Saturday, June 30, 2012

#52: Transformers Prime - Vehicon

One of the interesting things about the Transformers Prime cartoon is that the Decepticons have armies of nameless identical bots on their side. There are some that turn into cars and some that turn into jets. It's kind of weird to be theoretically be able to have an army builder in a Transformers line. They haven't released a toy of the jet Vehicon yet, so here's the car. It's a pretty cool looking robot mode that does a very nice job of replicating the appearance of the models in the show. The included gun can either be held in its hand, or the hand can fold away and the gun plugs onto the arm, matching the way that weapons replace hands on the show. It does a very cool job of folding away a large portion of the car into the legs without them looking oversized. The only drawback is the way the upper arms work. Due to the way it goes from car to bot, there are a few weird pieces of articulation all next to each other, so it is a little awkward.

The altmode for the Vehicon is a really cool looking car. It looks like a Batmobile! The gun can plug into either side above the rear wheel, or clip on the front behind the headlights. I think this is one of the coolest looking car altmodes I've seen on a Transformer.

Friday, June 29, 2012

#51: The Dark Knight Rises - Movie Masters Alfred Pennyworth

I've been waiting for a Michael Caine figure since the Movie Masters line started with The Dark Knight, and Mattel has finally released one. Naturally, he's packed one per case so he's harder to find than Batman or Bane. Fortunately, James found one and gave it to me for my birthday. There's not much exciting about him, he's another Movie Masters guy in a suit figure. It's a decent enough likeness of Michael Caine. For me, it's cool enough to have a figure of Michael Caine as Alfred for my collection. Also, he comes with a piece of the Batsignal:

Batsignal completion: 50%.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Articulated Monster, episode 39

Hey, did you remember that I'm part of a podcast? Well here is the latest episode. Want to find out who I would cast as Skeletor in a live action MOTU movie? The only way to find out is to listen.

#50: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Han Solo (Bespin outfit)

So my birthday was a couple days ago, and the first toy I received as a gift was this Han Solo from AJ. I think most people think of Han in his outfit from the first movie as the default look, but this is my favorite look for him. I've been wanting to pick up this recent Vintage release because the other figure I have of Han in this outfit is really wonky (see below). This is basically the ultimate version of this outfit on Han. It even has the ball jointed hips that are all the rage these days. He also has some sort of Millennium Falcon tool and goggles which aren't pictured. 

The previous Han that I have does have the cool torture rack accessory, but look how narrow his hips are! The newer figure is such a huge improvement. Thanks, AJ!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

#49: LEGO Avengers - Loki

These days, my interest in LEGO is mostly the minifigures. And the video games. Usually I'll only buy a building set if it includes enough minifigures I'm interested in. For The Avengers, this was a problem because I wanted a Loki, but didn't want to buy any of the sets he was included in. Fortunately, I was able to find one on Ebay for a decent price, and now my Loki army has grown again. What I like best about this Loki is that he has the largest horns on his helmet, relative to the size of the rest of his body. It's kind of ridiculous, in the best way possible. I wish his staff looked more movie accurate, but it's close enough.

Monday, June 25, 2012

#48: Pop! Marvel Avengers - Nick Fury vinyl bobble-head

The Pop! vinyl toys have been around for a little while now, and have a pretty wide variety of licenses. I've already got the Batman and Batgirl figures in this style. This is probably the adorable version of a Samuel L Jackson toy we're likely to get (or does that honor go the the Mini Muggs version?), so I've had my eye on it for a while, but regular price was just too much for me to take the plunge. With the release of the Amazing Spider-Man toys, Target was clearancing out some of their Avengers toys so that an endcap could be repurposed. This got marked down half off, which was reasonable enough for me to finally buy. I think due to licensing issues, a lot of these figures are released as bobble-heads rather than figures. Nick Fury here has an odd slant to his head due to the spring in his head, which is why I would have preferred the regular figures. Still, it was cheap, and it looks cool. I can't complain too much.

Monday, June 18, 2012

#47: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Nom Anor

A couple years ago, Hasbro put out a Yuuzhan Vong warrior figure in a comic pack, and Nom Anor was a rumored future release. Finally, he's been released as part of the Vintage Collection. Like the last few Star Wars figures I bought, this was purchased online rather than in a store. As a member of the Yuuzhan Vong, he does stand out from all the other Star Wars aliens, so he's pretty cool looking. Also, completely new sculpt. With his weird armor and all those spikes, it's not like there's much they could have reused. The paint isn't very bright, but upon closer inspection, there is a lot more of it than I thought at first. His staff is the same mold as the one included with the previous Vong, but this time it has been split into two pieces to fit into the packaging. The cape and hood are removable, and like most hoods in this scale, it doesn't really work out for wearing, but pushing it inside out makes it lay back at least.

The entirety of the Yuuzhan Vong in action figure form so far.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

#46: The Dark Knight Rises - Movie Masters Batman

Since I decided that I want to complete the Batsignal, my next logical purchase was Batman himself. I'd already have Alfred by now if I could find one, but Batman is heavily packed, and is the easiest figure to find. Fortunately, I didn't buy any of the previous Movie Masters Batman figures, so I'm not doubling up. From what I've heard, this is merely a slightly repainted version of the Dark Knight version. Other than that, this is a good figure. It could use some accessories (at least a batarang?), but I suppose the Batsignal piece takes up that part of the budgeting. He's got the typical DCUC style articulation, and what little paint there is looks good. The ab crunch is hard to see due to the detailing of the armor, which is cool. There's a nice mix of matte and glossy black, which helps make the figure look a little more interesting. I think the belt is slightly crooked, alas.

Batsignal completion update #1: 1/3 complete.

Monday, June 11, 2012

#45: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - ARC Trooper Commander

Remember the Clone Wars microseries? Remember the badass squad of commandos that Obi-Wan fought with in taking Muunilinst? Captain Fordo was the badass clone in charge and he has recently been honored with this very cool figure. Since it's a recent release, I naturally have been unable to find it in stores, and this is another Amazon find. Aside from using the most articulated clone body there is, this is two figures in one. He comes packaged in his Battle of Muunilinst look, but you can pull off the skirt, swap the belt/shoulder armor, and helmet, and  you've got him in his Battle of Coruscant look. Neat! This might be the best clone trooper that Hasbro has made. This isn't the first figure from the Clone Wars microseries that has been given the realistic figure treatment. There's the tattooed Anakin, Yoda on a kybuck, some clones, a Mon Cal warrior, a Quarren warrior, Kit Fisto, the IG lancer droids, and General Kenobi. I don't know if they have any more coming, but if this is the last one, it's a high note to finish on.

"Orders, sir?"

Sunday, June 10, 2012

#44: The Avengers - Movie Series Loki

In an effort to annoy toy collectors, Hasbro has also released a six inch line of Avengers characters as a Wal-Mart exclusive. From what I hear, it is proving to be hard to find, with characters such as Loki and the Hulk packed one per case. Fortunately for me, AJ's brother was able to find some of them and sent along a Loki for me. For those keeping count at home, this is my third Loki figure, and so far it is the best. Unless I get the Hot Toys version, I think this will be king of the Lokis (or is the plural of Loki something like Lokii?) in my collection.

Unsurprisingly, as it's the largest figure, this Loki has the best likeness of Tom Hiddleston. While the helmet is removable, it looks great on his head, almost as if it were a sculpted part of the head. As well as a removable helmet, Loki's cape is removable as well. Rounding out Loki's accessories is his fancy new staff, in its non-extended form. Unlike his smaller scale Hasbro counterpart, this version of Loki doesn't skimp on the articulation. The high point is the ankle articulation, which has great side to side motion, for wide stances. The legs are only slightly hindered by the "skirt" piece, but not so much as to be too annoying.

A three Loki army.

Friday, June 8, 2012

#43: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Dr. Evazan (Cantina Patron)

After being lucky enough to find Ponda Baba a few months ago, I was looking forward to the upcoming release of his partner in villainy, Dr. Evazan. As I've mentioned before, it's been a few months since any new Star Wars figures have been showing up locally, but have been showing up on Amazon. So I was able to order this with Wedge, bringing my Star Wars collection one figure closer to what I will consider complete. I think the last time they made a Dr. Evazan figure was in the 90s, so this version is all new, and effectively the ultimate take in action figure form. I don't think there's really anything else they could do to improve a figure of the character. Well, okay, the weird chest hair shadow could probably be improved, but that's a minor complaint. It would be nicer if current waves were easier to find in stores, though.

"Let me lend you a hand, buddy!"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

#42: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Wedge Antilles

Wedge is one of the coolest characters from Star Wars despite getting minimal screen time. He is one of the very few survivors of the Battle of Yavin, he was in the Battle of Hoth, and he blew up the second Death Star. He appeared in all three films of the classic trilogy and survived to fill a larger role in the expanded universe, yet he doesn't get the action figure love he deserves. In recent years, he appeared in a comic pack, but he wasn't wearing a flight suit, so I skipped it. Then he was in a Target exclusive with an X-Wing, and I couldn't justify the price (besides, I've already got one X-Wing) so I skipped that. Finally, Hasbro released him as a Vintage figure, but of course it has been impossible to find, although they thankfully re-released him in a later wave. I haven't seen any new figures on the pegs of my local Target in months, so I was stuck with hoping to find a decent deal online. Recently Amazon has been carrying some of the harder to find Vintage figures for prices that are barely above retail. With the free shipping option, they are not the worst deals, so I went for it.

Wedge's body is a re-used body from Luke, and even includes a hole to plug in a lightsaber hilt. So, nothing new there. The head is a decent likeness, which I think is improved by leaving the helmet on. He has a blaster but no holster, and that's it for accessories. It's not a mind blowing figure, but as a fan of the character, I'm glad I finally got one for my collection.

Red Squadron reunion. "What's with the dead guy?"

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