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.
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