Friday, November 30, 2012

#104: Masters of the Universe Classics - Faker

Mattycollector had a big Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale with a lot of older Masters of the Universe Classics figures that hadn't been available for a long time back in stock for reduced prices. Due to a variety of reasons, I haven't been very into the MOTUC line, but one figure I missed out on and have been wanting to add to my collection was Faker. The concept of Faker is so ridiculous that I can't help but enjoy it, and it is very indicative of the typical 80s cartoon villain insanity that I love so much. Faker is a robot meant to impersonate He-Man, but he's blue! Is everyone on Eternia color blind? Skeletor may not be the smartest leader, but you have to admire his big stones. Appropriately, this is a repaint of He-Man, wearing Skeletor's chest armor. Thanks to the way it was posed in the package, the left shoulder cover is bent out of shape. Thanks, Mattel. I did fortunately get a figure that is free of QC issues. For accessories, Faker has one regular sword and one half sword. It's my understanding that the original MOTU figures had the half swords, so this is part of Mattel's slavish devotion to the original toys. It seems kind of unnecessary, but whatever. This is a quality figure, and I'm glad to have added it to my collection. It helps ease the disappointment of not being able to order Castle Grayskullman.

...I can't tell who is the real He-Man!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

#103: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Metalhead

One of the coolest figures of the original TMNT line was Metalhead. I never had one, but when I saw that there was a new version coming out based on the current cartoon, I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, it didn't make it to production fully intact. There was supposed to be some sort of interchangeable weapon arm, and he's missing the antenna on his head. Also, although it looks fine from the front, there are no paint apps on the back half of the figure that really should be there. The yellow "bandana" is only painted on the front side of the head, the sides are just grey plastic. See the wires on the stomach? They're only painted on the front, the sides are grey plastic as well. Also the back shell is entirely unpainted, which is too bad because it is a really cool design (it's a sewer lid cover, neat). Compared to the Turtle figures, he's not as well articulated, but he does fare better than the other non-Turtle figures. The shoulders and elbows are only swivels, which is fairly limiting for posing options. As for accessories, he gets one missile which plugs into his arm. There's no spring loaded launching action, so it's limited to how fast you can flick it with your finger. So, that's it for the bad. It sounds like a lot of complaining, but I really do like the figure. It's a great design, so I can overlook a lot of that. Oddly enough, this figure it out of scale by being too large. Not that I'm going to complain about that, it helps make him feel a better value. If the toy line sticks around long enough and/or he shows up again on the cartoon so that Playmates makes an improved version of Metalhead, I'll probably buy it too. I'm not holding my breath, though.

Putting the finishing touches on

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

#102: Transformers - Masterpiece Optimus Prime

A couple years ago, I imported the Japanese release of Masterpiece Grimlock. But before I started this blog, I bought one of the US releases of Masterpiece Optimus Prime, the 25th Anniversary version. It's a pretty great Optimus, but I always was disappointed that there was no trailer. There were subsequent Japanese releases with the trailer, and an unofficial add on trailer, but they were all pricier than I was willing to go for. Fortunately, there is a completely new Masterpiece Optimus that includes a trailer, and it has a domestic release, so it's not quite as ridiculously expensive. Naturally, it's a Toys R Us exclusive, and I'm not close enough to one to check often. So I started watching the Toys R Us website every day, waiting for them to add the new Optimus to the shop. One day, my compulsive watching paid off, and I'm glad I was checking daily, because it sold out soon.

Aside from the trailer, one of the biggest improvements over the 25th Anniversary release is that Optimus has properly lengthy smokestacks. The original Japanese Masterpiece had them, but they were shortened for the US release, presumably for safety reasons. Optimus himself is a very nice update. It does a good job of replicating his appearance in the original cartoon, while the vehicle does a good job of replicating the original toy's appearance, although the calves/rear look a bit thicker than they probably ought to. For weaponry, he gets his cool energy axe, which slides on over his fist, as well as his standard ion cannon. Both have spots to stow away in the trailer, but the ion cannon can fold up and slip into his back. Neat! The trailer has a couple of different alternate modes. Pictured above is the maintenance dock, which is the most space efficient mode of display.

The other mode is the battle station, like the original. It's got the same robot pod thing that can be moved around on an arm, and a ramp for cars to drive up on. The trailer is scaled to work with deluxe class cars (formerly the $10 figures, more like $15 these days), and it is definitely cool to have an Optimus in the same scale of those. And of course, Roller is included.

The neat thing about Roller is that it can tow Optimus's trailer. When not towing the trailer around, the ion cannon can also be mounted on Roller's back. Also, the robot pod thing can stick out the top of the trailer. I haven't mentioned it so far, but there is another figure included here.

That's right, it's Spike! He's pretty small, but still articulated at the shoulders, hips, and knees. He can sit in roller, various spots in the trailer, the robot pod thing, and coolest of all, he can fit in Optimus Prime's vehicle mode. I never bought any of those human alliance Transformers toys, so it is cool to have a human figure to go along with one.

No fancy Optimus Prime figure is complete without a Matrix of Leadership, right? Well, here it is.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

#101: Robocop - Robocop (spring loaded holster)

Robocop was one of the movies I wanted to see as a kid, but wasn't allowed to because of the ultraviolence. Naturally, I was able to see it while hanging out at a friend's house. Because it was the 80s, Robocop was adapted into a cartoon, which of course had an accompanying toy line. The only figure I recall having from that line was Robocop himself, which was pretty cool. It had an action feature of a sort of backpack that you could spool caps into to simulate gunshot sounds. Recently, both NECA and Figma have released Robocop figures. While the two Figmas that I have are great, Robocop isn't a character that I'm enough of a fan to want such an expensive figure. So the lower priced NECA figure was a good alternative. This isn't the original version of Robocop from NECA. There was a regular release, and a battle damaged version, as well as a glow in the dark Robocop, but I fortunately waited long enough for this version, which has a spring loaded holster in the leg, just like in the movie.
This is a pretty great action feature. There is a little button on the back of the thigh that pops the leg open, and the gun sits in there pretty securely. Then you just push the panel back into place, which pulls the second panel in at the same time, and it's good as new. Nice engineering, it doesn't even get in the way of the hip articulation. Robocop also comes with a swappable right hand featuring his data access spike extended. When it comes to NECA, you expect highly detailed sculpts, and they continue to deliver. I noticed while playing around with the figure that it has OCP-POLICE-001 sculpted into the side of the helmet, which is a detail I'd never noticed in the movie, but is apparently true to the costume. The only improvement I'd like to see is a removable helmet, or perhaps an alternate head without the helmet.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#100: Hot Wheels - Batman Live Batmobile

You know how there's this Spider-man musical that's been suffering setback after setback? Well, Batman also has a live show, but it's more of a traveling show than a Broadway musical. Like most adaptations of the Dark Knight, it features new designs, including a new Batmobile, which Mattel has made in Hot Wheels form. A few days ago, I saw that Reis was doing a give away of these, but I was too late to get one. Then I went to Target later that day and saw one right on the front of one of the pegs. Score! Until I saw the post Reis had made, I didn't know that this was even being made, and it's a good thing I had, because this might be easy to miss if you don't know it's a Batmobile. The Batman logo is halfway behind the car itself and is easily overlooked. Also, at first glance this Batmobile does look a little more like a formula 1 racer than a Batmobile. But there are some definite batty touches like scalloped edges on the spoiler and wheel wells, as well as a rocket booster on the back. It's an interesting take on the Batmobile, and I dig it. Now if only I can find the Hot Wheels version of The Bat from The Dark Knight Rises.

My Hot Wheels Batmobiles so far

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