Tuesday, April 30, 2013

#22: Bioshock Infinite - Elizabeth

You know when you're playing a video game, and you have a character with you that's controlled by the computer, they are usually awful? Getting in the way when you're trying to shoot something, getting stuck behind corners, generally being a hindrance? For Bioshock Infinite, Ken Levine and crew wanted to make Elizabeth a computer controlled partner that the player would appreciate having around, and they succeeded. Elizabeth never gets in the way, she is in fact useful to have around, always ready to throw extra supplies your way. As an integral part of the story, she is enjoyable to have around for her interactions with the main character, Booker, and sections of the game where she isn't around made me feel relieved to be reunited with her.

The figure itself is based on one of Elizabeth's too main looks from the game, the one which is featured most heavily in promotional material. NECA once again does a great job with sculpt and paint (although the eyes are perhaps a bit empty looking). The most interesting feature here is that Elizabeth's skirt is soft goods. That is always a dodgy proposition on smaller figures, but in this case it works out quite well. The material isn't too thick, so it actually looks appropriate. Unfortunately, there aren't any accessories. She's a lot lighter than her casemates, the Boys of Silence, so something would have been nice. A vigor bottle, or a gun to throw to the upcoming Booker figure?

Given NECA's attention to detail it is odd that they sculpted her shortened pinky without the thimble at the end. Elizabeth's short pinky finger is an important aspect of her character, although I am not clear on what the thimble is for. Maybe I missed a voxophone recording that explained its significance. I figured that it was intended to visually make the shortened finger stand out more.

Monday, April 29, 2013

#21: Gremlins - Stripe

So, I already have the flasher gremlin from NECA's Gremlins line, I figure I may as well get a mogwai as well, since they are half the line. Gizmo is cute and all, but villains are more fun. All of the Gremlins 2 mogwais were more interesting when they morphed into gremlin form, but the main antagonist from the first Gremlins managed to be cool in both mogwai and gremlin form. So I waited, and they made Stripe as a mogwai. Stripe is the best because he has the coolest hair. Mohawks are cool, and Stripe had the only hair that stuck around after becoming a gremlin. The hair in question is realized by a tuft of fake hair here, rather than as a part of the headsculpt. I'm not sure if it would have been better or worse as a part of the sculpt, so as long as it doesn't shed, I'm okay with it. Much like Ewok figures, a mogwai  isn't going to have the greatest articulation. The limbs are too short and thick for there to be any meaningful limb articulation, so while there are elbows, they aren't terribly useful. Stripe does feature ear articulation, which may be a unique feature in my collection. That's actually pretty cool, and does add some expressiveness to the already highly charactered face. He's got a great evil looking smile. Some more uncommonly articulated body parts featured here are the eyes. Like the Hot Toys Joker I just got, Stripe's eyes can also be positioned. There's a little trackball on the back of his head that can be manipulated to position the eyes. Unfortunately, it's pretty loose, but it helps to keep the little plastic tab inserted to keep them in position. Now that I've got Stripe, I don't think I need any more mogwais, but if they release him in gremlin form, I may pick that up too. I'm really hoping for the spider- and bat-gremlins from the second movie too.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

#20: The Dark Knight - Hot Toys DX 11 The Joker 2.0

I did it, I finally took the plunge. Here is my first ever Hot Toys figure, Heath Ledger as the Joker from The Dark Knight. Hot Toys figures have always been a draw because they have such lifelike headsculpts, as well as highly accurate outfits and accessories. Unfortunately they are also really expensive. Ultimately, I decided that since the latest version of the Joker would be released around tax time, that maybe it would be a cool way to use my refund.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#19: Batman Unlimited - Planet-X Batman

Although I pre-ordered Planet-X Batman with the Dark Knight Returns Batman, and they were presumably part of the same case, Planet-X Batman didn't ship until this month. But it's finally here, so yay. This figure is based on what was originally one of those crazy Silver Age stories where Batman meets his counterpart from another planet, who has a crazy fashion sense or is perhaps colorblind. This figure wouldn't exist if it had stayed at that, but because Grant Morrison the costume more recently showed up in comics as a sort of mental backup in Batman's brain in case of tampering. So, crazy hobo Batman!

For such a crazy looking design, this is actually rather a well done figure. There are actually some newly sculpted pieces used for him. The cape in particular looks cool. The face has some nicely sculpted stubble, much like Catman from a while back. For an accessory, there aren't any batarangs this time around, but there is a baseball bat. That marks the second DC universe figure in my collection to include one.

Also included is Bat-Mite. If you saw my previous post, you will recall that his leg came off. When I took him out of the package and was testing the joints, I thought his left leg seemed oddly loose, which is when it came detached. Rather than dealing with the hassle of sending it back for another figure, I opted to superglue the leg back on. The legs are on an angled swivel, so he wouldn't really be able to sit anyway, so I can live with one leg not being mobile.

"Batter's up, Batbrains!"

Monday, April 8, 2013

#18: LEGO Minifigure series 9 - Mr. Good and Evil

My Target is really weird about placing the LEGO minifigures. The first batch of series 9 that I found was in the LEGO aisle. Because it was a display of packages on pegs, there was no box and I forgot about this minifigure. By the time I went back to Target to look for one, they were all gone. More recently I went back, and there was a display of series 9 in a box, but this time it was at the end of aisles with toys marketed towards girls. Meanwhile, the original display area was empty. I'm not sure why they can't just keep this consistent. Oh well.

Although Mr. Good and Evil is clearly a reference to Jekyll and Hyde, he is given a more generic name which is presumably meant to be more identifiable to kids. That's my guess anyway, as I think the original story has passed into public domain by now. Rather than giving alternate heads to represent the gentleman's two states,  he appears with the left side of his body transformed. The halfway transformation extends to his clothing as well, which is torn and disheveled on the left side. Part of the appeal for this minifigure is that it's another entry in the monsters offerings from the line, but more importantly, this is basically Victorian era Two-Face. Another member of the rogues gallery for LEGO Batman to fight.

Here's the bump code for Mr. Good and Evil.
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