Sunday, August 31, 2014

#82: Hot Toys Captain America The Winter Soldier - Black Widow

The Hot Toys version of Black Widow from The Avengers was almost my first Hot Toys figure, but I held off, getting Joker and Loki instead. From what I've heard, it was an improvement over the Iron Man 2 version, but the costume itself was a bit fragile. But when the Winter Soldier version came along, I felt it was time to take the plunge.

The box isn't anything super crazy, since this isn't one of the deluxe figures, but it's got a picture of Scarlett Johansson on the front, and it looks nice enough. Underneath the lid is a cover which has a picture of the actual figure on it, and then underneath that is the tray holding the figure and the accessories.

So here it is. It's perhaps not the most perfect likeness I've seen on a Hot Toys figure, but it's still pretty good. This is my first Hot Toys figure with rooted hair, so we'll see how that works out long term. The instructions advise that the hair arrives with product pre-applied to it. The great thing about Black Widow's costume is that it is so easy to adapt to live action. Just add some "tactical" detailing, and boom there you go. This version has a mix of cloth and leather-like material, with most of the costume being cloth. It's got more give than the leather stuff, which is good for moving the figure around. She's only in her costume for the first 20 minutes or so of the movie, spending the rest of it in civvies or disguise. While they could have opted for a casual look figure, the costume is definitely more iconic looking.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

#81: Transformers Generations - Rattrap

Hasbro is slowly but surely redoing all the Beast Wars characters. Well, maybe not all of them, but we've been getting a few every now and then for a couple years now. I've been keeping an eye out for Rattrap, but only managed to see his case-mates on shelves. This was one of those cases where I was able to find him by keeping an eye on online prices and waiting for them to come down to reasonable levels. Lately, that seems a more effective method than checking brick and mortar sources.

Rattrap's beast mode is pretty cool. The tail is bendy, with a wire inside so it holds shape. The mouth opens, and he can even sit up on his hind legs, although his stomach is a mish-mash of robotic parts. The mouth can open as well. His gun stores in his body in this mode.

Robot mode is pretty decent too. He has a rifle that can be split into two smaller guns, and what the internet is saying is an explosive charge which can be stored in his forearm. The transformation is one of those where the instructions are sometimes not as clear as one would like. But it's not too difficult.

#80: DC Comics Multiverse (Batman Returns) - Catwoman

The Christopher Reeve Superman figure wasn't perfect, but I really liked it. The Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman isn't as good, so my nostalgia is having a harder time making me like the figure. For starter's, there's the head. The ears are just too tall and narrow, and are sticking straight up rather than being at more of an angle. They make it look more like a bat-family cowl. Otherwise it looks okay. There are both bicep swivels and then forearm swivels close to the elbow, so bending the elbow feels like it's going to pull out the forearms since they're a softer plastic. The whip just looks too long and too thick. And her heels make it hard for her to stand, so of course this line doesn't include stands.

Friday, August 29, 2014

#79: DC Comics Multiverse (Superman The Movie) - Superman

As I mentioned in my post about the General Zod figure, I was looking forward to the Christopher Reeve as Superman figure. I watched the original Superman movie countless times when I was younger, so Christopher Reeve is pretty solidly cemented in my mind as the definitive live action Superman. Except for expensive 12 inch figures, Christopher Reeve Superman figures have been sadly lacking, so I'm glad Mattel finally got around to releasing one to retail. I really wish it was in the six inch scale, though. It says "adult collector" right on the packaging, and the vast majority of Mattel DC movie figures have been in six inch scale, so it feels like a missed opportunity, just like all the other movie figures in this smaller scale. But that's Mattel for you. On the plus side, I do think it's a pretty good likeness, and they even sculpted the shield on his chest. It's kind of amazing how generous Mattel is with new tooling on these figures when they were so stingy with it for DCUC figures. In the end, it's Christopher Reeve as Superman, and that's awesome.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#78: Star Wars The Black Series - Clone Trooper

The other new figure in this wave is the clone trooper. I've done a lot of clone army building in the past few years, but even though this is a plain shiny trooper, the new scale does make this one stand out. This is the Phase I armored version of the clone trooper as seen in Attack of the Clones, and presumably there is a Phase II from Revenge of the Sith to be released in the future. It will be interesting to see how many clone variants Hasbro ends up releasing in this scale. If the Stormtrooper and the clone trooper are any indication, it seems that only armored characters are given the double hinged elbows in this line. There are swivel joints in the thighs, but they are well hidden by the armor. The shoulder armor does limit how much the arms can be raised. For accessories, there is the long clone trooper blaster rifle, and the smaller blaster.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#77: Star Wars The Black Series - Anakin Skywalker

One of two new figures in the fourth wave is Anakin Skywalker as he appeared in Revenge of the Sith. Of the various prequel appearance for Anakin, this is probably the one most people would want, so it's not surprising that it's the first one released. It's a pretty good looking figure, although the face sculpt isn't the best likeness. It's one of those heads that looks good from some angles, but at other angles looks more like a stunt double. I think the eyes are painted a little off. The articulation is good, and the hips aren't hindered, as the lower parts of the tunic are soft goods on the sides, and a softer plastic on the front and back. Anakin includes high lightsaber, which has a detachable blade, and the handle pegs into his belt for storage.

Anakin's other accessory is an alternate Sith-eyed head, with messier hair.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

#76: Star Wars The Black Series - Stormtrooper

Not surprisingly, the Stormtrooper was released in one of the first few waves of the six inch Black Series. Unfortunately, it was stupidly hard to actually find. Hasbro did re-release it in a later wave, of which I ordered a case online in order to get one. If I could get only one Star Wars figure, a Stormtrooper would be on the shortlist, it's one of the most iconic looking characters from the series. So I'm glad to finally get one in the new scale. It looks good and has great articulation. Okay, the armor on the thighs kind of prevents the figure from going into any deep stances. But the head has a really good range of motion, from up and down to tilting to the side. Accessory-wise, it comes with a blaster rifle, and the traditional Stormtrooper blaster, which can be stowed in the holster hanging from the belt. It's a bummer these guys are so hard to find. Not that I want to army build with 20 dollar figures, but troopers rarely warm pegs.

Seeing the comparison, it's really bringing it home to me how poorly shaped the smaller scaled Stormtroopers' helmets have tended to be.

Monday, August 25, 2014

#75: S.H. Figuarts - Super Mario Diorama Playset A

The other item I got at the toy show was the other accessory set for the S.H. Figuarts Mario figure. While the other set had the very cool pipes, this one has a more important accessory: a stand. All in all, you get a base, a stand for Mario, an alternate back piece for Mario that the stand plugs into, a Goomba, two brick blocks, a ? block, a coin, two stands of varying heights for the coin, a stand for the blocks, and a platform for all three blocks to rest on (so you can have one block or all three floating above Mario at once). Ideally, the stand and base would have been included with Mario in the first place, but it is cool to have the addition to the figure. It does drive home the point that Mario's arms are too short to actually hit anything, so he looks like he's hitting blocks with his head. That's not a knock on the figure, that's just how the character is designed.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

#74: Star Wars The Vintage Collection - Imperial Scanning Crew

Last week I went to the Time Tunnel toy show in San Jose and was finally able to pick up a set that fills an annoying gap in my collection. It's all about the accessory. See, a few years ago, Hasbro released an Imperial technician figure with the lower half of the scanning crew's equipment. They planned to release the top half as a variant release of the same figure, but that never happened. They kept promising they were looking for a way to get him released, and eventually they did. As a Kmart exclusive. Because Kmarts are so plentiful and easy to buy exclusives from. So I got this set for the top half of the scanning equipment crate. It fits well on top of the other half, and even opens up, revealing a little scanning gun thing that plugs into the interior and some other small detachable piece of equipment. As for figures, it comes with the exact same Imperial technician figure I already had, and TK-421. This is the Stormtrooper whose armor ends up as Luke's disguise. It's pretty neat, as so far as I know this is the first time a Stormtrooper has been sold as a specific trooper, and he's the only one who's identified onscreen.

Together at last!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#73: DC Comics Designer Series - Greg Capullo Batman

When I opened this Batman figure, I thought it was misassembled. But I'll get back to that. One of the brightest spots of the poorly thought out New 52 reboot at DC Comics has been Batman, written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Greg Capullo. Mattel did make a New 52 costume Batman, but it was in the usual style of semi-realistic looking. DC Collectibles frequently makes figures that reflect a particular artist's style, and since I have been enjoying Capullo's artwork so much I decided to get the figure that's in his style. It's a great looking figure, and what makes it distinctively Capullo is the head, which is pretty dead on to how he looks in the comics. There's also a very generous amount of articulation, which hasn't always been the case for DC Collectibles (or DC Direct as it used to be called) figures. Compared to the typical Mattel comic figure, Batman has the usual articulation along with double hinged knees, swivel/hinge wrists, and an additional swivel at the tops of his gloves. That's why I thought the arm was misassembled, as the gauntlet was facing the wrong direction, and the elbow wouldn't bend. Fiddling around with it, I realized that there is a swivel at the top of the glove, and the elbow joints are just particularly stiff. Oddly, some of the joints are particularly stiff while some are kind of loose. I was a little worried about him being able to stand, but the cape is just long enough that it touches the ground and provides a little extra support and balance. It's a cool cape, it's not just laying flat, there's a bit of a dramatic billow to it which helps show off the scalloped end. For accessories, Batman includes three batarangs which can all be held in his left hand. There are three separate slots for them, it's pretty cool.

Friday, August 22, 2014

#72: S.H. Figuarts - Sailor Moon

With the current release of Sailor Moon Crystal, a new adaptation of the original manga, I've been in something of a Sailor Moon mood lately. Fortunately, Bandai is ready to capitalize on the collecting instincts for everyone else, as they've been releasing Sailor Moon Figuarts figures for a while now. I figured if I were only to get one, Sailor Moon herself would be the way to go.

I've now got enough fancy Japanese figures to have a good idea what to expect from them. Plentiful accessories, interchangeable body parts, great articulation, all around looking good, and not cheap price tags. Sailor Moon doesn't disappoint in any of those areas.

Sailor Moon has four different faces, several sets of hands, two Moon Sticks (with and without the silver crystal attached), and a stand. Also included is Luna, her talking feline advisor. It's great that a stand is included, unlike the Gundam figures, because she has small feet, and it really helps with more extreme poses. Even her hair is articulated!

Now that I've got Usagi in hand, I'm tempted to get the rest of the Sailor Scouts. My only complaint is that one of the faces isn't a crying face, which would be a perfect fit for the character.

Friday, August 15, 2014

#71: Star Wars The Black Series - Bastila Shan

This is an example of Hasbro doing something right. They originally released Bastila Shan as part of the Vintage Collection, and she was a very hard figure to find. I never saw one, and the figure was reliably going for 70 dollars or more on the secondary market. I wanted the figure, but not that much, so I was resigned to never having her to add to the KOTOR subset of my collection. But Hasbro thankfully re-released her in the Black Series, and while she may not be easy to find on the shelves, she's pretty easy to get online. As of this writing, she is available at various webshops for retail price.

It's been a while since I last got a Star Wars figure in this scale, but this is a fairly typical figure. Well articulated, although the hips are only swivels, it's a decent looking figure. She comes with both an activated and deactivated version of her lightsaber. With most lightsabers being blue, green, or red, her yellow blades definitely stand out.

"Query: Did you copy your lightsaber from the meatbag Darth Maul?"

Related Posts with Thumbnails