Friday, August 31, 2012

#74: Alice: Madness Returns - Alice

Remember a couple days ago when I posted about Hysteria Alice? Well, this is the standard version, so pretty much the same thing here. The accessories are the same, so it's just the paint job that's different. Hysteria Alice has proven with time to have weak ankles, so she has difficulty staying upright, but this Alice seems to have better ankles so far. Also, there is are swivels on the forearms that are stuck (probably due to the painted blood all over them) on Hysteria Alice that function properly here. While I do like the spookier appearance of Hysteria Alice, regular Alice is more easily identifiable to the casual observer.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#73: DC Universe Classics All-Stars - Batman

A year after his comic debut, Mattle brings us Batman in his New 52 costume. Actually, they're not too far behind DC Direct (er, Collectibles) so I'm not really complaining. Now that DCUC proper is done with as a retail presence, we've now got DCUC All-Stars and Batman and Superman themed lines coming. I haven't seen them in stores yet, but I did order this online. So, no accessories no build a figure parts (yeah, yeah, collect and connect, I know), no buttons. Thanks to all the weird armor lines, there are actually a good amount of non-reused pieces for this figure. I think even the cape is new. The articulation is pretty standard for a DCUC figure. The head has a larger range of motion than I'm used to, but it's also kind of loose. Not sure if that's a feature or a flaw. Otherwise, everything seems in order. Except that the belt is on a little crooked... The head seems a bit small, but it is a nice sculpt. I think Batman is one of the characters whose New 52 re-design came out not looking horrible, and it does make for a cool figure.

"I'm Batman." "I'm Batma- Why are you so short?"

Monday, August 27, 2012

#72: Alice: Madness Returns - Hysteria Alice

Remember a year ago, when I got the Alice Minimate based on the Alice: Madness Returns game? Well, now the first (only?) wave of figures based on the game is finally available. I had this figure pre-ordered way back in January, but when it showed up on I ordered it there because the site I pre-ordered at still didn't have it in stock. This isn't regular Alice, but Hysteria Alice. In the game, Alice can use hysteria, which basically makes her temporarily invincible, while causing everything in the game to go into black and white. Except for the blood, of course. I think Alice is covered in more blood than my Leatherface figure! This figure corrects the Minimate's omission of the Vorpal Blade, Alice's signature weapon. Also included are the hobby horse for blunt object trauma action and the pepper grinder for ranged combat. Articulation is decent, but the legs are somewhat hindered by the dress. It's also kind of hard for Alice to stand for extended periods of time without the stand, so it's good that it is included. The stand has four pegs, with one set being larger than the other. I'm guessing that the same stand is included with the larger Card Guard figure as well.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

#71: Transformers Generations - Shockwave (Fall Of Cybertron)

I'm always on board for a new version of Shockwave, pretty much as long as he's purple and has one eye. So of course I got this new version, based on the just released Fall of Cybertron video game (I might have to get it, since you can play as Grimlock). With his distinctive chest shape and skinny legs, it's the most G1-reminiscent Shockwave in my collection. It's a very cool robot design. The articulation works pretty well, too. He's also a deluxe class figure, and on the shorter side, so he's not as imposing as I'd like. A voyager class toy would have been cool. The card also has a panel displaying the stats that is pretty reminiscent of the G1 stats panels, minus the need for a clear red plastic sheet to read them.

The altmode is a Cybertronian mobile artillery. It is what it is. Shockwave is definitely staying in robot mode.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

#70: Iron Man 2 - Weapon Assault Drone

This weekend, I made my second visit to the Time Tunnel toy show in San Jose, and this was all I bought. I saw the Walmart exclusive six inch movie Hulk, and the second wave of Dark Knight Rises Movie Masters, but they were all marked up way more than I am willing to pay for them. The Weapon Assault Drone from Iron Man 2, which I never saw in stores, was priced cheaper than its original retail price, so I consider it a good buy. In the movie, there were drones created for each branch of the military, and I believe this was meant to represent the Marines (I think the ground assault drone that comes in a battle pack with Nick Fury is the Army drone, but I could have the two mixed up). So, now I have drones for three of the four branches of the military. It's a shame that all of them were so poorly distributed, the whole line did a poor job of presenting antagonists from the movie. The articulation on the figure isn't the greatest, and its bulkiness works against it in that area. There are at least a couple of cool play features here, which would come in handy for army building if one were able to find multiples of the figure. The forearms have "shields" that fold out. They kind of look useless, but it's something. There are two interchangeable heads, one with a glow to represent the activated drone, and one without the glow (oddly, my other drone figures both have deactivated heads). Then there are two sets of weapons to go with, pictured above are the whiplike saw blades reminiscent of Whiplash's powered suit. Pictured below are the retracted saw blades for closer combat.

Land, sea, and air

Friday, August 17, 2012

#69: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Raphael

As predicted, I'm going to be picking up all four of the Ninja Turtles in the new cartoon style as well. So, here's Raphael! One thing that is definitely cooler than the classics turtles is that the cartoon turtles all get unique sculpts. Raph has a big gouge on his chest, and is noticeably taller than Mikey. His rack of spare weapons is also different. Also, he's a darker green.

It makes sense that they are different colors and sizes, as it helps to distinguish them as individuals visually aside from their bandanas and weapons. This raises a question, are the Turtles actually brothers by blood? Clearly, they were all raised together and look to Splinter as their father, but I'm not sure if it has been addressed as to whether they are all related by blood or just a random collection of four turtles. Anybody more familiar with the TMNT mythos know about this?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

#68: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Michelangelo

So after getting all four of the classics style Turtles last month, I'm now setting my sights on the most modern version of them, based on the upcoming cartoon. They may be smaller than the classics figures, but they are very cool too (and cheaper!). Michelangelo has historically been my favorite, so he's the figure I decided to pick up first. It is interesting that, in contrast with the classics figures, that the figures have white eyes while they have visible pupils in the cartoon and even on the packaging. I suppose it does make them look more fierce. While the articulation isn't quite as extensive on these smaller figures, it is still very good, although some ankles would have been nice. Even swivels at the top of the wraps would help with posing. Fortunately, the feet are large enough that they are easy to balance on and provide stability. Which brings us to the issue that the Turtles now have three toes. I actually think this is a change that makes sense. They have three digits on their hands, so having the same amount on their feet works for me. I think nature tends to favor symmetry like that, although anything like that kind of goes out the window when you're dealing with mutants. Also, the lower part of the shell is made from a softer plastic, so it doesn't hinder the leg movement too much.

Another throwback to the original toys is that the weapons are all unpainted plastic of a single color. There is even a rack with some extra weapons included. Mikey's nunchucks do stow away on the back of his belt, as well. These toon based Turtles seem really cool so far, and I think I'm going to end up getting all four of them. Then I'll have three complete sets of Ninja Turtles!
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