So sometimes you just don't find anything or can't make it to the stores... so what is a weekly reviewer to do in such an instance? Dig deep into the big pile of "Unopened"s and talk about what I've opened this week, rather than bought. Enjoy it, please don't hold these technicalities against me - I promise I'll fight terrorism by indulging in materialistic consumerism before next week's column.
DST - Star Trek: TRU s4 Casual Kirk
Had to order a case to get these figures but thank God I did: the new ones are pretty good. This Kirk uses the same mid-torso-articulation body as the Art Asylum figures but with a new upper torso sculpt which mean no waist articulation... boo. Otherwise the standard 19 points of articulation with a solid sculpt really nice paint and, most importantly, an all-new, all-better Shatner likeness! Some of the quality is lost in the paint, especially in the eyes, but its still a vast improvement over the pervious head. The figure comes with a phaser, a communicator and an all new Space-Liquor Bottle! Awesome!
DST - Star Trek: TRU s4 Romulan Centurion
ROMULANS!!! BATTLE BUILDERS!!!! Thank the Maker this figure got out, but too bad its two per case in a 1,000 case run. Interchangeable gloved and ungloved hands, alien phaser and removable sash make this a cool figure, but the super detailed sculpt and well done paint make this a superstar in the ST:TOS collection - well done, DST!
DST - Star Trek: Romulan Disguise Kirk & "Intrigued" Spock
A really good set that'll turn off a lot of fans - while Kirk is a must have variant, raised-eyebrow Spock can easily be lived without. I love Trek, it's a valid spin on Spock and the Kirk is a great never-before-done toy so it's a must-have set for myself (and any other serious Trek fan [Trekkie! --ed.]). This Kirk's head is a spin on the new Shatner likeness and is not only significantly better than the Casual Kirk, I'd go as far as saying is Dead-On! Part of the "Dilithium Colelction" series of sets limited to 1701 pieces each - get yours while you still can.
DST - Star Trek: "Where No Man Has Gone Before" Kirk & Spock
This is DST's Trek perfectly encapsulated. Really good figures presented in a very passable fashion. Seriously, how many Kirks and Spocks do we need!? Especially in $35 two-packs! These are legitimate variants, but DST is really pushing their luck - especially considering they've already released a WNMHGB Kirk! Kirk uses the new likeness and both figures use a new rubber shirt sculpt which looks much better than the one used on that previous Kirk and on Pike. The real stars of the set though are the all-new "The Cage"/"WNMHGB" phasers and communicators! DST may be lots of things but they remain the successor to Palisades' Ruler-ship of Accessories.
Mattel - Toy Story 3 Heroes Gang Gift Pack
Toy Story 3 is one of the most personally affective and meaningful films I've ever seen - I imagine that comes as a shock considering my obvious proclivities. As a result I was forced to buy into Mattel's nightmare, and opted to go with "Heroes" style sets to get as many characters as possible, hence this Toys Я Us exclusive multi-pack featuring many of the classic TS characters: Rex, "Hero" Buzz Lightyear, "Walking" Woody, Jessie, Hamm, Bullseye, & "Great Shape" Barbie. Pretty much what you see is what you get. You're lucky if you get one point of articulation (neck) and only Buzz has more (3 - shoulders & neck) and some have less. Paint is okay and sculpts are stylized but fun. Like most Mattel product it's a ripoff (considering the competition's similar style figures). Getting Woody & Jessie to stand is harder than understanding why they asked Joel Schumacher to direct a second Batman movie.
Mattel - Toy Story 3 Lotso's Gang Gift Pack
New characters and bad guys! This set is a perfect companion piece to the Heroes Gang set, which is obviously why I bought it. This one includes: Stretch, Big Baby, Twitch, Lotso, "Good Mood" Chunk, Sparks, and Ken. All around I much prefer this set. More interesting and diverse character designs and a lot more articulation (Twitch even has 4 points). Ken could use a little clear base to help him stand just like Barbie, but what're ya gonna do?
Mattel - Toy Story 3 Buddy Pack: Rex & Slinky Dog
The Andy's Toys collection ain't complete without Ol' Slink! Rex is identical to the gift pack version with articulated neck and tail. Slinky's articulated at the neck. Not a great set, but as I say the character is a conspicuous absence from the display - after all he generates force fields! Watch out though, Rex eats them!
Mattel - Toy Story 3 Buddy Pack: Mr. Pricklepants & "Hero" Woody
If only there was a third gift pack with Bonnie's Toys then the collection would be a lot easier. Instead, Mattel wants to make things difficult and ensure you have an army of Woodys. As always what you see is what you get, the only surprise is that Pricklepants has articulation at the shoulders.
Mattel - Toy Story 3 Buddy Pack: Peas in a Pod & "Walking" Woody
Mattel - Toy Story 3 Buddy Pack: Trixie & "Waving" Woody
Mattel - Toy Story 3 Buddy Pack: Buttercup & "Hero" Woody
Once more, only neck articulation abounds. Buttercup is a welcome addition but nothing special. Let's take a moment to point out how &%$#*!} aggravating Mattel is. Yes, I get it. Woody is the only "classic" character to interact with Bonnie's Toys, but seriously??? A Woody with each character, even repeating "Hero" Woody? Why not pair the Bonnie Toys together, or with some kind of meaningful variation of a major character, anything other than the same character over and over and over and over? Clearly this line is aimed at the dumbest of children, ignorant-est of parents and plotted out by simpletons. For shame, Matty, for shame.