Wednesday, April 30, 2014

#33: The Dark Knight Trilogy Hot Wheels - Tumbler (Camouflage version) (HW City 63/250)

When I found The Homer, I also found this new version of the Tumbler in camo deco. I still don't have a standard Tumbler, so I figured I would pick this up. This is the camo version from The Dark Knight Rises, that Bane used for his forces. For the most part, it replicates the Tumbler's unique shape well. But that front end looks terrible. I guess for whatever reason, they couldn't get the front tires to be mounted the way they are supposed to. Maybe it was a cost issue. Also, there should be four rear tires. Maybe they'll re-release the standard Tumbler later on.

#32: The Simpsons Hot Wheels - The Homer (HW City 89/250)

I don't know why Mattel is suddenly releasing a Hot Wheels version of The Homer, which is based on a really old episode of The Simpsons, but they did. I haven't watched the show in years, but this is too good to pass up. I'm continuing my streak of finding otherwise hard to find Hot Wheels cars at the grocery store, which is where I found this. It's not 100% on model (there should be some green on the domes), but for this price I'm not complaining too much. Word on the street is that the Simpsons LEGO minifigures are hitting stores too, so I'll be on the look out for those, which will be a nice compliment for The Homer.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#31: Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America The Winter Soldier - Mandroid

I figured since I was getting half of the pieces already, that I might as well complete the Mandroid. It's a big mech suit with large guns and blades as weapons, so I dig the design. Somewhat surprisingly, the head was the most expensive piece, it ended up costing more than both of the arms combined. All in all, it was only about the price of one figure, which is about what I wanted to pay. So I call it a good deal. The legs are a straight reuse of the Iron Monger build a figure from Iron Man 3, and the arms are retooled, but the head and upper torso are new. This torso seems a bit longer, so the arms come off as looking a little too short. They're also really thick and on swivel/hinge joints, so they don't bend very far at the elbow. Otherwise, the articulation is pretty good aside from the head, which sits very tightly on the ball, and is somewhat recessed in the armor so it's hard to manipulate. But, it's a big cool mech suit, so I dig it.

A bit of fun before attaching the head. Black Widow's head is the only one that would kind of stay in place, thanks to the long hair supporting it in position. Maybe Tony will build some Mandroids for Avengers 2?

#30: Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America The Winter Soldier - Black Widow

If I could choose only one figure from the Winter Soldier, it would have been Black Widow. Hasbro obnoxiously didn't make a six inch Widow figure for the Avengers line, so demand for this figure was already pretty high. Naturally, Hasbro's case assortments included only one Widow figure per case. It's unfortunate that the "female action figures don't sell" mindset is still very much in effect, especially when that figure includes a key component for a build a figure. Not surprisingly, I had quite a time getting my hands on this figure without paying ridiculous gray market prices. I saw them at the toy show for 60 dollars, which is about how much it was selling for on Amazon, whereas Ebay going prices were in the slightly more reasonable 50 dollar area. Buying online was otherwise out of the question because every site that had a single listing for Widow was out of stock, and I didn't want to buy a whole case. finally added a "coming soon" listing, so I religiously checked it, waiting for it to come in stock. Early one morning, Black Widow was finally in stock! I added the figure to my shopping cart, but on the final step of checkout I was greeted with this screen:

 After that, the figure would alternate between showing as out of stock and in stock for the next few minutes. Each time I tried to order one, I was greeted with the same message right before getting to the final step of checkout. I e-mailed customer service, but they couldn't help, saying that it might be re-stocked at some unknown point in the future. I also had Black Widow saved to my Amazon wish list, which I began obsessively keeping an eye on, checking several times a day to check for price variations. It was normally around 60 bucks but would occasionally go up or down a little, then one day, it showed as being normal retail price. By the time I got to the product page, it had gone back up to scalper pricing. Having a good feeling about it and some time to kill, I added the Winter Soldier figure to my cart, as it was currently in stock at retail price, so that if (when) I was able to get Black Widow for retail price, I'd be able to get free shipping. The figure showed as retail price a few times, but went back up before I could get an order through. Eventually, after much reloading and cursing, my order went through, so I was able to get Black Widow without paying a ridiculous markup. I felt like pinching myself to make sure I wasn't sleeping.

Having gone through all that, it is a relief that it's a good figure. It looks good, and the facial likeness is decent enough. I think she looks a little squinty, almost as if she's smelling something unpleasant. The costume is well detailed, with differing textures, and what little paint there is on the figure is in good order. There are a couple quirks of articulation. Since she has thinner arms than her male line mates, Black Widow doesn't have a bicep swivel and double hinged elbows, instead getting swivel-hinge elbows. So her arms don't bend as far. But really, my only complaint about the figure is her lack of accessories. She gets an extra head, modeled after her appearance in The Avengers, and two sets of hands, one open, and with trigger fingers extended for holding guns. But she doesn't include guns. Okay, she does, but they are sculpted into the holsters and are non-removable. This is Loki's doing, I know it.

I have seen reports that future assortments will include two Black Widow figures per case, so that may be a good sign for the near future for anybody who has been unable to get their hands on this figure. Hopefully your local stores restock more often than mine!

Monday, April 28, 2014

#29: Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America The Winter Soldier - Winter Soldier

While I was able to order Captain America from Target's online sale, I hesitated on the Winter Soldier and it sold out before I decided I should get the figure too. That turned out to be fortuitous later on, fortunately, when I ordered the figure from Amazon. Bucky is looking pretty good here, and has all the good articulation one expects. I think the jacket in the movie was more of a dark blue or a black, but the figure is in brown. There are a couple separate pieces added on, the shoulder straps harness, and the belt/holster. The belt has a couple knives sculpted in, but they aren't removable, which is too bad. Knives would have been good accessories.

Aside from the masked head, an unmasked head is included, featuring the most smeared eyeliner I have ever seen on an action figure. The Winter Soldier's only included weapon is a ridiculous sci-fi rifle that makes no appearance in the movie. It's too bad he doesn't include any of the guns he used in the movie, but it's better than no gun at all. Like the Captain America figure, he also includes a Mandroid leg.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

#28: Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America The Winter Soldier - Captain America

There are a whopping four Marvel movies coming out this year, and we're off to a great start with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The first wave of toys was pretty easy to find, but the second wave, which has all the figures I wanted has proven more elusive. Target had a sale on Captain America toys the week the movie was released, so I was able to purchase this figure from the website. This is Cap's new "stealth" suit for the movie, based on the costume he wore in the comics when he was the director of Shield. It's a very nice looking figure, with the high standard of articulation one expects from Marvel Legends figures. Naturally, he comes armed with his trusty shield, painted in more subdued colors this time around. The shield has two straps, so Cap can hold it on his arm, but can't mount it on his back (which would have been a cool display option).

Cap also includes a couple of alternate hands and an alternate head. Each hand gets a fist, and the right hand also gets a saluting hand, while the left gets a pointing hand. The alternate unmasked head is kind of disappointing because it looks nothing like Chris Evans. It's a very Steve Rogers looking head, but an actor likeness would have been appreciated. Also included is a build a figure piece, the Mandroid's leg (more on that later).
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