Well, this is another one of those two-weekers, and it really shouldn't be as voluminous as I'm trying to save money for the impending Doom what is SDCC, but I just couldn't helpit . Sales on Lego and Man of Steel forced my hand, I tells ye! I'm not proud of it, but it's the lot I've pulled, and together we're both going to have to buckle in and just get through this as best we can. I believe in you, friend. Join me, won't you - it will all be over soon.
DST - Star Trek: Kirk
I'm very excited for DST's new "Star Trek Select" line and was planning to get triples, but now only doubles thanks to these. You see, thanks to the interchangeable legs there are a myriad of pose options! Both figures come from very specific moment recreations and Kirk will make more sense in context to his base but away from it... he's pretty weird. He only gets one set of legs in the "Select" set and as a result is in a sort of leap-pose which looks pretty odd when standing upright here. His back arches forward too, really giving him an "about to stumble" look. This could be saved by positioning the head, but the balljoint at the base of the neck is pretty tight leaving precious little alternative. Still though, he does come with a phaser and an exclusive-to-this-release rock base, not to mention 12 points of articulation which does give you a lot of poseabilty in the arms at least.
DST - Star Trek: Spock
Spock gets his "standing legs" and he's much the stronger for it. Fortunately, you can swap the legs between the figures and end up with good poses for both (see the group image above). This guy comes with a phaser and tricorder plus the exclusive base. I like his base a bit more than Kirk's. While Kirk's covers more space, Spock's is a bit taller and crater-y. A very nice touch is that the two bases can fit together. Unlike Art Asylum's and DST's earlier figures these roll with the "HD" color palette meaning the shirt colors are much richer - especially Spock's. On their own, in this Toys R Us single-carded fashion, they are admittedly a bit lackluster, but they have me excited for the "Select" version with elaborate bases and pack-in's!
DST - Walking Dead: Carol and Pole Zombie
The latest Walking Dead Minimates are out and by some dumb luck the second TRU I went to had just put out their case so I managed to score both impossible-to-find exclusives. This set features major character Carol who is, as is sadly obvious, "just a lady," and as such makes for a fairly boring figure. DST helps make up for this by giving her a removable jacket, alternate arms and hair - nice! The real star here is the "Pole Zombie" whom ye olde protagonists have captured and tied up for examination. It's a great attempt, but unfortunately, in classic Minimate form the ropes are sculpted plastic and not only come out warped from the package but firm enough to hold the figure up making the zombie hover. Despite that though, this is one of the few "specific" zombies from the book and it's worth having for that alone.
DST - Walking Dead: Glenn and Vest Zombie
The vest zombie is, to be honest, just another boring zombie, this time with a new torso with a small chunk out of the left belly and right shoulder-blade. This is our second Glen and it's a darn nice execution of the guy as he appears in most of the book (i.e. bald and less young looking). He gets a gun, gunbelt and hat, plus an all new down-hoodie. I love that piece and the chest art so much I'm very tempted to get a second one to use as a base Rustin custom, but I know I'll never ever see this set again in person. A cool touch is that they painted the outline of his ears to complete the bald look - I think that's a Minimate first. Both figures come with the clear disc stands which are new, Gen 4 (I think) versions that use a crystal clear hard acrylic plastic, however the peg is JUST too big that it's really hard to get the foot on it. So close to perfection, so far.
Hasbro - Iron Man 3 Assemblers: Iron Man Mark 42
After our discussion last week about Mark 42s in the various scales I finally broke down and picked this guy up at Walmart for a more-reasonable-than-ten-bucks $7.88. What can I say that isn't readily apparent? The shoulders are balljointed, so at least that's better than bad. I'm perfectly open to the new premise of "low articulation at a low(er) price point" but Hasbro seems to have simply missed the mark wildly with both of their Iron Man 3 lines and it's a real shame. But 'ensuring defeat' is sort of their motto of late it would seem.
Hasbro - Wolverine: Foam Claw
I'm generally not too into roleplay items, but I do have the "extending claw" from the last movie and this looked like an even better execution (based on the ingenious movie prop that has the blades coming off of a handle which hides within a fist). Well... this this is pretty bad and I regret the $12 I paid for it. The blades come straight off of the handle as opposed to having any "up swing" - as a result the blades basically come out from between from between the fingers rather than the knuckles giving them a weird look. On top of that, the one-size-fits-all grip is just awkwardly sized and never feel comfortable. I was also somewhat surprised to see that this is technically under the Nerf branding and uses their typical high density foam. Thus it does actually hurt when you get hit with them (despite their specific warning printed on the outside of the right-most blade).
Lego - Lone Ranger: Stagecoach Escape
As you may recall I do have a soft spot in my heart for the Old West and Stagecoaches thanks to Playmobil. I really dig the bright red and dark earth tones here, and five mini-figures plus three horses ain't nothing to sneeze at! It does suffer from being way out of scale with the mini-figs, but what are you going to do? Speaking of the figures, you get get quite a lot - two good guys, two bad guys and a damsel! The two bad guys are cool western figures and they both get red bandanas and brown hats but the dude in gray also got a black hat, so there must some sort of "costume change" for him. The real star here though is the figure of HBC as "Red Harrington," she quite striking visually and she gets not only a new hair sculpt but a brand new mini-hat too! I was under the impression it was all one piece but indeed the hat connects via a small peg - like Tonto's raven. Considering all it comes with, and that this set "tells a story" it's actually quite worth the $30 price tag.
Lego - Lone Ranger: Tonto's Campfire
This is a very, very simple polybag that's basically just a way to get a Tonto mini-fig without buying any of the sets. He's in five of the six sets anyway so this just isn't necessary. He is well painted throughout and with "stoic" and "oh crap" faces (which essentially sums up Johnny Depp's acting style over the past decade). Though the use of a winch handlebar thing is pretty clever, the campfire is relatively pointless. The most remarkable thing about the set is that his head-raven (totally different than head-pigeons) is a separate piece that plugs in to the hair via the same small peg as the Friends mini-dolls and pets have (and their bows, etc., fit on him) - so you can now have the residents of Heartlake under attack by The Birds or Birdemic! Oh, and despite appearances his tomahawk is one piece.
Lego - Lord of the Rings: The Wizard Battle
I got this as a holdover until I can afford the epic Tower of Isengard coming shortly. This is one of my favorite scenes, perhaps even my favorite, in all of the LotR trilogy so I'm thrilled to see it realized here, underwhelming though it may be. The whole thing is on a raised platform which allows for some gear-works which let you turn Sauron's Eye with a dial behind the throne. The architectural elements, the throne and the sconces, look quite good but the thick base doesn't sit too well with me, nor does the lack of floor upon which they can fight. Oh well, I love the scene and how else can you sell a Lego sets that feature little more than two 65+ year old Englishmen. The clear and yellow globes are pretty cool and nice to have plus the Eye of Sauron and Saruman turned out awesome, so in terms of a $13 set, you could do worse.
Lego - Man of Steel: Jor-El
I happened to swing by a Lego Store on June 1st and got duped into buying more than intended in order to get this "free with minimum purchase" Mini-fig - good upselling, Lego. He is, alas, nothing special - basically just the the Superman figure with brown replacing red and a new head with different hair - be still my heart. Pretty much everything we've seen of Jor-El has had in him technorganic armor and it's pretty disappointing that they did do something along those lines with this guy. He has only one face but the beard does have some nice gray patches over the brown. You're missing nothing if you don't have this.
Lego - Seasonal Polybag: Summer Scene
Lego is being pretty aggressive about it's Lego Store exclusive seasonal polybags as exampled by this first-for-it's-season Summer set. As with the Spring Scene this year, we get a little playset complete with a Mini-Figure (who, like the Spring ones, is just one of their stock generic designs). The scene elements are of nice design and decent build, particularly the clever beach chair, but all in all this is one of those "get it for the bricks" sets.
Mattel - Hot Wheels: Fig Rig
This is one of those incredibly cool toys you just stumble on while poring through random toy blogs. There are two silver engine pedestals on the front and behind the cab which "just happen" to be the correct spacing and size as 2x1 studs from Lego! The spoiler in the back, as well as two "rims" above the doors are also the exact dimensions as Lego accessories. So... what you have here is a Lego Hot Wheels car! Plus, since every other building brick system just directly ripped off Lego, these elements also fit Megs Bloks and Kre-O (even the feet of Minimates)! And just in case there was any doubt, the car has the famous Hot Wheels logo painted on the sides in a "pixelated" (i.e. block) pattern and the back of the card even shows drawings of "not Lego mini-figures" interacting with the car. It was a bit of a pain to find (as with any worthwhile Hot Wheels car) but it only took me about 4 stops still I found it, and at 97 cents, I suppose that's worth it.
Mattel - Imaginext: Aquaman
As you well know I'm a big fan of Aquaman, so I was both surprised and elated when I chanced across this figure which I never knew existed! He comes with an un-articulated robo-Shark that has a play feature: press down on the dorsal fin and the lower jaw closes. The man himself gets a nice trident accessory and no less than six points of articulation (I'm counting the hips as one since the legs don't move independently). Oddly he comes to us in never-before-seen yellow boots. I don't get, and while I'd certainly prefer the more pleasing and accurate green I'm not sure I'm digging these as being just as toyish and goofy as the rest of the figure. There is absolutely no way this is worth the $10.50 + tax I had to pay for him, but he is nonetheless a wonderfully unique and silly addition to my Aquallection.
Mattel - Man of Steel: Auto Assault Superman
Look, I'm a sucker for cool looking toys, and this one just looks darn cool! The Kryptonian technorganic armor has really grown on me and this color palette looks great. Red cape behind dull gold and gray-blue? Love it. Plus the green of the car door, this is just aesthetic pleasure in toy form (I just wish the door weren't so gaudy, big and undesirable as something to pose him with). He has balljointed shoulders, (restricted) balljointed neck, hinged elbows and T-crotch. There are pegholes on his feet but they're not necessary because he stands just fine. At a $6 or $7 this figure is certainly worth it - just a fun addition to the collection.
Mattel - Man of Steel: Strike Shield Superman
This guy is essentially just a repaint of the figure above but it's a darn good color change-up and is quite desirable in his own right. The light blue/dark blue combination is very nice, and he really succeeds in not being a straight repaint but rather in having somewhat different patterning to his colors. He also gets two accessories - a shield and axe. They're a bit silly but nice enough. What's really interesting to me is that unlike any other costume variation this specific armor/color pattern is present in every one of Mattel's non-Movie Masters lines... could we see Kal don this armor in the film? Could be cool and would make plenty sense since every other Kryptonian we see wears armor. I'll note, too, that this armor is the same design as what the Movie Master Jor-El is wearing...
Mattel - Man of Steel: Shadow Assault General Zod
This is a surprisingly good toy. A nice figure that's sculptural unique from all the armored Supermen with a unique, jagged cape and two really cool, fully plausible weapons that combine perfectly! He gets a bat'leth-y sword and a rifle which look fine on their own but the former slides into the latter making a great mega weapon. I like this so much I may just give him to the Movie Masters figure once I find him. The only flaw is that he has the goatee-less head, but it shouldn't be too hard to just do a headswap with the armor-less Zod figure that oddly enough DOES have the goatee.
Mattel - Man of Steel Movie Mastsers: Jor-El
This is a surprisingly cool figure - it's possibly my favorite release from Mattel's "Movie Masters" banner to date. He has the standard "more-or-less the actor" Movie Master style likeness that succeeds from capturing Russel Crowe's trademark smolder eyes, though they're too close together making the head look fat. From the neck down, though, we get a beautifully sculpted suit of armor that's equally well painted. Sure the joints don't have much range - but he still is more poseable than any of the Green Lantern mis-fires, and besides - it's Jor-El, does he really need to do anything other than talk? It's a shame this figure is the quintessential shortpack (maybe even only one per case) because he's the coolest looking of the line, to be sure.
NECA - Rambo: John J. Rambo
NECA continues the hits with yet another '80s action icon! Now all we need is for NECA to re-do a proper John McClane! Here we get Rambo in his signature look from the film, or at least it's image in the public consciousness. Rambo comes with his infamous knife, an alternate right hand for holding it and his giant gun. It's a good figure, but it does fall short of their amazing Dutch figure. On this figure I really do feel the lack of double-jointed elbows which seems to noticeably limit the pose option, and from what I can tell these are the same arms as the Rocky figure. The real issue, though, with the figure that the translucent flesh colored plastic is not treated, be it with a wash or a mixed-in pigment, and as such rather than looking as good as those previously mentioned figures this ends up just having a "cheap" look to it (not unlike DCD figures of late). Plus, because there's nothing to essentially bring out the sculptural details, what is probably a really good likeness is lost in the light-absorbing plastic. It's bummer, but this is just flesh-colored plastic done wrong, alas - hopefully things will change for future Rambo figures.