, I found Catman at a K-Mart, the only Batman Legacy figure in the store. 

The Catman figure is pretty cool, and I think it has some unique parts. The gloves and boots seem to be new, and the cape has added arm straps which I think are unique. It's a different look for a caped figure, and I think it's cool. The head is of course new, and it has something cool: sculpted in stubble. For accessories, there are a couple of knuckleduster claw things. Instead of a build a figure piece, Batman Legacy figures get stands and a mini poster. The stands are oval with the Bat logo and have the character's name along the side. Catman's poster is an image of him exchanging blows with Batman in midair high above the city. 

Now here's hoping I can find Batgirl!

#93: Transformers Animated - Shockwave and Bumblebee

When I went to the toy show with the Jameses, this was my only other purchase. I already have Animated Shockwave, but it's the standard release that isn't purple. Later, Hasbro released this Target exclusive version, which showed up and quickly went into clearance mode. Unfortunately I never got my hands on one at the time, and now it's pricier than I'm willing to pay in the secondary market. So when I saw it at the toy show for a very reasonable price, I bought it.

Included with Shockwave is a small Activators version of Bumblebee. I never bought any of the Activators toys, but it is pretty fun. When you push the button on Bumblebee's roof (I think it's a siren bubble) it automatically unfolds thanks to a spring loaded mechanism. You unfold his arms and legs a little, and you've got Bumblebee in bot mode. Pretty cool. I'm considering it a free bonus with Shockwave, so I've got no complaints.

As I mentioned before, I already have the non-purple version of this Shockwave, so I knew exactly what I was getting here. A rare quadruple-changer, Shockwave is pretty great. The old one is on top of my shelves, so I had forgotten how insanely tall he is for a Voyager class toy. He's almost nine inches tall, which is a good two or three inches taller than most Voyagers. He's pretty badass, and I'm glad I was finally able to get my hands on one without overpaying.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

#92: Marvel Universe - Thanos

So a couple weeks ago I went to a toy show in San Jose with my Articulated Monster co-hosts, James and James. A couple days beforehand, I was thinking about the Thanos figure and how unlikely I would be to find one in stores. So I did a bit of research into how much it would cost me to get it from an online source and decided that if I could find one cheaper at the show, I would pick it up. At one of the first booths we visited, I saw Thanos, and since the price was slightly lower than online prices, I went for it. Moments later, I was struck by a couple doubts. First I was worried that I would find one cheaper elsewhere at the show, which I fortunately did not. Second I was worried that I was supporting scalpers by buying a fairly current product. This may or may not be true, and the seller may just be someone that orders full cases of figures from online. He certainly did have a wide selection of hard to find and easy to find figures.

So anyway, as a big cosmic villain (AKA Marvel's version of Darkseid) Thanos was a figure I definitely wanted to add to my collection. Sharing a base body with Juggernaut, he's appropriately bulky, with a good amount of articulation. There's a nice wash to bring out the details of his muscles. He comes packaged with the Infinity Gauntlet on, and if you want a regular version of Thanos, there's an alternate normal gloved left hand. Also, a stand which he really doesn't need.

True facts: The other day, I found Thanos at Target. Which is currently having a $6.99 sale on Marvel Universe figures. As Liz Lemon would say: Blerg!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

#91: Transformers Generations - Scourge

With the toy reset at Target came new stock of Transformers Reveal the Shield and Generations toys. Naturally this includes, Thundercracker, Warpath, and Wheeljack, which I had previously purchased online. Some times patience pays off, but I tend to think it'll lead to missing out. Also that includes Scourge which I decided to get mostly as a companion for my Cyclonus. The recent Galvatron they made is reportedly not very good, so I will wait for a new version to be released if I want to complete the trio.

This version of Scourge turns into a pretty cool looking flying wing jet thing. It's pretty massively wide, barely fitting in the bubble. I like the way it looks, although it would be an improvement if the blue stripe continued along the edges of the wings rather than abruptly ending as it does.

Robot mode is pretty good, too. The feet are pretty huge, so that's good for stability. Also, he is rocking some great facial hair. Poseability is decent enough, although the shoulders are a bit restricted. He comes with two guns which can be connected to form a bigger gun. A neat feature that I didn't notice until after I had taken the pictures is that the wings open up, giving a cooler appearance in robot mode. Also, the inside of the wings can be used to store the guns, which is something I wondered about when I first opened the toy, as there's no place on the plane's body for them to plug in otherwise.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#90: Batman Legacy - Prototype Suit Batman and Lt. Jim Gordon

As I was waiting for Target to finish its toy aisle reset, I was pondering how much I wanted the Jim Gordon figure. Since it comes in a two pack with the prototype suit Batman which I wasn't interested in, I tried to decide if I wanted it enough to effectively pay double price for one figure. The only alternative would be to find a Gordon loose online, but I try to avoid loose figures when possible, as I'm somewhat picky about that sort of thing, and part of the fun of toys for me is getting them out of the packaging. So the second time that I saw the set on the shelves, I decided that I would cave and buy the set.

The prototype suit Batman was originally released in the Movie Masters line. It's actually a pretty good figure, although not the most exciting choice. Has there ever been some sort of proto-Batman figure from the comics made? Thanks to the typical Mattel packaging, the left leg is a bit warped, but I am hoping to to fix that by giving it some time with a rubber band. The ski mask is made of a soft rubber, and is fortunately removable. It looks a bit too bulky while on the head, and the likeness of Christian Bale is pretty good. A stapler would have been a cool accessory for this figure.

I'm digging the Gordon figure, partly because it is free of packaging deformation, partly just because it's a Gary Oldman figure, partly because he's got a gun, and in general it's just good. The likeness is maybe not as good as the Christian Bale, but it gets the job done. So, the gun. In the Movie Masters line, there weren't any proper accessories, just bits of "evidence" included with the figures. Joker came with a joker card, Harvey and Two-Face each came with a full scale replica of his coin. The rest were junk, like an oversized Batman cowl, or an oversized Scarecrow mask. So ultimately I suppose it is a good thing that Gordon wasn't part of the Movie Masters line, because a gun is a much better accessory than whatever he might have come with otherwise.

I definitely feel like I overpaid for the set, but the prototype Batman isn't too terrible. If you don't mind loose figures, it's probably a better idea to just get Gordon online instead of buying the set.

#89: Marvel Universe - Doctor Strange

So a couple weeks ago I had to go in for jury duty. Fortunately, I wasn't selected to end up on the jury, and I was out of there by lunch time. Since I was out of town anyway, I decided to check out the Wal-Mart and Target, in hope of finding some new stock. The only thing I found while I was out was Doctor Strange, which I've been looking for a while now. I thought this was a pretty good find, but then I saw a couple in my local Target the very next day. But then they were gone two days later. Either way, I'm glad I found one, as I haven't seen any more in stores since.

I don't think I've ever actually read any comics with Doctor Strange in them. But he's got a cool cape, is rocking a cool 'stache, and at least partially inspired Dr Orpheus on The Venture Brothers, and I just dig his look enough to want the figure. Also, he's totally metal, look at him flashing those horns... Wait. That's actually the sign for "I love you." Not so metal after all, I guess. Still though, pretty cool figure.

Friday, August 19, 2011

#88: Transformers Dark of the Moon - Powerglide

So as I mentioned yesterday, I took advantage of the sale at Target to pick up Powerglide, which I've been thinking of getting for a while now. I don't think this is a toy I had back in the 80s, but I dig that it turns into a sort of A-10, similarly to the COBRA Rattler. Hey, with that Sky Striker/Starscream repaint from Comic Con, how about a Powerglide repaint in COBRA colors? That would be a pretty cool custom. Anyway, the altmode is pretty cool, and loaded with missiles. Unfortunately, it's a bit back heavy, so when it's resting on the ground, it tends to tip backwards.

Bot mode is decent enough. All those missiles combine into a kind of goofy looking gun, although they can also be used as two separate guns. Powerglide may be a little guy, but he's got enough weapons to take care of himself at least. The wings hang off his arms, so they kind of get in the way. I basically got this guy for half price, so I'm pretty happy with the purchase.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

#87: Spider-Man - Power Charge Rhino

So currently, Target has this sale going on where you can buy one figure and get one free, choosing from the Spider-Man line, Marvel Universe, commander class Transformers, and I think some other line. I've been meaning to pick up a Powerglide, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. The Rhino figure is one I've been kind of thinking about picking up for a while now, and since it was basically half-price, I figured that now would be the best time for it.

This is my first figure from the current Spider-Man line, which is mostly filled with goofy Spidey variants and the occasional villain figure mixed in. So let's get the main complaint out of the way first: articulation. There's no waist, knee, ankle, or wrist articulation at all. I know this is the "kids" line, but I think that at the very least they should have added knee articulation. The shoulders and waist articulation is that ball-hinge with immediately adjacent swivel that can be difficult to work with. The head is on a swivel-hinge, so it can spin around or look straight up. His accessories are pieces of armor that snap on. I've heard they have a tendency to pop off, and since they are held on by clear bands in the packaging, I'm leaving them that way. The paint is minimal, and it gets the job done well enough. Where this figure really stands out is the sculpt. It's got great detail, with every available surface covered in texture, from bumps to ridges to overlapping plates of armor. Rhino's sculpted with his mouth wide open, and although I generally prefer a bit more neutral expressions on figures, I think it works well here. It helps make him look like he's right about to charge. So overall I think it's a pretty cool figure. It doesn't seem to be super hard to find, and I'm guessing Hasbro is mostly skipping over Spidey's rogues gallery in Marvel Universe, so this might be the only way to get a Rhino in this scale.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

#86: Iron Man 2 - Air Assault Drone

Given how the Iron Man 2 figures have been sitting on pegs for a long time, I pretty much figured I would never see any of the Hammer drone figures. Imagine my surprise to see the Air Assault Drone hanging from the end of a peg in one of my hometown Targets. Intrigued, I looked through the pegs and saw a couple of weirdo Iron Man and War Machine variants that I didn't even know existed. I skipped those and bought this guy. Unfortunately, it's kind of a mixed bag. For the most part, it's pretty cool looking, and it's pretty tall so it looks imposing next to other figures. The articulation is a bit wonky, with that annoyingly high thigh swivel that's way too close to the hips. That's the sort of thing that makes it hard to pose the legs. Also, the wrists look like they are ball joints, but they are both stuck. I'll probably give it some freezer time, but for now they're stuck where they are. There's a removable jet pack as the sole accessory aside from the stand and cards. Why is it removable? Modular design for easy repair? I guess that makes sense. I don't know if I would recommend this, but that may be a moot point given how uncommon it is. At least it's a killer robot!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#85: Back to the Future 2 Minimates - Mini-time Machine with Marty McFly

I'm away from my apartment for a few days, so although I have other toys to blog about first, I will be posting these out of order since I won't have them in front of me until I get back. So I stopped at a Toys R Us and they had a few of these on the pegs. If you've been following this blog long enough, you may have noticed that I'm a fan of Back to the Future in general, and DeLoreans particularly. I don't have any BttF Minimate sets, so I figured this would be a good one to pick up.

There are a few different versions of the DeLorean, and they each come with a different Minimate. This one comes with 1985 Marty, in what I consider his standard outfit. The colors are a bit off from the standard release, and the vest is more red than orange. So it doesn't look quite as authentic. Most of the BttF Minimate sets are harder to find these days, so while this Marty isn't perfect, it's good enough for me.

The DeLorean itself is super-deformed, so while it's still recognizably a DeLorean, at the same time it looks really weird. The doors open, so Marty can sit inside. Also, there was a sticker sheet. On the outside there were headlights, taillights, and a license plate. No big deal. But on the inside, there are stickers for the flux capacitor, the time circuits, some for the dashboard, and an instrument panel. These are pretty evil because they are small, as is the space available in the car's interior. Unless you have the fingers of a child, you'll have a difficult time getting the stickers in place. I've been to four different Toys R Us stores in the past few days, and I've only seen this at one, so it may not be easy to find.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

#84: Marvel Universe - SDCC 2011 exclusive Sentinel

Way back when the Marvel Universe Sentinel was announced, I assumed it would be coming out sooner than it did. But I suppose they are keeping their super sized figures at one a year, which is a good idea for keeping things spaced out. Naturally, I wanted one, as I didn't really get into Marvel figures until after the Marvel Legends build-a-figure Sentinel was long gone from store shelves. When the Sentinel was finally given a release date, I pre-ordered mine online. The normal retail release comes in a purple and silver color scheme (I guess that's something more modern?) rather than the classic blue and purple like the exclusive version. Although I prefer the classic color scheme I didn't think I'd be able to get my hands on the exclusive, so I ordered it anyway. Then during one of the panels, the news came out that the better color scheme would probably be finding its way to retail at some point, so I cancelled my pre-order. Then put all the Hasbro exclusives up for sale while I was at work. Apparently they were dealing with style problems on their website due to all the crazy toy ordering traffic. By the time I got to check the site, I was on lunch, and using my phone, so ordering was a slower process than normal. The final confirmation page never fully loaded, so I wasn't sure if my order had gone through. About twenty minutes later, I did get the order confirmation e-mail, but since my Paypal account hadn't been fully charged yet (they had done the authorization charge, but hadn't actually taken the money), I still wasn't sure if it had gone through. Finally, a few days later I hadn't heard anything about the order shipping, so I e-mailed, and it turns out the Sentinel had shipped that very day. Finally!

So, because this is a Comic-Con exclusive, the packaging is actually something interesting to talk about. First, it's huge. The box it came in is about three feet square. Opening that up, there's the actual box the Sentinel comes in, featuring some cool Joe Quesada artwork. That box opens up suitcase style to reveal the carded Sentinel within.

That's right, like last year's exclusive version of Galactus, the Sentinel comes packaged in a ridiculously oversized version of the regular Marvel Universe cards. I really appreciate Hasbro's dedication to this gimmick, because nothing's as amusing as an object that's a giant version of an everyday object (like the artwork of Claes Oldenburg!). I liked this giant oversized card so much that I hung it on my wall after I took out the Sentinel. The artwork on the main box would be cool to hang on the wall, too.

Sooooo. It's pretty damn cool. It's appropriately huge and has a very nice heft to it. There's a button on its chest that makes it speak various phrases, as well as making its eyes light up. There's actually a certain amount of parts reuse from Galactus. The torso and the upper arms and legs are the same. There is a softer plastic chest piece that makes their chests look different. So the lower legs and forearms, as well as the head are different. This reuse of pieces leads to my biggest complaint about the figure: no palm blasters! Whenever I think of Sentinels, they're always blasting away at mutants with their palms, so that omission is kind of disappointing. Overall, I think it's really cool and definitely worth adding to the collection.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Articulated Monster: Got a question?

We're recording the next episode of Articulated Monster later today. Do you have any questions you'd like us to answer? Leave a comment here, or e-mail We'll have the new episode up within a few days for your listening pleasure.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

#83: DC Minimates - Batgirl and Bane

Although the original Batgirl is one of my favorite members of the Bat-family, my collection is sorely lacking in toys based on her. Mattel is finally putting out a repaint of the DC Superheroes version soon, but I've always liked the Minimates version. I'm not the biggest Minimates collector, so I wasn't even aware of these when they were being produced, and this set seems to be going for ridiculously marked up prices on Ebay. Then one late night recently, the brilliant idea of using Google's shopping search hit me, and I found a reasonably priced set online.

Since Minimates usually come in two packs, there is always the danger of being forced to buy a figure you're not at all interested in to get the one you want, but fortunately this one came with Bane. Since he's one of Batman's rogues gallery, I'm cool with it. A neat bonus is that he's pretty huge. Originally Minimates were all this larger size. He's pretty well done, with all the painted detail necessary. The spot where his Venom delivery tube plugs into the back of his head has all the little tubes sculpted on. Even the zipper on his mask is sculpted in!

Of course, Batgirl is the star of the set for me. She's even got the scalloped gloves and bat-satchel hanging from her utility belt. If you want an unmasked Barbara Gordon, you're in luck, because her cowl/hair piece is removable, and there is an alternate hair piece. I think I would have preferred if the cowl didn't completely cover the face underneath and rather had holes for her eyes and mouth to show through, but it works. I'm glad I was finally able to add Minimates Batgirl to my collection, now to wait for Mattel to release theirs.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Well, the contest is over, and the winner is Novelty Nostalgia of Toy A Day! It turns out that he was the only entrant, so he wins by default. Fortunately I quite like the design, and it would have been a strong contender if there had been any competition.

So here it is, the winning banner which will be gracing the top of this blog from now on:

Congrats, Novelty, your DeLorean will be on its way soon!
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