After a much prolonged hiatus of Comic-Con attending, recuperating and working our dear and beloved Spoils returns with a mighty onslaught Con exclusive toys. Now, I will note this is not every exclusive I bought. What's excluded, though, is being done so with the intention of I writing a full review of it - impossible to conceive I know, but it certainly is a goal!
Bandai - S.H. Monster Arts: "Comic-Con Explosion" Godzilla
I had originally intended on passing this up, but you know what, between Poe's enthusiasm and my enjoyment of translucent plastic (plus a love for con exclusives) I decided to get one. The sculpt is fantastic but this is a perfect example of pointless articulation. Sure there is a lot of it, but the range of motion is so limited there's very little value to it. Where it really shines though is the translucent orange plastic and there's some nice variation to it, either by shading or density. Add to that some yellow frosting and red paint for the eyes and tongue and you get a fantastically striking figure. At $55 I don't expect I'll be collecting much of this line but this is a pretty neat figure.
Bif Bang Pow - Venture Bros.: "Bloody" Brock Samson
I could count the number of Venture Bros. episodes I've seen on one hand, it just never grabbed me nor did I give it much of a chance, but I certainly do like the idea of it and, even moreso, TOYS! I'm pretty surprised by the whole "we'll only make them if folks pre-order them" stance Bif Bang Pow has taken because this seems like a perfect "if you build it they will come" license. They dulled interest by going the Mego route first (most likely it's just BBP's natural resistance to conventional figures) but this is a pretty solid toy. Articulation is hinged knees and elbows, T-crotch, swivel shoulders, waist and head. With the exception of the front part of the pomp missing color (a one-off mistake, I'm sure) the paint is pretty darn solid too. I'm not really one for pre-ordering usually but if I were this figure has certainly convinced me on supporting/collecting the line, should they make it.
The Bridge Direct - The Hobbit: Clear Bilbo Baggins
There was nary a relieved exhalation so enthused as that which I emitted upon the release of the first image of this figure. Everything about it shows us that Middle-Earth is indeed in the right hands and that these figures will not only be great but aesthetically fit in with those ToyBiz made for Lord of the Rings. Certainly this Bilbo is a bland affair being nothing but transparent plastic but it's a nice, fun way to launch the line and a good exclusive in the truest since. He even comes in novelty packaging I don't hate! I would have preferred a some texturing on the clothes, and Sting seems a little too thin, but all in all I think this is a great figure and a more-than-welcome reminder than Gentle Giant creates great toys. I can't wait for the toys proper and this is a most delicious teaser!
DST - Battle Beasts: Vorin & Zik
Okay, so here we go - Battle Beasts finally launched. It's safe to assume I don't like this line because it uses heavily detailed unique sculpts, and that's true, but it actually works much better than I expected. I have to say I really like this figure more than I expected to. Zik is supposed to be a Dragonfly, which as yo pointed out we pretty much have to take on faith. What makes him particularly cool though is that he is entirely made out of existing Minimate parts, except for the 4-pronged back piece for his wings, and shows the versatile cleverness of the format! DST is close to what this line should be which is Minimate Compatable, not Minimate Format. The detail and unique pieces is in stark and direct contrast to the simplified Minimate body (refer to how awkward the smooth arms and blocky torso look on him) and I would far prefer seeing solid torsos, heads, hands, legs, and so on, but with Minimate joints for fun customization. Right now though the Minimate inside looks to be a hindrance to the possibilities and the smoothness of it in conflict with the detail of the new pieces.
DST - Marvel Minimates: Alpha Flight Boxset 1
Boxset #1? Where's Boxset #2? Kinda weird they'd not put out the full team at once to cross promote the sets, but whatevah. I don't know much about anything regarding this team save but for this a cool set. We get a new hand for Puck with a peg hole the same size as the one on the feet which allows him to do his trademark handstand. We also get a couple extra hairpieces and a weird green alien/robot face that I do not recognize. Biggest news to me, though, is the introduction of a one-foot flying base!!! At long last we can do more flying poses (and yes, Superman looks GREAT on this base) and I can't wait to get a few more of this piece. Marrina is easily my favorite of the set, just a cool design executed PERFECTLY for the format. This is a set I like much more after getting, opening and playing with!
DST - Marvel Minimates: Avengers vs. X-Men
Colossus is cool, and clearly cashes in on shared Juggernaut tooling. Emma Frost is an excellent update to the character, last seen the better part of a decade ago, but by gum Scott and Hope are the true stars of this set and I frankly just don't know where to start my raving. Cyclops is a very well executed figure with removable gold jewelery with the same elements painted on below, so you can pick your preferred aesthetic - thanks, DST! But his new alternate mask with eyeblast is a bit of a game changer, it's just so damned cool, and easily re-usable for many other Cyclops costumes (but of course being a '90s fan I want a new sculpt for the eyeblast on the Jim Lee hair-out goggles - would be a great way to get bomber jacket Scott out - hint, hint). And then there's Hope... just... guys. Guys! This set is worth it for this one figure alone, and I'm tempted to get a second because of her. She gets a gun with a peg that fits a hole on her back which also matches a peg on her Rocketeer jetpack. That jetpack gets a removable translucent fire blast which ALSO plugs into the fire base from Nova!!! That's 4 different looks for her, and each is wholly cool! Love this set and highly recommend it!
Hasbro - Marvel Universe: Masters of Evil 3-Pack
Tigershark and Radioactive Man are neat but Zemo is the winner here. Radioactive Man (helluva name there guys...) is fun in this year's seeming translucent trend, but his "outfit" being a separate piece just looks odd - more like an '80s workout shirt than a leotard; I feel like we're about to be junk-flashed at any moment. I know little about Zemo other than that he just looks cool. I dig the cowl and they did a good job of adding a few extras pieces to really make him stand out. Interestingly the fur on his calves are just rings that stay in place, not newly tooled legs. This is a solid set but it's no surprise at all it's one of the exclusives Hasbro had more than plenty of at the end of the Con.
Icon Heroes - Thundercats: Boxset #1
Long live Icon Heroes! It is so phenomenally awesome that they branched out and brought DST to make Minimates. These figures just look so great. Jaga being translucent is simply inspired and I love that Snarf is sculpted with Minimate style legs, arms and face! My only complaint is that Lion-O gets an alternate head but no one else does. If each figure, or at least three, had some alternate look I would more than happily have gotten two sets. Regardless, this is a killer set and I am more than thrilled to be able to amass the classic Thundercats through this avenue!
Mattel - The Dark Knight Rises: Batman-to-Bruce Wayne
Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. I say, siiiiiigh. I just... look... I've read that you people don't care for my negativity and prefer my enthusiasm but what else can one say about this total mistake of a release? Apparently just that I'm wrong, since it was one of the first of Mattel's exclusives to sell out. The packaging is just... useless. The figure is totally pointless and the rubber costume, needless. This would have been MUCH better suited to be a retailer exclusive than a Con exclusive - it's just a kid gimmick, not a collector gimmick. So, in the end, I ended up paying $25 for 4 accessories. Fan-flippin'-tastic. What would I have done? Riding the anticipation of the final film I would have capped off the line with a Bruce Wayne (civies suit) and Lucius Fox two-pack. Maybe with an "Applied Sciences" package with the two gun accessories plus the TDKR EMP gun. Ugh... this figure... the very definition of buyer's remorse.
Mezco - Earthworm Jim: "Metallic Paint" Earthworm Jim
I loved the cartoon (but never played the game/s) so I was onboard with this figure as soon as I saw it last year. Add to that the metallic paint and I was sold on getting the Con version. I think the metallic sheen really, really pops (and looks much better in person, it's delightfully subtle) and adds some nice dimension to the costume. I didn't realize this as the time but head is also unique (the standard release has a bigger smile, isn't cockeyed and is looking to the opposite direction). The articulation is nice but it feel like a case of articulation being added to a sculpt so, sadly, there isn't a lot of posing options - the eyes pointed in one direction doesn't help either. Still, a good figure with some great paint.
Mezco - Thundercats: Decayed Form & Ever Living Mumm-Ra
I've really regretted not getting last year's exclusive Lion-O, so Mumm-Ra was pretty much pre-sold to me on that front alone, but when they revealed that his exclusive pack-in was nothing less than his Decayed Form I was 110% onboard! Plus, once I got him home and open I discovered that the Big Guy's skin is glow-in-the-dark (the hands especially so) my love was cemented! Both figures are sturdy rotocast vinyl, with the Little Guy feeling like he desperately wants to be a piggy bank (in a good way!). The Big Guy's cape has little holes with fit on to spikes on the bracelets to be held loosely in place and there is a bag of cloth strips to be wrapped and hung by hand. Articulation is surprisingly minimal with nothing on the Little Guy while the Big Guy gets swivels the boot/calf and wrists with balljointed shoulders, waist and head. It all moves well, though, but whatever is lost in articulation is more than made up for in Jean St.Jean's flawless sculpt! If you can get this exclusive version it is a must-have, but the figure is great enough that the standard release is well worth your time and money too!
NECA - Assassin's Creed: "Eagle Vision" Ezio Auditore
Just like Godzilla above, the translucent plastic caught my attention (translucent blue, in particular, being a kryptonite of mine) and the bird sealed the deal. I don't have any of the Ezios from this game/costume yet so he's a welcome addition there too. Scads of articulation, three pairs of interchangeable hands and an eagle with stand - what's not to like. The figure has a really nice and tasteful frosting which helps bring out all the detail in the sculpt. For some reason the mid-torso piece is a darker blue than everything else but it doesn't bother me a whole bunch. This is just a fun, neat convention exclusive.
NECA - Evil Dead 2: "Hero From the Sky" Ash
HAIL TO THE KING! At long, oh so very long, last we have Chainsaw Ash! This is a "pre-paint" of the then-upcoming-but-I-dragged-my-feet-for-so-long-that-it's-now-released Series 2 "Hero" Ash, and I'll tell you this guy is great - I will certainly be getting two of the standard release. I do kind of wish that he had double-hinged elbows and bicep cuts for extreme pose-ability (please do a "v2," NECA, and an 18" version!) but I am impressed with what all this one can do. Sadly the gun doesn't quite fit in the left hand and there is just something off about the eyes... I think its the very stark black and white, but this is just about as iconic as it gets. The dull colors, the white hair - this is Ash and I love him. He gets a cool rock base with a couple Deadite carvings. Seriously good work here, NECA, please keep the hits coming!
October Toys - OMFG: "Glow in the Dark" Series 1
Okay, okay... after Wondercon I said I was done with OMFG s1, but these glow in the dark! They GLOW. IN. THE. DARK! What's a man to do!? It's the same good sculpts just cast in GITD plastic and frankly are my favorite look of the figures I've seen yet. The glowing is also nicely strong, a pleasant change from the GITD paint of late that doesn't hold light for very long. I'm also more than proud to announce that this was my very first purchase at SDCC 2012, so some sort of inconsequential congratulations are in order to you, October Toys!
Underground Toys - Dr. Who: "Victory of the Daleks" Collector's Set
I am a complete and utter sucker for Undergrond Toy's Doctor Who toyline. I'm no Who fan and have only seen a handful of the Eccleston episodes but the style, scale, aesthetic, quality and execution of these are essentially as close to my perfect action figures as any company has made (oh how I would KILL for Star Trek figures like these), it's only the relatively high price point that has stayed my hand on completing the collection. I've sadly only afforded cherry picking figures but the eccentricity of the set, mixed with it's exclusivity, made it highly necessary for my purchase! We get a cool WW2 Dalek in Army green with war pouches and a tiny Union Jack but most importantly - a cup of tea on a tray. I LOVE that detail so very heartily! But the real exclusivity comes from the inclusion of a Winston Churchill figure with a spot-on likeness of actor Ian McNiece (of Dune and Ace Ventura 2 "fame"). He gets interchangeable hat on and hat off heads as well as "holding" and "Victoy" right hands, plus two pairs of glasses (which fit him perfectly) and three differently colored telephones. This is just a super fun set that probably is a very welcome addition to Who-vians and exceptional novelty to causal collectors such as yours truly. Super cool set! A little steep at $40, but for an exclusive and two new figures to my collection it's a fair price for the delightfulness of what this is.