Thursday, May 31, 2012

#41: The Dark Knight Rises - Movie Masters Bane

Okay, now that The Avengers has been in theaters for almost a month, it is time to focus on the movie I am most looking forward to this year: The Dark Knight Rises. The figure I'm most looking forward to from the toy line is Alfred, so of course I haven't been able to find one yet. I've seen a few Batman figures, and today I found this solitary Bane. I have all the main antagonists from the Movie Masters line so far (Scarecrow, Joker, Two-Face), so naturally I wanted to get Bane as well. For the movie, Bane traded in his traditional luchador mask for whatever he is wearing in the movie, and I'm looking forward to seeing how he translates to the Nolan-verse. It's a pretty well done figure, and as far as I can tell is a completely new sculpt, something of a rarity for Mattel. He's got the standard Mattel Movie Masters articulation with the exception of a bicep swivel. It would have been nice to have that too, but it's not the most important point of articulation on a figure. The new thing for the DKR Movie Masters is that instead of coming with a ridiculously sized accessory, the figures come with a piece of the Batsignal, which when assembled will light up. I'm still torn on whether I want to build it. I probably will want to. I've already got Bane. I definitely want Catwoman and Alfred. I don't have a movie Batman yet, so I don't mind getting one. I'm iffy on the Joseph-Gordon Levitt figure. Then the sixth figure has yet to be revealed. There are rumors that I shan't repeat here, but I'm guessing it will be a figure I will be cool with getting. So, maybe I will try to collect them all.

Will Bane break the Bat? Less than two months to find out!

#40: Transformers Prime - Bulkhead

The other new figure in the second wave of Transformers Prime voyagers is Bulkhead, who I unfortunately never got a toy of from the Animated line. I was glad to see he was back for Prime, and looking forward to picking up his toy slightly more than Starscream's (hey, I already have a few Starscreams already). This is actually the second version of Bulkhead to be released based on Prime, but I never saw any of the First Edition toys. I still don't understand why they decided to release a line of new figures, but barely anywhere, then a few months later, release completely new versions of the same characters. This version of Bulkhead seems to be less show accurate, so who knows. Either way, Bulkhead is pretty cool in robot mode, and I'm glad to finally have him. Like Starscream, there's a big light up extending accessory that doesn't fit in anywhere in either mode, so I've left it out of the pictures. His other accessory is a battering ram thing that can fit on either his arms or on his back as a robot, or on top of his roof in his altmode.

Bulkhead folds up into a surprisingly small altmode. It looks pretty good but is unfortunately a little too busy underneath, so much that the wheels don't all touch the ground at the same time. Possibly I just didn't fold up his limbs entirely the right way, so your mileage may vary with that problem.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

#39: Transformers Prime - Starscream

Lately I've been haunting the toy aisles mostly looking for new Dark Knight Rises, Spider-Man, and GI Joe toys to appear. But yesterday the second wave of Transformers Prime voyagers showed up, which is something else I've also been looking forward to. I may have missed out on the Movie Masters Alfred figure, but this trip I was there at the right time. It is one of the small joys of toy collecting to find two figures at the same time that you expect will be hard to find.

Naturally, Starscream is one of the toys I've been looking forward to, as he is one of my favorite Decepticons. Robot mode is pretty great. It looks pretty accurate to the show's model, and is appropriately tall and lanky. Without the rest of the other voyager class toys from Prime to compare, I would guess that he is probably the tallest. So he may be too tall. But I can deal with him being too tall because it offsets how lightweight he is. There is an accessory included, which I have left out of the pictures because I think it looks bad. It's a big, bulky null cannon. When you press the lever on it, it folds out and lights up. It can plug into Starscream's arm or back in robot mode, or under his wing or right above the cockpit in altmode.  It doesn't look good in any of those positions. One of the cool things about the Transformers in the Prime cartoon is that when they need a weapon, they just transform their hand into it, so it looks sleek and built in, and not like a giant piece of added on junk like the toy version. Overall, Starscream is pretty cool in robot mode, with plenty of articulation. He can even bow forward for when he needs to suck up to Megatron. Oddly, the head has light piped eyes, but the eyes are painted over with red.

Starscream's altmode, some sort of jet, is definitely the less cool mode. Getting him between modes is kind of annoying when dealing with the shoulder/chest parts. The instructions aren't as clear as I would hope, so I had to kind of experiment and look at the picture on the box to figure out how to get it done. I'm mostly going to leave him in robot mode anyway, so it's not too big a deal.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#38: LEGO Minifigures Series 7 - Viking Woman

In most series, there has been at least one minifigure that I passed on or was unable to find that I afterwards regret not being able to get my hands on. Recently, that was the Viking. Fortunately, LEGO has a tendency to do male and female versions of certain minifigures. I wasn't expecting the Viking to be one of those, so this was a pleasant surprise. As one of two women wearing a dress in series 7, the Viking woman is pretty easy to find, especially with her really long braids.

The bump codes for finding the Viking woman.

Monday, May 28, 2012

#37: LEGO Minifigures Series 7 - Bagpiper

While not quite on the level of the bunny suit guy, the Bagpiper was one of the minifigures from series seven that I wanted to be sure to get. C'mon, it's a guy with bagpipes and a kilt. Totally cool. The kilt is one of those stiff 'fabric' pieces that capes are made out of, and it must be folded up properly to fit on the minifigure. Yes, the piper is wearing something under the kilt. The easiest way to find this guy is by feeling for the bagpipes, which have a very distinctive shape.

The bagpiper bump code, for those who trust their eyes more than their fingers.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

#36: LEGO Minfigures Series 7 - Ocean King

The Ocean King was another must have from series 7, and was the first minifigure I found during my round of package squeezing. The tail piece is so large and distinctive that it is perhaps the easiest of the lot to find by the braille method. I assumed he was meant to be Poseidon/Neptune, but based on the official name of Ocean King, I suppose he is just a mermaid leader. A cursory glance at actual mythology shows that despite being an ocean oriented deity, Poseidon and Neptune were generally depicted as having had legs rather than fins. Oh well! The trident is a cool accessory that is exactly what one would expect for an oceanic monarch. I don't know if LEGO will be making an Aquaman minifigure, but if they don't, the trident would be a good addition for an Aquaman custom. Also, I think this is perhaps the best beard that has been made for minifigures so far.

The bump code for finding the Ocean King, if you're not up for squeezing packages.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

#35: LEGO Minifigures Series 7 - Bunny Suit Guy

If I could only get one minifigure from this series, the bunny suit guy is the one I would pick. It's just that awesome. He makes a nice companion for gorilla suit guy and lizard suit guy. Also, he's in a bunny suit, and bunnies are cute, so this minifigure has a high cuteness factor going for him. Dig that carrot that's almost as big as him. It's a pretty minimal paint job, but they did include a painted tail on his back side. He's pretty easy to find either by his bunny hood or his carrot.

Here's the bump code, for your bunny hunting.

Friday, May 25, 2012

#34: LEGO Minifigures Series 7 - Aztec Warrior

When the latest series of LEGO minfigures started showing up in stores, I figured that meant they would be showing up here in a few weeks, as seems to be the pattern. After keeping a closer eye on the parts of the toy section at Target I don't usually pay attention to, a display of series 7 finally showed up. For the first time, they were actually in the LEGO aisle! As is the routine, I started feeling the packages, looking for the minifigures I wanted. It went a bit faster this time, mostly because I didn't intend to get as many of them. Which is fortunate, because I'm apparently getting less patient with standing around feeling blindpacked packaging. I would be perfectly happy if they spaced out the waves more.

Anyway! The Aztec Warrior was pretty easy to find, thanks to the giant headpiece. I actually found the spear first, but that headpiece is impossible to miss. The Aztec Warrior fits into the categories of cool historical warriors, and national stereotypes that represent part of my ancestry, so it was a must get. Also, it's a cool looking minifigure anyway.

Here's the bump code if you prefer that method. Happy hunting!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

#33: Avengers Minimates - Loki and Nick Fury

And now, the final (and most important?) Minimates set from the Avengers movie. Like Black Widow and Hawkeye, this is a Toys R Us exclusive set. Because of course the villain and Samuel L Jackson should be more limited releases. Aside from completing the set, I would have to get this set anyway because it's Loki rocking his awesome helmet and Samuel L Jackson. There are no spare accessories in this set, aside from a stand. I think it would have been nice to have a hair piece for Loki, because although that helmet is so badass, he was frequently without it during the movie. He does include his staff, and Nick Fury gets a rocket launcher as well as a pistol that holsters on his leg. His coat is drawn back for easy access to the pistol, so hooray for functionality.

Thanks to Hasbro never releasing Nick Fury in the 3.75 inch scale (outside of that box set that I have yet to see cheap enough to justify solely for that figure), Mace Windu will have to stand in for Nick Fury here. What if Mace Windu were in charge of SHIELD?

Friday, May 18, 2012

#32: Avengers Minimates - Hawkeye and Black Widow

Wow, Hawkeye is short. He looks like a hunched little dwarf next to Black Widow. Weird. Visually, Hawkeye suffered the most in his translation to the big screen. Obviously, his comic costume is way too garish to do a straight adaptation of, but I wish the final product was a little more reminiscent of the comics. Oh well. Hawkeye does get an alternate head, featuring the sunglasses that I think he only wears at the very end of the movie while not in costume. Naturally, he comes with a bow, and three removable arrows which can be stowed in the quiver on his back.

Black Widow is definitely the stronger half of this set. She's as good a Minimate adaptation as one could expect. I'm always a fan of functional holsters, and Black Widow gets two, one for each of her pistols. Also included is a single stand. This is one of the Toys R Us exclusive sets, so if you want to complete your Minimate Avengers movie line up, you'll have to go there. 

I don't have any other Hawkeye toys, so here's a ninja, which is the only other archer figure I have. Also, I totally forgot just how lackluster the Marvel Universe Black Widow figure is. Here's hoping the upcoming Avengers movie line Black Widow is an improvement. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

#31: Avengers Minimates - Captain America and Thor

Continuing from yesterday's Avengers Minimates post (which you really should have watched by now), here are Captain America and Thor. I've heard a lot of complaining online about Captain America's costume for the movie, but I dig it. It does seem very comic book, but I think one of the strengths of the Marvel cinematic universe is that it doesn't go out of the way to be too realistic, so something like this works. There is an alternate hair piece for Steve to go around with his mask off. Because of course he spends a lot of time like that in the movie. I do wish superheroes could keep their masks on more often in the movies.

Thor is in his casual "hanging out on the helicarrier" outfit, so there's no cape to make it hard for him to balance. Visually, I do prefer the cape, but from a practical standpoint, I can appreciate this version of Thor's costume will help keep him upright. Thor doesn't get any accessories, not even a helmet, because he didn't wear his helmet even once during the movie. I really hate to sound nitpicky about the costumes, because they don't really bother me that much, and I loved the movie. There is an included stand, so I suppose that is something for Cap and Thor to fight over.

I don't have six inch versions of both Cap and Thor, so here are a couple of Marvel Universe counterparts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

#30: Avengers Minimates - Iron Man and Hulk

After watching The Avengers (which if you haven't watched yet you should go do now. It's okay, I'll wait) I decided that I wanted a movie Avengers line up. Since I already have most of the characters in the 4 inch scale from Marvel Universe and the Iron Man 2 lines, I didn't want to replicate them in that scale again (and besides those Avengers figures are overpriced and under-articulated). The six inch figures are also going to be more expensive, and most likely hard to find. So I figured that Minimates would be the best way to go. Unfortunately, a couple of key sets are Toys R Us exclusives, and not in stock online. I asked James to keep an eye out for them, and he was able to find them all the day after I asked.

Iron Man has a few added on pieces to bulk up his armor, as well as an alternate open helmet, and a hair piece for when the helmet is off. He also gets a cool little flight stand so that he can be displayed in flight. His helmet seems a bit oversized (unavoidable when making a removable helmet at this scale), and it kind of reminds me of a kid in an Iron Man costume. Hulk has even more pieces bulking him up. Interestingly, he has four fingers on each hand and four toes on each foot. I'm used to the standard Minimate clamp hands, so I wasn't aware that characters in the Minimate style only have four digits.

I have three Hulk figures in my collection, and quite a few Iron Man figures. Here are a couple of six inch versions for comparison.
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