Friday, January 31, 2014

#12: LEGO Cuusoo - Back to the Future DeLorean (21103)

As a big fan of Back to the Future, I was really excited when LEGO announced that they would be making a DeLorean set through their Cuusoo program. When the final product was revealed, I was kind of underwhelmed. Eventually, I broke down and ordered one. I'm still a bit underwhelmed by its appearance, but it is still pretty cool. It's a DeLorean, after all. Mostly my dissatisfaction is with how blocky the hood is. I've seen pictures of alternate builds of the set that look better, so I may look into that. There are some nice touches, such as a flux capacitor and a time circuit display on the dashboard, and I liked the way the big black exhaust vents (or whatever those are) on the back were made.

Besides the DeLorean itself, the set includes minifigures for our two main protagonists, Doc and Marty. They are wearing their 1985 outfits, from the scenes leading up to Marty's trip back to 1955. They both have double sided heads, with happy expressions and worried expressions. Marty also gets a skateboard.

The cool thing about this set is that it doesn't just represent the DeLorean from the first movie, it includes parts to make the DeLorean reflect its changing appearance through the series. To reflect its 2015 upgrades, the wheels fold under and there are clear blocks to stand it on to give it a hovering appearance. There's also a Mr. Fusion unit that attaches. This is my favorite look, so this is how I'll be displaying it.

To reflect the DeLorean's 19th century fixes, the wheels swap out, and the hood mounted panel can be put in place.

There are also two license plates, the DeLorean's original 1985 "OUTATIME" plate, and the 2015 barcode version.

Time travelers' convention.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

#11: The LEGO Movie - Scribble-Face Bad Cop

After picking up the two LEGO Move minifigures, I re-watched the trailers for the upcoming movie and realized that one of the blindpacked minifigures is the character that Liam Neeson voices. Liam Neeson is pretty great, so I figured having a LEGO minifigure of a character he voices would be cool. By the time I got back to checking the display box, there were only five packages left, and fortunately this was one of them. He's fairly easy to identify by the handcuffs, although the phone is pretty distinctive as well. Judging by the trailers, the character has a good cop face and a bad cop face, although on this minifigure, the good cop face is represented by a crudely scribbled happy face. Presumably, that's based on some plot point in the movie, but I like that it's kind of creepy looking. The regular bad cop face has mirrored sunglasses and a sneer. This could also work as a T-1000 LEGO minifigure.

Here's the bump code for the Scibble-Face Bad Cop, with production code 238B3.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

#10: Tobidase Doubutsuno Mori (Animal Crossing) - Nendoroid Shizue (Isabelle)

This is my first Nendoroid figure, and from what I can tell, they tend to be chibi or super-deformed versions of characters. Apparently when the characters are already chibi styled, they stick to accurate representations of the characters, like Shizue here. I'll be sticking with calling her Isabelle, as that's what her name is in the American version of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Isabelee's first and most important accessory is the display stand. Due to the character design, there's no way she can stand, as her legs end in rounded stumps. She attaches to the display base with an arm that plugs into her back and can plug into different spots on the base. Isabelle has some articulation, mostly swivels. Her hips, waist, shoulders, elbows, and ponytail are all swivels, while the neck is on a swivel/hinge joint. In a nice bit of attention to detail, there are actual (tiny) bells attached to her hairband.

One of her alternate expressions is more serious. The part of the head that swaps for expressions has the neck peg embedded in it, so there is no need to swap the peg when swapping expressions. That's a big relief. For this picture, I paired it up with her alternate arms that are holding a pen and clipboard, as well as the question mark that floats above her head. The question mark attaches via a clear peg to an alternate hairband.

Isabelle's other expression is a happy one, which pairs well with the hovering music notes and the hands clasped to her chest. Each of the notes gets an arm that plugs into the base, so there are some options in positioning.

Finally, Isabelle gets to be the mayor.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

#9: Yotsuba&! - Revoltech Yotsuba

While my first toy to open this year was the Revoltech Danboard, Yotsuba was actually the first toy that I bought. But because I ordered from a service that shipped straight from Japan, it took a few weeks to arrive. Like Danboard, Yotsuba's figure has been pretty popular, so Revoltech periodically re-releases it, and this is the most recent release. It's a pretty cute representation of the manga character, with a big smile as her default expression. For the most part, it's pretty easy to pose, although there are some weird articulation points. Her shoulders have two sets of swivels, which help a bit with angling the arms, but more lateral motion would have been nice. I'm guessing it was done for the aesthetic of the shoulders, as the only place where the articulation makes things look a little weird is at the elbows and possibly the ankles, which are both swivel/hinge joints.

Yotsube includes a stand that can function two ways. It has a peg that can plug into a foot like a standard action figure stand. Then there is also an arm that can plug into the base and support the waist, like a doll stand. She also includes a small bag and a hat. The top two braids on her head are removable so that the hat fits on the head, and it has grooves on the inside that correspond with her bangs, helping hold it in place on her head.

Yotsuba has a couple of alternate facial expressions. This is the extra happy face, which goes well with the ice cream bar and extra hand for holding it. The kid loves ice cream. Swapping expressions basically means removing the entire head and swapping out the hair. This also involves swapping out the neck peg, which can be difficult to remove from the head. I was able to resort to using tweezers, as my bare fingers couldn't get a proper grip. It would have been nice if it was just the front half of the head that had to be swapped.

The other alternate face is more of a determined/displeased look. Seems appropriate with the squirt gun and extra hand to hold it. There are also a couple of other extra sets of hands: one with the fingers splayed and one with the hands in "karate chop" position.

Monday, January 27, 2014

#8: Hot Wheels - Bat-Pod (HW City 64/250)

Hot Wheels isn't something I pay very close attention to, but I recently found out that there is a Hot Wheels version of The Homer out there. I've been looking for it without success, but I did find a Bat-Pod, so that was a happy surprise. Since the Bat-Pod is a smaller vehicle, it's on a different scale from the average Hot Wheels car, which means it is a bit larger.

Because of its size, LEGO figures can sort of ride on it, although it's obviously not a perfect fit.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

#7: Gremlins - Spider Gremlin

One of the things that made Gremlins 2 more fun than the original is wide variety of mutant gremlins that were introduced, thanks to a convenient mad science lab. One of the most memorable, and probably the most creepy, was the spider gremlin. It seems like I've been waiting for this figure for a long time. I don't remember when it was first announced, but I pre-ordered it way back in June, and this month it finally showed up. Out of the box, it requires a bit of assembly. The legs all have to be attached at the first joint, which requires a bit of doing. As is, they won't go in without a little soaking in hot water to soften up the ball sockets. Once everything is in place, the spider gremlin looks great. This is a very detailed sculpt with some very sharp pointy bits (my fingers are still a little sore from all the poking while attaching the legs) which remind you that this is definitely not a toy targeted at children. The paint is very detailed and it all looks good on mine. Articulation is pretty extensive with multiple ball joints on each leg. The jaw opens, and even the abdomen is articulated. Unsurprisingly, those spindly legs can't support the figure by themselves, so fortunately there is a display stand included that utilizes a transparent rod for minimal visual intrusiveness. There is also a flask of the mutant spider DNA solution, which fits fairly well in spider gremlin's hand. If this is the last Gremlins figure, then at least the line is going out with a bang rather than a whimper. I'll still buy the bat gremlin if they make one!

"I don't care what Jameson says, I had nothing to do with this!"

Saturday, January 25, 2014

#6: The LEGO Movie - Panda Guy

I've been a fan of the subset of LEGO blindpacked minifigures  that are guys in animal costumes, so of course I picked up the Panda Guy. Feeling for the mini panda is probably the easiest way to find him, although the panda suit head is pretty distinctive as well. It's a pretty simple paint scheme, but there is a zipper painted on the back of the suit.

Here's the bump code for the Panda Guy, with batch number 538B3, as seen from the back. It seems like there are more bumps than usual on the left side of the packaging, and one of them may have been an accidental indentation, so that is something to be aware of. I prefer the touch method as I find it more reliable.

Recommended musical accompaniment to this post:

Friday, January 24, 2014

#5: The LEGO Movie - Abraham Lincoln

The LEGO Movie sets have been hitting stores recently, and more importantly to me, the new series of blindpacked minifigures is in stores as well. Abraham Lincoln was a must buy for me. He's one of the presidents with the most pop culture cache and a distinctive look to boot. I'm curious what his character does in the movie, but he's a worthy figure to have in any case. Finding ol' Honest Abe was pretty easy by feeling for his hat. I didn't know it beforehand, but the hat and beard are one piece, so it threw me off a little. He also includes a tile with the Gettysburg Address printed on it, with the famous opening line legible.

Here's the bump code on the packaging for Abraham Lincoln, as seen from the back side. The production code stamped into it is 538B3.

With apologies to Brian Posehn

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

#4: Marvel Legends Infinite Series - Skyline Sirens (Black Cat|)

More surprising than finding the new Spider-Man Marvel Legends figures in the store was that some of the shortpacked figures (anything that's not Spider-Man) were still there. Since Black Cat was there, I've never had a figure for her, and it looked good in the package, I decided to pick it up as well as the Spider-Man. The last female Marvel Legends figure I got ended up not being my favorite, but Black Cat turned out well. She's not super articulated like Spidey, but she is a nice balance of articulation and aesthetics. Like just about every other figure wearing high heels, she can be a bit of a bother to balance. For an accessory she gets a claw thing on a rope, with a handle. She comes with Ultimate Green Goblin's torso, which is the torso from the movie Hulk figure but in different colors.

"Gee, Cat, I really look up to you. Mostly because of the heels you're wearing."

Monday, January 20, 2014

#3: Marvel Legends Infinite Series - The Amazing Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man had its ups and downs, and while I enjoyed it, Raimi's Spider-Man films have hardly been erased from my memory. One of the things I didn't like about ASM was the weird changes they made to Spidey's costume. Fortunately, the costume was been reworked since the first movie and now looks a lot more like the classic comic style. The movie won't be out for a few months, but the toys are showing up in stores. I was fortunate to find a fairly freshly unpacked case and picked up a couple figures. I've never really had what I consider to be a definitive six inch Spider-Man figure, but this one is pretty close.

It's a nice looking figure, with all the web lines sculpted in, and it captures the thin yet muscled shape of Spider-Man's physique. But where this figure really shines is in the super articulation. Basically it's as super articulated as a Toy Biz Marvel Legends figure, except for articulated toes and fingers. It even has those crazy extra shoulder swivels that you never see anymore. Thanks to double hinged knees and those new style ankle joints, Spider-Man can get into a fairly deep crouch and balance fairly easily.

The only accessories Spider-Man comes with are an extra set of hands. He's packaged with the fists attached, and the other set of hands are in the web-shooting pose with pinky and index fingers extended. This is a build a figure series, and the right arm of Ultimate Green Goblin is included, which has a piece of flame that attaches at the wrist.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

#2: Doctor Who - Weeping Angel

While at SacAnime, I was mostly keeping an eye out for Japanese toys, figuring that finding them would be more likely at a Japanese culture inspired event. Unsurprisingly, there were not a whole lot of western toy lines represented, but there were a few. One booth I stopped by had a few of the newer Doctor Who figures in the smaller scale. I will probably will not be collecting too many of the figures in the new scale, but a Weeping Angel is always cool. One of the things I like most about the figure is that it has the full length robes, which I find evocative of their first (and best) appearance in the episode Blink. I don't know if it's a standard for new new smaller scale of figures, but the figure is sporting considerably less articulation. Well, the arms, anyway. Obviously there's no leg articulation here. The only articulation for the arms is at the shoulders which get swivel-hinge joints. Fortunately, this isn't a figure that necessarily needs a lot of articulation, so merely looking cool is good enough.

Also included is a completely unnecessary figure stand, shaped like the current TARDIS inspired DW logo for the show.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

#1: Yotsuba&! - Revoltech Danboard

Danboard has been a staple of toy photographers for a while now, and even though I didn't know what the character was from, I've always wanted one. Fortunately, Revoltech has been smart enough to keep re-releasing him to keep up with demand. I was at my very first convention a couple weeks ago, SacAnime, and Revoltech Danboard was one of the main toys I was looking for in the dealers' room.

Since the character is a child in a cardboard robot costume, it's not super posable. The front and back flaps of the chest can move a bit, and the hips and shoulders move, as well as the head. The shoulders are the only points with the ratcheted Revoltech joints. The head has a nice range of motion, which is definitely helpful for adding personality to poses.

Danboard includes an alternate head. I've only started reading the manga Yotsuba&!, but I haven't reached the volume where Danboard is introduced, so I don't know who this child is yet. Still, it is nice to have an alternate display option of another head. There is even a separate peg to connect the head. The box's peg is black, while the human head has a flesh colored peg. Danboard's only other accessory is a stand with the writing "Yotsuba&! Enjoy Everything" on it.

Danboard includes one really cool play feature: its eyes light up.
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