We return with our second part of Rustin's SDCC Exclusive Haulage - behold the many wonders and delight! Last week I expounded upon the many virtues and vices of collectibles from our fine friends at companies beginning with B through G; we now turn the spotlight on to those few of the H through Z variety. Shiver, shake, quiver, quake - it is time to explore... SAN DIEGO COMIC 2013 EXCLUSIVES!!!
Hasbro - Marvel Universe: Deadpool Corps
You know, I've never read a single thing with Deadpool in it. I've been a nut for this guy ever since that first ToyBiz figure with the pop-out knife and I have to say, after all the years and variations, this one may well be may my favorite! The extended pinky, the floaties, the duck float and the half un-masked head... CLASSIC! Just super, super awesome. The big guy is a surprisingly good figure too, while the girl suffers the same instability of all Marvel Universe women and Kidpool is a motionless PVC. Dogpool is a nice little pack-in but Squirrelpool steals the show - just a great sculpt an excellent paint! The only real fault here is the conspicuous lack of Headpool, which is an insanely glaring omission. Alas!
Icon Heroes - Thundercats: Minimates Boxset 4
This is a nice set, but were it not for Mumm-Ra in his full glory it'd feel like a bit of bottom-scraping. That's mainly because of the "different versions" of Jaga and Lion-O. Neither are as exciting as new characters. Lion-O in particular is a bit of a bummer since I had hoped he'd be a way to use the alternate head and glove-placement from the first pack. I appreciate that they included new versions of the belts from the first set for folks whose logos wiped right off them, but I never had that problem, so they're superfluous. Grune's alternate turned out pretty cool. The real star here is, of course, MUMM-RA! He's pitch perfect for the line! The alternate forearms are a nice touch but do feel a bit awkward somehow. Ma-Mutt turned out equally awesome, so much so in fact I now sort of want a full-sized Minimate of him using the Terrordog body.
Lego - The Hobbit: Mini Bag End
I still haven't gotten around to picking up the full sized Bag End set so this awesome micro version will hold me over until that happens. This is such a fun little set and does a darn good job of recreating the most famous hobbit hole in micro scale. I was especially surprised to find that it also includes a mico-ization of the interior as well! That is some darn cool attention to detail there, guys. Sure things aren't the most accurate, but who cares? The set includes a Bilbo minifigure, identical to his other releases, which can now tower over his home. The build was fun and took a decent/appropriate amount of time, never getting too annoying with all the small bricks. It comes in a nice, thick box and instructions done as a booklet. These higher quality approaches help take the edge off the $40 price tag, but it is SDCC so I guess I've come to accept having to pay a premium.
Mattel - Batman '66: Batusi Batman
Yeah... I don't know... I finally pulled the trigger at the last moment mainly for the double-jointed elbows. This is another instance of elaborate packaging that's "too special" to toss but not special enough to enjoy, so what to do? It's done by Shag (and who isn't tired of him by now [we Disney Park fans have been inundated with his work]) and even includes a 20-second clip of the Batusi song. The figure itself is slightly better than a normal "Movie Masters" figure. The play feature does what it's advertised to - just rocks his shoulders back and forth (or up and down, based on rotation). The cloth cape works surprisingly well for the figure, though the edges do have a tendency to flip backwards on themselves. What's particularly nice about this figure is the double-jointed elbows and balljointed wrists, along with unique V-fingered hand sculpts. Still though, this is awfully close to the retail version. He's cool, but he's not especially worth the added hassle and especially the extra cost.
Mattel - Masters of the Universe Classics Mini: Skeletor vs. He-Man
We've been waiting awhile to see how these would come out and at last they have, and have done so under the banner of that recently released gaming app (as I totally predicted!). The sculpts are great and are bigger figures than I expected, about twice the size of Hasbro's popular "Heroes"-scale figures. Shockingly though, the shoulders are only swivels despite being sculpted as balljoints... Tytus and Megator all over again. They also get swivel waits, wrists and heads plus two accessories each. A cool touch is that both guys get a loop on their back that fits their sword. They also come in an elaborate package once again reproducing Castle Grayskull like the King Grayskull figure that launched all this. It's a neat idea and even has different art on the back to imply a castle interior, but it's so much larger than the figures that it's just complete overkill. I'm really surprised this was just an SDCC exclusive - I do hope the line continues, but by launching the two most iconic characters in their most basic looks as exclusives... well, that doesn't bode well.
NECA - Friday the 13th: NES Jason
And here he is - the generally most anticipated exclusive of the con! He turned out pretty neat and even I have to love the window box, flip-front packaging reproducing the old game package. I love the idea of this figure and he's exactly what Comic Con Exclusives are meant for! He's painted in a purplish blue and has translucent blue hands, forearm skin, feet and mask cast in Glow-in-the-Dark blue plastic. He even gets both a machete and an axe which are cast in Glow-in-the-Dark green plastic for a very cool color contrast, though the Glow isn't that bright. Sadly I'm just not that impressed by the execution. The original custom that inspired this is much better because the head, hands and feet are painted light blue and are solid. NECA's version renders this figure incomplete in light (why is it translucent? that's not accurate to the game) and body-less in the dark (though there is some odd minor glow in certain parts). I think they would have been far better just going with solid parts, then possibly adding on Glow-in-the-Dark paint for a fun little bonus.
NECA - Predators: Albino Predator
Though he has very minimal screen time in Dead End the Albino Predator is the most unique looking Pred in the short so he was the logical follow-up to the phenomenal Big Red thus it's no surprise he was the exclusive this year (and a blissful follow-up to the abysmal clear City Hunter we were forced to buy last year to get a skull that's no longer exclusive to it). It's a simple repaint of the Jungle Hunter but with such different and bright colors it's only the armor that gives it away. The paint is clean and crisp, even the black "tattoos," and the figure is just as great as the other releases. Sadly, unlike Big Red, he doesn't get any accessories or really add anything that new to the line. He succeeds though unique paint and team-building. I'm pleased they've done him and are doing Wasp, but these figures do seem to lessen Big Red's awesomeness by rendering him less unique on the shelf. Still though, who ever thought we'd get figures from that fanfilm? Pretty cool stuff!
October Toys - Baby Deadbeets: Blue & Yellow
I know nothing about this other than that they're just as neat as October's successful O.M.F.G. line. This is a fun little sculpt (emphasis on little - they're only 1.75" tall!) full of character and emotion all on an anthropomorphic vegetable. These came together in clear polybag with a printed header card and clearly were part of the run with the O.M.F.G.'s but that just means they're cool little compliments to that line, and indeed they do fit right in. I wish stuff like this was easier to come by and I dig these enough that I kinda wish I had the green and purple ones released a couple months ago.
October Toys - O.M.F.G.: Blue & Yellow Series 2
These guys are getting prolific - I think voting is up to Series 4 or 5 by now and I'm only just getting Series 2! I'm not as crazy about this line-up as I was for Series 1. The Pumpkin and Mouth are novel "mascot" characters based on the logos for October Toys and O.M.F.G. respectively which leaves only three figures for unique designs. There's a waddling Robo-Baby that sadly does nothing for me, a Shark/Turtle thing that only really works in profile and then, finally, a Puking Knight. The latter is the strongest figure in the line, unfortunately, because he's a cool Knight figure and a good sculpt, plus the puke as a separate piece which is a fun twist (though a bit premature only for the second series). As I understand it the puke was intended to be ectoplasm or a ghost, but in its final execution it has but one connotation. I like that they swapped the puke colors for each set which helps sell the two-piece gag. I really dig the blue versions more (it's actually like a rich teal color) since the sculptural details are easier to see. I do lament them not doing Glow-in-the-Dark versions though this year. That would have killed, especially if they'd done two different colors!
Super7 - Re-Action Alien: Early Bird Kit
I honestly don't have much nostalgia for the pre-Super Powers Kenner stuff but I do love unproduced figures. This could be a fun, untapped nostalgia market that could be a great excuse to cover cost-savings. Well, Super7 doesn't seem to agree since these are going to cost $25 apiece! Man... only now is that really sinking in, and boy am I starting to feel like a sucker. I knew I was going to get these, so I figured I would do the free-shipping pre-order at the Con which also includes this cardboard reference to the infamous Star Wars "Early Bird Kit." It's a clever and fun inclusion on the line, but for me... well it doesn't do much. A cardstock envelope holds a folded cardstock backdrop. Attached to it are a couple of pictures from the film and a "Space Club" membership card. There's also a sheet of stickers, but the real star here is the Kenner-esque paintings on the back. Despite the outrageous pricetag, I do hope they do a second series with the rest of the crew - we desperately need Yaphet Kotto and Harry Dean Stanton figures and this is probably the only way to do them (no likeness rights needed)!