My employer was kind enough to return me, for a week, to my beloved yester-home of Chicago. Whence there I, of course, made short business of re-acclimating myself to m'old hunting grounds. Unto me fell some reasonable luck and unto thee falls the recounting of it. Bare ye witness thus!
The CORPS: Spade
On a recent peruse of Walmart, I saw this guy and for the, what, like $3, had to get him. Nick Fury in a sort of Steampunk-ish, vaguely ray-gunnish costume with a feel of the Aero Navy? Forget about it - SOLD! I do quite like the design and the colors of this figure. I love that jacket and would probably armybuild an actual Air Corps of this guy were it a plausible option. The production is also fair, considering what The CORPS is (ie, explicit Joe knock-offs). However, the sculpt is just... well it's above "amateur-ish" but certainly below "good." The head is a too cartoony, the sculpt soft and the proportions are way off (look at that waif-ish waist!). Articulation is pretty weak with balljoints at the shoulders and elbows, swivel neck, T-crotch and hinged knees. True Joe competitor this is not. He gets a rifle with sculpted-on peg for the peghole in his back, handgun and knife - the latter two fit well in the sculpted-on holsters he has.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Dark Wolverine
I have little interest in Dakken and less love. In general I'm none-too-crazy about "Son Of" versions of super popular characters (at least he's not a clone, though, X-23... boo) as more often than not they're just a cheap way to cash in and add very little value to overall story or character. At least having a bastard plays into Logan's original seedy ways. This is the first not-Bucky/Cap or Drax ML2 figure I've come across and it happened to be not only the variant but the version I'd prefer to have (since mask-on is just Brown Wolverine with less claws and a silly tattoo). The belt is a separate piece that rides a little loose and high. The hands have a great up/down hinge at a swivel wrist which offer some nice posing options, though it apparently gets in the way of Dakken's third under-claw which would have been greatly appreciated to help further remove this guy from Daddy. The mohawk is a good sculpt, if not yet another silly trait (ooh, a mohawk and a big sleeve tattoo... how edgy!), but more importantly is the separate mask-down cowl piece. For some reason I just really, really like such pieces.
McFarlane - Halo Anniversary: Halo 1 Master Chief
I've some how managed to hold off on getting the only new sculpt in the Anniversary series but it was a good call as I picked this up at Walmart on clearance for $5! McFarlane and their Halo line are the brands I love to hate but I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a good figure - cause it is! In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's the best figure they've done for Halo line yet! Why? A nice, fun retro-CG sculpt with good, clean paint but most importantly - useful articulation each with a solid range of motion! Get Spawn a fleece pullover 'cause Hell must have frozen over! Of course, the figure still lacks the CRUCIAL bicep swivel but balljointed elbows and wrists help compensate - so much so, in fact, he can actually two-hand hold his rifle! He comes with his laser rifle, a geometric grenade (which fits on to pegs on the back waist that are actually part of the sculpt) and half of the base for the build-a-thing. This is the first McFarlane purchase I've made in a LONG time that hasn't disappointed me and the first Halo toy that really lives up to its promises. It's well worth your time and money!
Lego - Friends: Skateboard Polybag
Found this broad at Toys R Us, I believe, and picked her up for... well I guess out of compulsive need for Polybags. Skateboards - yawn. Friends Mini-Figs - meh. She comes with a glass of ice cream, I suppose, or sherbet more likely (actually it's probably some trendy Mango Fro Yo she can tweet about), a probably-planter and a bit'o'sidewalk. I'm pretty darn tired of the lime-green shade, and especially in 2x2 rounds. Since they generally use those to denote seats it makes this 'planter' a bit odd. The sidewalk kinda is neat and I quite dig the fire hydrant, and it may be worth getting an extra of this set for another of those red cubes with a stud on the front. Then there is the I-guess-it's-a-table with the mystery translucent yellow business. Who knows whats going on with this set. It's a collection of fine bricks but like a poorly written movie I feel I need the creator to explain what I'm seeing for it to make any sense. Pass.
Lego - Star Wars: Star Destroyer Polybag
Mm mm mmmm, but I do like me some micro ships, particularly those of the Original Trilogy variety, with a special interest in anything from A New Hope! This is a great new design of the Star Destroyer and makes the iconic shape perfectly. I do wish they had added some bricks to the bottom to help fill out the vertical diamond shape, but that can be done easily enough by yourself. It's a great looking piece and a fun simple build. So far I've only seen this set at Walmart, so that's where ya gotta look (assuming that I haven't cleared them out of it already).
Playmobil - Add-Ons: Pigs & Trough
There's a shop down near Downer's Grove what carries a hearty selection of Playmobil, including a small smattering of Add-Ons including this here allotment of swiney delight. Having just binged heartily on Add-Ons at the Fun Park in Florida I was much in the mind to village-build, and this batch will fit equally well in my Medieval or Western towns. Included is a Sow, a trough and not one but six piglets. Each pig has a single point of articulation, a hinged neck and is fully cast in pig plastic (I had meant to type "pink," but that is one typo I believe I shall leave - O what ticklery). I quite like the set, though I feel the Sow is a little underscale compared to her Next Generation.
Playmobil - Add-Ons: Red Hawk Soldiers
I picked up the "Red Hawk" Castle at a post-Christmas Toys R Us sale so I have been on the look-out for affordable ways to fill that army and this set does a decent job of it. Like all Army sets we get three Klickies but each is differently clad, alas. Here we have a Knight, a Foot Soldier and an Archer. It's actually a better, more reasonable assortment than some of the others so you could well build a team of each with multiple purchases. The armor and helmets (and hair for the matter) are of course all interchangeable for some fair customizing, but when it comes to an army, I want homogeneity. You also get two shields, a long axe, a sword, a mace, a long bow and a quiver with arrows. I love the teal and red hawk design for this group, and will amass them to be my Medieval Evils but this new range of Knights is woefully underwhelming for diorama building.
Playmobil - Easter Egg: Zoo Vet
I'd never seen, let alone gotten, any of the Easter Egg collection prior to my trip to the Fun Park so I was pleased to find this one. I'd picked up all of the Safari Sets on mark-down from Toys R Us (hmmm, some foliage changes would allow those stream-bases to work perfectly for Western... mayhap I need more...) so was eager to add more animals to that collection. Besides, though these are "babies" they are a very cool-looking collection of beasts (not to mention that rhinos are m'favs). Each animal is well painted and/or mixed plastic shades and all only move at the neck, which is perfectly fine, expected and preferred for Playmobil. The Zoo Keeper girl is a fairly bland, generi-City figure. She gets a small plant and a bucket. This is a set you get for the animals. In fact, it's the sort of thing that does make me somewhat wish I could go in for the Zoo theme as that seems to allow for some fun diorama creativity but on a far limited focused scale than my obsessions with Knights, Pirates and Western.
Playmobil - Romans: Caesar
Yes! Finally snagged this dude. Thanks to TRU and Target I have all of the Gladiators but sadly very few proper Romans (and they certainly released very few of them to be sure). This guy gets a gold goblet and plate plus a batch of grapes and a little table. There is also a gold "crown of leaves" and the classic map sculpt now printed as a Roman Writ, and both are pretty cool. His toga is split up the left side so that it can be slid over head and shoulder. The main piece, though, is the column, with a System X hole at each end. It plugs into a small square base and has a bronze plate that plugs into the top, a large flame connecting to it. I've never been too crazy about that large flame (eye holes? blargh) and while a fun bit of history that display place piece is awfully vertical for my tastes as a stand-alone. The real plus here though is that we now have a column for System X. While I am and will always be an ardent supporter of Steck over System X I am hopeful for some cool stuff to be done with the column, for instance a Western courthouse all Back to the Future III-y!