Friday, May 31, 2013

#34: The Avengers - Hot Toys Loki

When I pre-ordered the Hot Toys Joker with my tax refund money, I used the rest of it to pre-order the Hot Toys Loki as well. I figured getting into 1:6 scale figures with the antagonists from two of the biggest comic book movies of all time would be a good way to start.

Unlike the Joker figure, Loki is not a DX, so he comes in a less fancy package. There's a nice looking slip cover over a window box. Also, he only gets one head, and no moveable eyes. And there's no giant accessory like the Joker's interrogation table, and no backdrop.

Here he is, Loki the trickster god in all his glory. Loki's costume is more ornate than the Joker's, and it looks really cool in toy form. His long coat and flowing cape help give him the regal air he is going for.  The armor pieces have a nice matte finish that make them look really good. Naturally, he includes the magical staff with a soul gem in it.

His helmet is removable, of course. It fits pretty snugly on the head, so it splits into two pieces for more ease in putting it on or taking it off. I am on record as being very much a fan of the epicness of Loki's helmet, so he will definitely be displayed wearing it. Either way, here is a closer look at the head sculpt. As you expect from Hot Toys, it looks great. It's a fairly determined expression, with the hint of a smirk. I'm glad it's not a completely neutral expression, because that would have been boring. If he had a second head, it would have been cool to get a screaming face, for action poses.

In addition to the staff, he also includes the collapsed version as well. He is also armed with a couple of small daggers. I'm not sure if they are supposed to be secretly stored somewhere in the folds of his costume, but they work well for me in the belt/strap thing across his chest.

He also includes the muzzle and handcuffs he wore in preparation for his return to Asgard. The muzzle slips on and holds itself in place. The cuffs are non-functional in that they don't open up. To place them on, you have to remove the hands then slip the cuffs over the wrists, then replace the hands. The chain on those cuffs seems negligently long.

Speaking of hands, Loki has four pairs of them, plus an additional left hand. It's a flat open hand, and I like to think of it as a supervillain speechifying gesture hand. His accessories are rounded out with a display base.

Loki triumphant!

Loki's revenge!

Here's a group shot of all my Lokis, also featuring the six inch Hasbro Loki, the 3 3/4 inch Hasbro Loki, the Minimate Loki, and LEGO Loki.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

#33: Marvel Legends Iron Man - Lt. Colonel James Rhodes

Hasbro decided to take a new direction for Iron Man 3 toys. For the 3 3/4 inch scale, they went with cheap, underarticulated figures as well as figures with swappable limbs. So basically nothing I was interested in. Fortunately, there was also a Marvel Legends series affiliated with the movie's release. The first half had comic figures, while the second had movie figures. And Ultron. Friend of the blog AJ found them and bought the movie Iron Patriot for me as an early birthday gift.

I'm not sure if this is accurate to the movie or not, but this figure is a new sculpt rather than a repaint of the Iron Man 2 War Machine. It's possibly a reuse of a different suit's sculpt, but not one that I have. Because the first half of this series has the comic version of Iron Patriot, this figure is labelled as Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes, although in the movie the suit is Iron Patriot. I'm not sure if that would make it more or less confusing to the kids or those shopping for kids. While War Machine was more about raw destructive power, Iron Patriot has a more PR role with less overt weaponry. As such, he has one accessory, a shoulder cannon. It folds up and swivels and can also be removed. There are two spots on his back for it to plug into, so perhaps he had a second weapon planned.

Since this is a Marvel Legends build a figure series, Rhodes includes the left arm of Iron Monger. That's the Iron Monger from the Iron Man 2 line for size comparison.

See, not just a repaint. Also, now with added height!

"Hey, Rhodey, I think I've got the patriotically themed armor angle covered already. Take ten."

#32: Transformers Prime - Beast Hunters Shockwave

Now that Transformers Prime is in its third season, Shockwave has finally shown up, and naturally gets a new toy for the toy line. I've been waiting for Shockwave to show up in stores, but so far haven't seen one. Fortunately, I managed to luck out and order one online from during a brief window of availability. There was a 20% off code active at the time, which was almost enough to balance out the shipping.

After the Fall of Cybertron's deluxe sized figure, Shockwave is back up to voyager size. It's a pretty cool robot mode, mostly purple with some grey bits. His left arm ends in a gun, rather than being a separate piece. It has an action feature where you press the button and the barrel splits and rotates. There is even a "hose" attaching his arm to his back, like the classic version. The big red eye is lightpiped, but the piping is at the base of the back of his head, so it's not the most effective use of the effect. Overall though, it's a cool robot mode and appropriately massive.

Because Transformers Prime is doing the Beast Hunters thing now, Shockwave includes some armored bits that are removable. I'm not sure what purpose they serve, as so far that look is not reflected in the cartoon. In the case of Soundwave, it was an excuse to sell a new toy, but since this is the only Shockwave in the line, it seems pointless. Maybe it will come into play somewhere down the line in the next few episodes.

Like Megatron, Shockwave has the problem that his original incarnation turned into a gun. So the new thing is for him to turn into a tank. While Megatron's tank modes have usually been decent enough, Shockwave's have usually been a bit less so. It works better on the cartoon, but the design is not too exciting. The big "arms" sticking out of the front are not a design choice I'm a big fan of on a tank.

Here's what the tank mode looks like with the armor pieces attached.

Group shot! As I've mentioned before, the official word is that the Cybertron games and Prime are in the same continuity, so those are the same character. The smaller one is the Cyberverse commander version from my roommate's collection.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

#31: DC Universe Signature Collection - The Flash

What does the Universe have against Wally West? When Mattel made a Flash figure for DCUC, it was Barry Allen, because of 80s nostalgia (as far as I know). Then the DC universe gets rebooted into the New 52, and Wally West doesn't even exist any more. So of course when Mattel put out another Flash figure at retail, it is the New 52 Barry Allen version. So of course when Mattel got around to making Wally as the Flash (they did at least make a figure of him as Kid Flash for DCUC) it was as a Mattycollector exclusive. Fortunately, it was apparently a slow month, as I was able to order Wally from the website with no delay or any hint of the white screen of death. It was apparently such a slow month for the site that none of the figures available sold out for a couple days. Oddly, there was a four dollar discount on shipping, so yay.

One of the most striking differences for Wally's figure is that he is a lot shinier than the previous Flash figure. Rather than yellow, his costume accents are gold. He gets a newly sculpted head as well as new lower legs, as his boot tops don't have the wings on them. These new lower legs are longer, making him taller (also Barry has an oddly misshapen head). There aren't any accessories (not even a stand), but the Flash doesn't really need them. Overall, good figure. It's just too bad that Mattel never released him in a retail line, so anybody that wanted one had to lay out the extra cash because it was an online exclusive.


Monday, May 20, 2013

#30: Marvel Universe - Marvel's Jubilee

I've been looking for the Jubilee figure for a while, and James was able to find one for me. Following Kitty Pryde (and before Rogue in the movies), Jubilee was one of Wolverine's teen sidekicks in the comics. She was also a sort of kid identification character in the early 90s X-Men cartoon. Later, she went on to star as a founding member of the Hey-let's-focus-on-school-and-teenagers X-Men spinoff, Generation X. Jubilee had a lot going on in the 90s, which is when I was reading Marvel comics at least fairly regularly.

The Marvel Universe version of Jubilee represents her modern costume, which retains two of the main aspects of her look: the shades and the ridiculous yellow overcoat. I'm not sure what teenager would ever think that is cool, but it actually does look pretty good with the black bodysuit underneath. Unfortunately, this isn't one of the better Marvel Universe figures. The paint on her face isn't great, and her eyes are kind of looking in different directions. Also, her leg articulation is hindered by her overcoat, and her leg was warped straight out of the packaging. A stand would definitely have been a welcome inclusion for Jubilee. On the plus side, she actually includes an accessory! It's a purple energy blast to represent her mutant power of explosive blasts of light. If I remember correctly, the sound effect associated with the use of her power was "paf." It's a substantial enough piece of plastic to throw her off balance, as she's a fairly lightweight figure. Oddly, she has an extra hinge joint in her neck, so her head can look up or down.

I was surprised to find out a while back that Jubilee has become a vampire in the comics, some time after the mass de-powering of mutants. At first I thought it was weird that there were vampires in Marvel comics, but of course there are. Blade and Dracula are straight from the pages of the comics, as well as Morbius. Going from mutant to vampire is probably something that wouldn't happen to one of the bigger name characters, but at least it shows that Jubilee is important enough to have some sort of ongoing storyline.

Generation X reunion. In which nobody is in the same scale as anyone else. Okay, I know Blink was never officially in Gen X, and this figure is from an alternate universe, but she was introduced (and killed off) in the crossover leading to the creation of Generation X. Chamber is the oldest figure pictured, and shows it with only four points of articulation. He does have a neat action figure where his chest lights up when you pull a string on his back. Sporting increased articulation, and better proportions, Blink was released a couple years later. There was a Jubilee figure from the Generation X line, but I never had that one.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

#29: LEGO Minifigures series 10 - Revolutionary Soldier

Unless I change my mind and hunt down some more, here is the last minifigure from series 10 that I bought, the Revolutionary Soldier. He looks quite dapper in his Continental Army uniform, ready to kick some English butts back across the Atlantic. The pants are plain white, while the coat has printing on both the front and the back. The fancy powdered wig has a blue bow on the backside, and he is armed with a musket rifle. Identifying the revolutionary soldier in the package is pretty easy by feeling for the rifle as it's the only piece in the series that is long, narrow, and crooked. The main reason I wanted to get this guy is to pair him with the tomahawk warrior. Basically, it's LEGO Assassin's Creed III!

Here's the bump code for the revolutionary soldier, with batch code 501B3.

Friday, May 17, 2013

#28: LEGO Minifigures series 10 - Sad Clown

The Sad Clown was kind of a whim. I wasn't really intending to pick one up, but as I was sorting through them, I set one aside. And hey, it's an opera character, so it's classy. Featuring a completely black and white color scheme, the sad clown is a pretty simple minifigure. The only extra pieces are his hat and neck ruffle. Finding him in the package is pretty easy by feeling for either of those pieces. He makes a nice companion piece to the mime from a few series ago.

Here is the bump code for the sad clown, with batch number 501B3.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

#27: LEGO Minifigures series 10 - Sea Captain

We're past the halfway mark on minifigures I got from the blindpacked LEGO minifigures series 10, and here is the Sea Captain. There isn't really a subset of figures that he fits into, unless people at work counts. Mainly I wanted him because of yacht rock, and he's got the cap. He's ready to set sail on a smooth sea of yacht rock. The captain includes the snazzy cap, a pair of binoculars, and a seagull. The seagull is made of a slightly softer plastic, and is nicely painted with black and grey on its wings. Finding the sea captain is pretty easy by feeling for the seagull, although the binoculars are distinctive as well.

Here is the bump code for the sea captain, with batch code 501B3.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

#26: LEGO Minifigures series 10 - Bumblebee Girl

Aside from the Medusa, the Bumblebee girl is the minifigure I was most looking forward to from this series. People in animal costumes has been one of my favorite of the sub-themes that run through the line, and this is its representative for this series. She has what is I think an unique helmet, her wings are a backpack piece, and she also includes a honey pot which is reused from the leprechaun. I found her by feeling for the wings, although the helmet or honeypot should be easy enough to identify her with.

Here's the bump code, with the batch code 501B3.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

#25: LEGO Minifigures series 10 - Tomahawk Warrior

Next up in my acquisitions from series 10 of blindpacked LEGO minifigures (although it was the last one I found), here is the Tomahawk Warrior. I'm not sure if the designers at LEGO based his appearance on any specific Native American tribes or not, so it could be an accurate recreation or it could be completely based on stereotypes. Not to be totally mysterious, but you'll see in a few days why I specifically wanted this particular figure. It's a pretty cool looking design, with different tattoos on both arms. Finding the Tomahawk Warrior in the packaging is fairly easy. The mohawk hair piece is pretty distinct with its ridged, curved shape. The other distinctive piece to feel for is the tomahawk itself. The blade is already attached, and is made of softer plastic, so you probably won't confuse it with anything else. You can also feel for the carved ridges on the handle, there is one at the base, then a few near the bladed end.

Here is the bump code, with the batch code of 501B3.

Monday, May 13, 2013

#24: LEGO Minifigures series 10 - Medusa

After a surprisingly brief gap between series (series 9 minifigures are still on the pegs!), I found series 10 of the LEGO blindpacked minifigures at the local Target a few days ago. Although I was feeling a bit of minifigure fatigue with the last series, I seem to have overcome it, as I didn't mind the 20 minutes or so it took me to stand around finding the specific minifigures I wanted in this series.

I tend to collect the monsters from this line, so Medusa was one of the minifigures I looked forward to from this wave. She's pretty easy to find because the lower half of her body is a very large piece of plastic. The lower body piece is shaped like a snake's tail. I'm not sure if Medusa is traditionally depicted with her lower half as a snake's body, but I 'm pretty sure that's how she appeared in Castlevania IV, so that's cool. Given the size of her snake tail, she doesn't get any accessories, although her hair piece is new, and she does get two faces on her head. Aside from the pictured angry face, she has a calmer face with yellow eyes.

And now, on to the bump codes. But first, a caveat. Bump codes aren't all the same. There are different batches, so the bump code for a figure in one batch will be different for the same figure in a different batch. I think this has been going on for the past few series. There is a code embedded into the packaging along with the bumps, so I will be including that with the bumps for all forthcoming LEGO minifigure posts. So here is the bump code. The batch code is 501B3.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

#23: Transformers Generations - Fall of Cybertron Starscream

Remember how I was trying to figure out what Target was up to with their Transformers pricing? Deluxe figures were 18 bucks while voyager figures were only 3 or so dollars more. Target finally realized how insane that pricing scheme was, and have lowered deluxe figure prices to a more reasonable 13 dollars. Soon after, they finally started moving old stock and even got in some new stock! I'd heard good things about this version of Starscream from the Fall of Cybertron game, so when I saw it on the pegs I decided to take it home.

Starscream's robot mode looks pretty faithful to what I remember from the game. The game aesthetic is reminiscent of G1 styles, but with a bit of the movie style influence thrown in. The color scheme and general shape are all unmistakably Starscream. While the chin is narrower than I'm accustomed to, there is the traditional boxy head. His weapon is pretty fun. The two barrels are connected by gears so that if you spin one, the other one spins as well. In fact, the weapon splits into two separate guns. So, you have options there. There are weapon ports on a few different spots on Starscream, so you could load him up with different weapons if you'd like.

Starscream's altmode is a really chunky jet. Most of the bulk is in the rear section, so I guess you could say this is a jet with a lot of junk in its trunk. It's kind of an interesting shape, and somewhat reminiscent of the Cybertronian altmode that the seekers had in the original cartoon. In profile, I get a vulture vibe from the way the cockpit sticks out. It's just so small compared with the rest of the body.

Here, have some size comparisons with the classics version of Starscream from something like 7 years ago.

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