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
This 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
Yay... 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
I 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 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
There 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
This 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.