Rustin's Spoils of the Week #139

After several weeks I finally get a nice reprieve from tons of purchases with just some lite haulage. I did pick up one of the "second deployment" Crimson Typhoons to replace the one I had with a broken-off arm, which I mention only to let folks know the only difference between the two is that the 2nd Deployment version has a better, brighter, thicker yellow paint for the "eye." I've also see some of the new Guardians of the Galaxy stuff but am waiting for better paint on the on Legends figures and a sale on the tiny ones. So... enough about that, lets take a look at the purchases.

Lego - City : Repair Lift
Repair LiftThis is the latest Toys R Us exclusive and it's surprisingly fun, or at least novel. It's a pretty nice design and build, and it works remarkably well with a simple ratchet joint at either end of the arm. I've never seen the 'basket' brick before, complete with ratcheted prongs on the back, so it might be new though it seems under-detailed for the kinds of new bricks we've seen of late. I'm really impressed by the simple design and particularly the inclusion for a remote control unit for driving the cherry-picker - that is great attention to detail!

Lego - City: Police Helicopter
HelicopterYay... another cop. However, Lego helped take the edge off of that by including a refreshingly cool little helicopter build. The copter is a surprisingly detailed build for the small size and simplicity. It's a little odd that the landing skids are brick-built rather than using that unique brick, but I guess that one would be too large for this scale. I quite dig the front end of this and they get kudo-points for the hinged canopy. It's not exciting but I feel like it does the trick for a $3.99 impulse grab from the Target checkout aisles.

Mattel - DC Signature Collection: Ice
IceI kind of pretty loathed Fire and I have equally small enthusiasm for Ice. Like her BFF she's exactly what you would expect from DCSC and Mattel. She kind of looks like Bjork and Jennifer Lawrence had a baby, then showed her the movie Frozen which she cosplayed in the 1980s. Ice gets an all new accessory which is a totally clear "ice blast;" I mildly wish it had a light, white spray on it for texture/depth but it does connect to her open hand remarkably well and snugly. I debated long and hard about getting this, but paranoia and won because, though I'm relatively certain we'll see her clearanced out in the November sale I just couldn't risk having only half of this unwanted duo - that would be the insult to this injury. For what this it's fine. I just remain hung-up on all of the things I would actually WANT that we'll never get from this line because of C-list-ers like this.

Mattel - Total Heroes Ultra: Black Manta
Black MantaBlack Manta is neat, but really he has no business being a "deluxe" figure and indeed everything about this figure feels forced. His armor/cowl turned out excellent - the helmet is removable allowing for an "Armored Lex Luthor" type of look, which is neat. He also comes with the same assortment of flat, fist and grip hands as the Green Lantern Corps figure (though sans ring), two heads (one pouty and one scarred and angry), a knife, his signature two-prong gun and two identical staves. Everything about the accessories scream "afterthought." It's painfully clear they are struggling to justify the cost for this figure no one was really clamoring for. I'm not convinced there wasn't a way to get this guy into the retail line but he is certainly an unimpressive Ultra release, especially considering that post-shipping he costs $30. It's a shame because, with the helmet/armor on, he is second only to Aquaman in terms of coolness for the line.

NECA - Aliens: Hudson & Xenomorph
Hudson vs. XenomorphThere are only three unique things about this set - Hudson's head and the two blood-splatters on the Xeno. Hudson's new, screaming head is well sculpted and painted but it's so extreme it doesn't register as Bill Paxton unless you're looking at it dead-on, and even then only sort of. He comes with all the same accessories as his carded version: a machine gun, motion tracker and flashlight. I really wish they'd just dropped the motion sensors from the 2-packs and replaced them with clip-on muzzle-flashes for the guns. That would had gone lightyears into adding value to these sets. The Alien is just yet another Alien, and while I appreciate the blue and brown variations I don't really understand why the blood splatters on this guy are so dark. They have nothing color-wise in common with the nice, bright green ones from the battle damaged blue one.

Playmates - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Slash
SlashThis sculpt is quite good, remarkably detailed for the line and articulation is good-enough with ball joints at the shoulders, elbows and hips. He's got a swivel neck which is a bummer since his head looks perfect for a balljoint. He comes with a pretty nice mace which is a fun nod to the original figure, and it's cast in surprisingly firm plastic, but since it's the same colors as the figure it blends in with the arm too much. This guy is tiny, just over 4" tall, way too small next to the turtles. Still, it's the paint that causes this figure to fall apart. The entire line is well known for its exceptional stinginess and Slash seems to suffer the most. Even just carrying over the neon green paint on the shell (that was a big surprise) to more of the spikes and, particularly, the fingernails would have gone a long way to making this guy a real hit. The sculpt is so great he feels wildly under-served by the lack of paint and I may have to pick up a second to repaint myself.

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18 Responses to Rustin's Spoils of the Week #139

  1. yo go re says:

    Wow, I just got caught up on TMNT and yeah, that Slash is WAY too small! The boys themselves are in the 4-5" range, right? In that case, Slash would have to be, like 7" tall. He's GIANT!

  2. jestergoblin says:

    Wow, Slash's shell is... vibrant.

  3. Noy Tazi says:

    Total Heroes Ultra isn't at retail because Scott Neitlich is the Obama of toy retail. That is, a short-sighted egotist who will do things his own way once he loses support, claiming the greater good while really just pushing and protecting his interests.

    TH Ultra needed to be at mass retail to build support for the line. If Neitlich couldn't convince retailers to pick up some really nice DC sets that have mass appeal, then it's ultimately his failure as a brand manager and marketer. It does not speak well for the longevity of TH. And nobody wants to invest in a line that they won't even be able to give away when it dies (I'm look at you, Action League).

    TH should have been great. It had the potential to be a great, fun line. But by launching it before it had the retail footing it needed to be successful, Scott not only wasted an opportunity, he made mass market DC product an even harder sell.

    It's almost like Scott is forcing a new $20+ minimum on toys by making every cheaper mass retail line a disconnected, underdeveloped mess...

    • monkey boy says:

      Haha…political humor. Always goes over great with strangers and is never divisive! And those things you said are totally factual and not at all based on assumptions or anything!

      Seriously, not trying to start a flame war, just saying, with the wrong crowd a "zinger" like that could definitely fall a bit flat.

      As for Black Manta, why does he have two exactly the same staffs with three exactly the same spear tips? Why is that a thing?

      • Rustin Parr says:

        No, he has two staffs and two tips, I just split the second tip to show it's just two halves that snap together.

        • monkey boy says:

          oh, okay. but still, why does he have two staffs?

          • Rustin Parr says:

            Exactly.

            My guess is they were just trying to "plus up" the release since the character doesn't really warrant the "Ultra" format (at least to the same degree as the Green Lantern Corps, Batman Beyond or daresay even Cyborg). Would have been nice if they made-up a "manta sled" type of vehicle or something instead.

    • Rustin Parr says:

      I know I'm going to regret poking the bear, but...

      I appreciate that you just want to beat up on Neitlich but he's been off of retail lines for a couple years so everything that is 'wrong' with TOTAL HEROES needs to be directed at Danielle/Fangirl2.0 or however is (mis)managing the DC brand these days.

      My read is that TH ULTRA was Scott seeing a way to 'plus' the retail line and to do characters that line wasn't/isn't possible to do in the tight budget to hit that tight $10 SRP. I feel like if anything we owe the MattyCollector team thanks for getting these figures out and owe any condemnation to the now-fabled 'Retail Team' for not actually being fans or real 'visionaries.'

      I have NO particular love for Neitlich - from all indication Mattel is an incredibly dysfunctional company that just hires folks with Marketing degrees then moves them around highly compartmentalized groups. Just look at these ridiculous Matty Q&As - Scott's not just saying "ask the retail team" to be a dick, I'm confident they literally don't interact.

  4. charles says:

    Noy tazi is a little bitch

  5. My Common Sense is Tingling says:

    I'd say Ice is more B-list than C-list. As long as we're talking DC rankings, of course, and not comics overall.

    Who would you have rather had than her? (Not trying to be sassy, just wondering what characters we're still lacking.)

    • Rustin Parr says:

      To be a bit flip, I know know of Fire & Ice because of the JLU figures so that's pretty low on the recognizability roster to me.

      There are very few 'new' characters since they basically did everyone. The Total Justice fan in me would have gotten a kick out of Zauriel (who'd make a WAY more interesting toy than Fire, Ice, Kamandi, Bronze Tiger, etc, etc, etc) and I would never turn down any new Lantern Corp members from any color. I'd also be more interested in a Commissioner Gordon or Alfred, even Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. A Mad Hatter would be welcome and I would LOVE a Parrallax and would kill for the relatively obscure High Father. I know appeal for him would be low but his absence leaves the New Gods incomplete for me.

      What I'm more butthurt about are the costume variations which rank FAR higher on my want list than characters like this. Kingdom Come Superman is a big whole in the collection, particularly because they made several characters from that story. Same with light blue/Super Powers Superman (even though we're getting him in the questionable S.P. sub-line this fall). A proper Tim Drake Robin, Sinestro Corps Superboy Prime, classic Adam Strange, Sand (from JSA), but above all else Kyle Raynor in is original costume - this collection will never be complete without him.

      But, as I say above, since they've done SO DAMN MUCH all that's left are characters and costumes that cater to a very fractured fan base and hence the subscription failed, alas.

  6. John Gaither says:

    I still think that new Slash looks like he is from one of those Wallace and Gormit movies lol.

  7. Soundwinder says:

    The basket lego piece is old... at least, I distinctly remember having one (with the ratcheting connector to boot) when I was a kid.

  8. Boot Hill says:

    This was a small Spoils. That's okay, I like them no matter what size they are. Bring back the Spoils!

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