Thursday, March 28, 2013

#17: LEGO Minifigures series 9 - Cyclops

One of the subsets of LEGO minifigures that I like collecting is the monsters or mythological beasts, so here is the cyclops. He's pretty easy to find by feeling for the club which has a pretty distinctive shape. The head fits over a standard LEGO head, with a hole for the eye. On the inner head, there is a complete face on each side. Well, complete in the simplified LEGO style of an eye and a mouth. The eye that is not pictured, the lower eyelid is narrowed, making the cyclops look more upset. It's a pretty fun way of doing an alternate expression when so little of the face is visible through the outer head piece. My favorite detail is that there is a tiny cyclops skull on his belt.

Here's the bump code for the cyclops.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#16: LEGO Minifigures series 9 - Chicken Suit Guy

Seemingly months after they showed up elsewhere, LEGO minifigures series 9 finally showed up at the local Target. Surprisingly, they were in the LEGO aisle for the first time. Now that we're in the ninth series, there is a certain amount of fatigue setting in, and I'm feeling more choosy about which minifigures I want to get. Part of it is that it can take a while feeling every package to find the figure I want, so I get more impatient. Fortunately, the more I do this, the easier it gets, so I'm getting fairly quick about it. It also helps when there is a very distinctive piece to find. The chicken suit guy is definitely distinctive because it uses non-standard wing pieces for the arms. The head piece is fairly distinctive, but there are several figures in the series with helmets, so it's probably not the piece that will stand out the most. He doesn't have any extra pieces or accessories (what would he have, an egg?) but the concept of the guy in a chicken suit is cool enough that it's okay he doesn't have anything extra.

Here's the bump code for the chicken suit guy.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

#15: Bioshock Infinite - Boys of Silence

So, my second find at the toy show was a table that had a bunch of NECA figures. All for ten dollars each. Score! Unfortunately they didn't have the other figure from Bioshock Infinite, Elizabeth, but I was interested in picking up the Boys of Silence anyway, so this was a deal I couldn't pass up. I'm not sure exactly what the deal is with the Boys of Silence (shouldn't the figure's name be singular?), but I gather from the bio on the back that they are forced to wear these helmets all their lives, and thus are suitably cranky and ready to kill you if you wander across one. There's something vaguely unnerving about the character, in the grand Bioshock tradition. The BOS is well articulated, and I know that some people have trouble with painted joints on NECA figures, but I have been fortunate enough to avoid the problem with my figures. The head has a surprisingly good range of motion, as it's on a ball joint and the base of the mask is soft enough plastic that it can move around more than it looks like it would. There are no accessories or a stand (not that the figure needs one), so I suppose the BOS is more of a hand to hand combatant in the game. The paint is well done, particularly on the helmet which looks like tarnished metal. The little "mouth" even opens up a bit. Now that the Bioshock Infinite line is starting up, I'm still waiting for the release of the spider splicer from the Bioshock 2 line. They were able to get the brute splicer out as a TRU exclusive, so I hope that it will be released as well.

"Hands off, creep."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

#14: Marvel Universe - Hulk

Last week, I went to the toy show in San Jose again. Having been a few times, I've learned my lesson about buying something I want immediately on sight. Instead, if I see something I definitely want, I make sure to walk the rest of the floor to find the best deal, and go back to whichever one is best. That's how I ended up with the new Marvel Universe Hulk for only 8 bucks, which is more than three bucks less than typical retail price here.

I have the comic two pack version of Hulk from a while back, and it's cool and all, but it's a very bright green. Because, comic pack, I guess. I like this version better for its more muted color scheme, and overall better proportions. It's both good and bad that Hasbro is willing to go back and re-do characters when earlier versions were maybe not so great. On one hand, it's good to have an improved version, but on the other hand, now you've got an extra you don't need. This Hulk could almost be a movie version. I'm not intending to get movie versions of all the Avengers, so that's not a priority. Since this one has better proportions, the articulation works better. He even has both a waist swivel and a chest ball. And two fists for smashing. There are no accessories included, and no stand. Just the little cardboard piece that fits in the tray, which is supposed to be a bonus pack in but is totally useless.

The day after I went to the toy show, I went to Target, and they had one of these Hulk figures on the shelf at normal retail. It was the only new Marvel Universe figure on the pegs, oddly enough. I suppose it's good to know that if I hadn't made it to the toy show, I'd still have the new Hulk figure for my collection.


Friday, March 15, 2013

#13: K'Nex New Super Mario Bros. Wii - Princess Peach

There's a second series of blindpacked K'Nex figures, this time based on New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii. Mostly it's repaints of Mario (Fire Mario is probably the only one I'm even kind of interested in), Luigi, Yoshi, and Toad, but there's one completely new character, Princess Peach. Or Princess Toadstool as she was known when I was a kid. I can see why they might want to change her name to something more attractive sounding, but as a princess in the Mushroom Kingdom, Toadstool makes sense. Anyway, Peach is the only new character in the series, and she's a completely new figure. She comes in three pieces: skirt, upper body, and head. She's easy to find in the package because the skirt is such a large piece. Now bring on Wario! Thanks to James for finding this for me.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

#12: Portal 2 - Chell

With the news that NECA had a deal with Valve to make figures based on their games, my most immediate wish was for Portal figures. Left 4 Dead, Half-Life, and Team Fortress figures made it out first, but now Chell, the heroine of the Portal games is finally out. Atlas and P-body are scheduled to come out later, and I'm hoping there will be a GLaDOS released somehow. It was worth the wait, because Chell is up to the usual high standards from NECA. In case you were ignoring the packaging, you would know that this is Chell from Portal 2 rather than the first because she is wearing the long fall boots, and her Aperture Science Enrichment Facility jumpsuit is half off and tied around her waist. In game, you only really get to see Chell when she's going through a portal that is in your line of sight, which usually means a side or rear view. NECA did a good job of capturing her look, as compared to promotional artwork and in game models. They even captured the almost vacant, drugged look on Chell's face. For accessories, Chell includes a stand which is necessary because the long fall boots are not good for standing around on. Even more necessary is the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, aka the portal gun. It lights up! It would have been really cool to get a companion cube or GLaDOS as a potato too, or a turret. Perhaps they will be included with Atlas or P-body.

And now, a special debate between Gordon Freeman and Chell on the subject of whose crazy gun is better:

Monday, March 11, 2013

#11: Batman Unlimited - The Dark Knight Returns Batman

The Dark Knight Returns holds a special place in my mind as the first Batman comic I ever owned. I was way too young for it at the time, of course. Mattel is apparently using the retail Unlimited lines to put out story based variations of Batman, so we get a Dark Knight Returns version. The interesting thing about it is that it's basically a Masters of the Universe Classics body rather than another DCUC body repaint. It's a good way of reflecting the artwork, and Mattel gets some retail use out of the base body. I'm not sure exactly which pieces are reused, but the forearms, trunks, cape, and head must be new. I'm guessing the boots are new too. The head has a nice grumpy old Bruce look to it. This would be an easy repaint to the blue and grey costume with the bat symbol on a yellow oval, which Batman wears early in the story. Maybe they could do a Superman using the MOTUC base body as well. Lately the Mattel figures have been trending towards including fewer or no accessories, but Batman at least gets a Batarang in this case.

"I don't remember the Mutant leader being so slim."

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