Wednesday, October 31, 2012

#99: DC Universe Signature Collection - Poison Ivy

Back when they were hyping the DC Infinite Earths subscription, Poison Ivy was the only proposed figure that I was interested in, so although I didn't subscribe, I crossed my fingers for luck and gambled that I would be able to order her on sale day at Mattycollector. Since Poison Ivy is one of the more recognizable members of Batman's rogues gallery, it's a shame she never made it out for the slightly more readily available DCUC line. Fortunately, I had the day off for the sale day. Then my internet was down, thanks to our faulty router. In the past, I have been able to order from Mattycollector on my phone, so I tried that, getting the typical white screen of death. After a minute or so of that, I hightailed it to my apartment complex's computer room, where I opened the sale page on as many browsers were available on the computer. After dealing with the WSOD for a while, I eventually was able to make it all the way through checkout, and not a moment too soon. As far as I can tell, Poison Ivy sold out within a couple minutes of when I finished my transaction. I had not received a confirmation e-mail yet, so I was feeling nervous, but it did eventually show up about 15 minutes later.

So, the figure itself. It's a pretty typical Mattel DC woman figure. Her torso and head are new sculpt, so only the limbs are reused, which is a bit unusual. She also gets accessories in the form of three vines that can wind around her limbs, or I suppose could be used on her victims. There's quite a lot of hair, but it's sculpted in a way that doesn't hinder head movement too badly. The green they went with for her skin almost looks like glow in the dark plastic, but it's not. It actually looks pretty minty. Her eyes are pretty squinty, so I guess she's supposed to look angry. Now if Mattel will release a Two-Face and a Scarecrow (I've pre-ordered the upcoming Penguin re-release), my Batman rogues gallery will be pretty well set.

#98: Scooby Doo Hot Wheels - The Mystery Machine

Recently I watched the first season of the newest Scooby Doo cartoon, Mystery Incorporated. Except for maybe the time that the Scooby gang met Batman, I think it is the best onscreen version of the Scooby Doo franchise. More recently, I was taken by surprise when I saw a display of Hot Wheels cars at the grocery store, with a Mystery Machine right in front of one of the compartments. I had no idea this was being made, but since my Hot Wheel collection tends towards pop culture vehicles, this was a nice fit for my collection. This is a pretty great representation of the iconic van from the cartoons, although it's only painted on the sides. I'm not really familiar enough with Hot Wheels to know whether this is a typical sort of paint shortcut, but it's Mattel, so I'm guessing that it probably is. Still, it's a very cool toy car to have, so I'm glad I was able to find one without any prior knowledge of its existence. It is numbered 38/50 in the upper corner, for easy identification on the pegs, as well as having "Scooby Doo" written on the upper lefthand corner.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#97: LEGO Minifigures series 8 - Pirate Captain

Here we are, at last, the final minifigure from series 8 that I bought. The pirate captain. One of my favorite LEGO sets when I was a kid was the huge pirate ship and I've been wanting to have a pirate minifigure for my collection. This apparently is a very successful pirate captain, because he's rocking a lot of gold. His hook is gold, his cutlass is gold, he's got a gold tooth, and even the skull and crossbones on his hat is gold. I'm kind of surprised that his peg leg isn't gold as well. There are a few different ways to find him in the packaging. I went for the cutlass, although the feather is a good indicator to look for as well (although it is shared with the conquistador). The pirate hat, the hook, and the peg leg are all distinctive, but may be harder to feel through the packaging.

The bump code for the pirate captain.

At long last, I can settle in LEGO form the now slightly out of date pop culture obsession of pirate vs ninja. I tend to favor robot.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

#96: LEGO Minifigures series 8 - The Thespian

As I was sifting through all the packages to find the minifigures that I for sure wanted, when I found the thespian, I set it aside as a maybe. What sold me on it is the skull. Now that is a great accessory. Hamlet's soliloquy with Yorick's skull is one of the most iconic images in English literature, as well as one of the biggest cliches for stage actors, so it is cool to have a LEGO version of it. And hey, since I don't have a skeleton minifigure, the skull is cool. I identified the thespian in the packaging by the ruffled neck piece. It's round like the DJ's record, but has the texture around the edges to set it apart. He's also the only minifigure with two head pieces included which could be helpful for identification.

The bump code on the thespian's packaging.

Monday, October 22, 2012

#95: LEGO Minifigures series 8 - Vampire Bat

Naturally, there is no way I am going to pass on a vampire bat LEGO minifigure. Alien and evil robot aside, it's the only "monster" figure from this wave, and I'm usually down for adding another monster to the collection. Especially with Halloween coming up. Since I have a LEGO Batman, the vampire bat makes a nice stand in for Manbat. Finding the vampire bat in the packaging is pretty easy since it is the only minifigure that has wings for arms.

Here's the bump code for the vampire bat.

Friday, October 19, 2012

#94: LEGO Minifigures series 8 - Santa

Santa was a must have, because hey, Santa. My only complaint is that he doesn't have boots painted on. He's pretty easy to identify by his bag, his hat, or his beard piece.

Here's the bump code for Santa.

Santa fight!

Monday, October 15, 2012

#93: LEGO Minifigures series 8 - Diver

Old timey diving suits are just cool looking. They also make for memorable video game antagonists, as the Bioshock games attest. This LEGO Diver is quite the cheerful chap, perhaps has found some sunken chest of treasure on the seabed. Armed with a spear gun and lead weights for his feet, all he's missing is an air hose. There is a spot on his helmet where a hose could plug in, but I don't have any handy. Finding the diver in the package is pretty easy due to the very large helmet. The robot also has a large helmet, but that has two antennae sticking out, so they are easy to tell apart. The spear gun is also pretty easy to feel for.

The bump code for the diver.

"Weren't you taller before, Mr. Bubbles?"

Sunday, October 14, 2012

#92: LEGO Minifigures series 8 - Lederhosen Guy

Along with the conquistador, the Lederhosen Guy was a must get to round out my collection of ethnic stereotypes that reflect my own ancestry. So here's a German stereotype with lederhosen and a giant pretzel. All he's missing is a giant stein of beer, because you know this guy is hanging out at an Oktoberfest event. I found him by feeling for the pretzel which is pretty distinctively shaped. Also helpful is the Peter Pan hat, and the feather which is smaller than the plume in the pirate and conquistador packages. I really do wish he came with a beer stein, but I can see how that might not be something parents would want their small children playing with. Oh well!

The bump code for the Lederhosen Guy.

Friday, October 12, 2012

#91: LEGO Minifigures series 8 - Conquistador

A while back, series 8 of LEGO's blindpacked minifugures started showing up for people, which meant they would eventually show up here too after a while. This week, they finally did! The last few series of these have been pretty easy to find, and this one was even put in two different aisles at my Target. One was next to the LEGO aisle, with the Nerf guns and other building block toys like K'nex, while the other was in the secondary action figure aisle with the Ninja Turtles and Bandai stuff. Once again, it was time to spend half an hour standing around feeling the packages for identifying pieces. I'm always worried that a Target employee will hassle me for doing it, but so far they've only been curious.

The conquistador was a must buy for me. As I think I've mentioned before, I have been interested in getting a LEGO minifigure to represent the various national stereotypes to represent my ancestral background. So a Spanish guy is part of that, and besides that conquistadores look cool. The conquistador was the last figure I found, and is easily identifiable by the sword, which has a big hand guard on one end, with a small ball for the tip. He has the same feather as the pirate, but is distinguishable by the sword and the chest armor piece.

Here's the bump code for the conquistador, with the bumps marked by white spots. My previous method of using a marker no longer works since the packages for this series are black.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

#90: Iron Man 2 - Ground Assault Drone

After picking up the Weapon Assault Drone a couple months ago, that left me with only one type of drone missing from my collection, the Ground Assault Drone. That figure was, as far as I know, only released as part of a four pack that inlcluded two drones, an Iron Man, and Nick Fury. I'd been thinking about picking one up, but I've never seen one on sale quite low enough that I was willing to bite. Then I got the Avengers Nick Fury figure, and the four pack looked even less attractive. Fortunately, the GAD is going pretty cheaply online loose, and I was able to get one for less than a single packed figure goes for at retail. Since each drone was meant to fill in for one of the branches of the military, I think the Weapon Assault Drone was supposed to represent the Marines, and this one is supposed to represent the Army. I don't really have anything concrete to back that up, but it seems right to me. This is one of the most heavily armed drones, on the right arm there is a grenade launcher, on the left a machine gun, and over the shoulder is a giant cannon. It's basically a walking tank. The feet have fold down panels to provide stability when firing the main cannon, as seen in the movie.

Anti-slip soles

Sunday, October 7, 2012

#89: LEGO Monster Fighters - 9461 The Swamp Creature

It's October, I might as well get something Halloween oriented, right? Thankfully LEGO's Monster Fighters line is there to help out. Previously, I picked up the polybagged ghost from the series, but this is my first proper set in the line, and also the cheapest. So half of the set is one of the eponymous monster fighters, a pompadour sporting guy on a swamp buggy. I'm pretty amused that there are two pistols attached to the front of the buggy. Are they extras? Are they part of the vehicle? If a few pistols aren't enough, there is a rocket launcher mounted on each side. There are some smooth slightly domed pieces for the bottom, which help make it appear to not be flat on the ground. It's decent enough, but this isn't the reason I bought the set.

Thanks to the minifigures line, I have a few monsters already, but I didn't have a swamp creature. Fortunately, one is included in the cheapest set from the line, so I didn't have to buy an expensive set I don't have room for. Or I could have just found one on Ebay, like I did the Loki. It comes a bit of scenery. There's some sort of plant, with a fish, and a tiny LEGO frog. On top of the rock there's some weird translucent thing. The swamp creature is pretty cool. His fishy head is given shape by a helmet piece, but underneath the head is fully painted, so that could be an alternate look if you have a bunch of these guys and want to differentiate them a little.

One of the main reasons I wanted the swamp creature was so that I could fill out the monster lineup from The Monster Squad. And here they are. So, we know at least one of these guys has nards.

Friday, October 5, 2012

#88: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Donatello

The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon premiered last week, and I quite liked it. With the impending end of Target's Ninja Turtle sale, I figured it was a good time to finally round out my collection of the cartoon turtles with Donatello. He seemed to be the most plentiful turtle on the shelves, so I was able to take time comparing samples to find one with the best paint job. Like his brothers, Donatello is done well, and he stands out by being the tallest. He's got this really serious expression on his face which works for fighting, but I could go for something a little less serious. He's the only turtle not showing any teeth, which is too bad as he's the only one with a distinguishing gap in them. Like the other turtles, he gets a bunch of extra weapons as well as being able to stow his main weapon, the bo, on his back. Now that the second wave of figures is starting to show up, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for Metalhead!

The inevitable group shot

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