Rustin's Spoils of the Week #149

Following up on last week we finish up what I consider the "coffee table haul," a bunch of stuff that's effectively been sitting on my coffee table for three months waiting for time and energy to free up so they could be photographed and reviewed. Also, the back chunk of this Spoils comes to you courtesy of Target who, back in late August or early September, had an odd sale where every TMNT toy priced at $20 or more was marked down to $15... so I certainly took advantage of that!

Bandai - Sprukits: Batman (4")
BatmanWhen I first heard of the Sprukit format I was immediately intrigued by the idea - action figure model kits! It seemed like a clever licensing work-around and had the potential to be something very fun. Once they hit they were a little pricey for an unknown quantity but Toys R Us had a sale and so, here we are. Not great - that's the short version. I haven't built a model in a LONG time but the assembly was simple and fun, not dissimilar to building a Lego set, though I was surprised by how much excess plastic was left on the 'tray' after the pieces had been popped out. The annoying thing with Bats here are the arms, which are cast in all black so that they don't match the gray body. Included is a sticker sheet for the Bat symbol on the chest and also to apply the gray coloring to the biceps, but clearly I'm not interested in applying those. The most frustrating thing, though, is the articulation. We get a limited-range ball-and-socket head, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, limited-range T-crotch and a hinge in the cape at shoulder-blade height. The shoulders are technically "articulated" but they connect via a square peg, so you have to unplug, rotate, then re-plug them back in. So... what the hell? I'm guessing it's something to do with the licensing (model vs. action figure) but it's damn annoying!

Bandai - Sprukits: Superman (4")
SupermanSuperman turned out better than Batman, but mainly that's because they're able to just cast him in blue and red - no bodysuit stickers here! He does come with a sticker sheet, though, but it's for the S-shields on his chest and cape. I really, really love that the chest S-shield, which is an inset piece of red plastic. In an ideal world it would be a yellow/gold backing piece with the S/Frame in red over it. His hair is two pieces which allows for the pseudo s-curl but weirdly his cuffs are separate pieces too, for no clear reason. He has zero paint apps, which does make for an oddly eye-less visage, but in general it's an aesthetic I like. I just wish he had better articulation. As is, for a $10 figure/model it feels lacking. I should also point out that each figure comes with a big, bland, rectangle base but they stand absolutely fine without them.

DST - The Walking Dead Minimates: Officer Rick Grimes & One-Armed Zombie
Rick Grimes & One-Armed ZombieFound this guy at the local comicshop which is great since I missed out on most on Series 1 originally so I'm super jazzed to get "signature Rick." Actually, this is a perfect Minimate set, which I define as having alternate looks for each character in the set. Rick gets a removable coat piece, alternate coated and un-coated arms plus regular hair and hat-ed hair. Plus he gets a pistol, his hatchet AND two shot guns which fit into a duffel bag (as per his iconic first-issue look), though the duffel bag is a very loose fit over the coat. The Zombie comes with a decayed half-arm and a full arm, plus he looks perfectly generic and thus is a good battle-builder! If I come across this set at a reasonable price again I might just double-up on it!

Hasbro - G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary: The Eagle's Edge (Leatherneck, Destro, General Hawk)
GI Joe setAngular Destro head = instant buy! I've never had more than a casual interest in G.I. Joe so I'm not entirely sure where the angular head comes from but I know I've seen it and it turned out awfully pretty! Destro also comes with a very over-sized case that can fit a constructable sniper rifle! We also get a token Heavy under the name Leatherneck - he's unknown to me but looks like a perfect Joe! I love that he comes with a massive machine gun but it is REALLY tough to get him to hold it, and even then he can't do it properly (plus that front handle/barrel piece falls off with great ease). Finally we get a cool, desert-y commando guy who is... General Hawk? Again, not SUPER familiar with him but not what I recognize as a memorable outfit. He comes with a couple cool guns, a sat-link case and removable helmet and goggles - not bad and would be a perfect battle builder were that an option. Each figure comes with a team-specific base that gets a gorgeous brass wipe on the team logo - I really dig the look and it's a great example of how much just a little bit of paint can improve something.

Hasbro - Star Wars: Dagobah Luke
LukeAaaah, the ever-so controversial Dagobah Luke... People apparently lost their gourds when this figure was revealed, presumably because of the "awful" articulation... I mean, I get it... noticeable double-hinged elbows on a 3.75" tall figure!?!?! What has Hasbro done!?!?!?!?!?! We've been in need of an update to this outfit simply because the previous version had such limited articulation (but the interchangeable arms were EXCELLENT and make it superior to this one) but... SUPER articulation? Just doesn't make much sense for this outfit. He even gets two sets of hands in addition to his blaster and lightsaber. And using the "flat" hands and a lot of patience you can get even get him to do and hold a handstand. The only things that actually bug me here are the wrists and the hips. The balljointed wrists require, well, a ball and thus his hands, particularly the "flat" ones, look bulbous. Meanwhile, this hips... while balljointed, the lack of a thigh swivel makes them pretty tough to work with, and insanely the 'disk' insets are cast in flesh-tone rather than khaki, because... eeeh, why bother? Here's hoping we get this figure re-released but with an unzipped coat and Bespin/coated arms for "Sith Cave" Luke!

Hasbro - Star Wars: Toryn Farr
Toryn FarrOH MY GOD - A NEW CHARACTER!!! Truly the rarest of ALL things in Star Wars, here we get not only a NEW-to-toys character, but an Original Trilogy character to boot! From what I gather she's basically just a new head and vest on Hoth Leia but who cares! Toryn is one of those super fun SW characters that kind of reminds me how fun it used to be to be a fan. She's basically only in one shot, but for whatever reason she's memorable (at least to those of us crazies who watched Empire Strikes Back a hundred times). She comes with a rebel blaster and her trademark headphones, which are pleasantly removable. The likeness is good enough but (perhaps humorously, all things considered) I keep thinking it's Natalie Portman. Man... getting something other than Luke and Vader is FUN!!!

Lego - Galaxy Squad: Space Swarmer
Space SwarmerToys R Us had a big "buy one get one" type deal on Galaxy Squad stuff so I took this as an opportunity to complete the series since I loved the Space Interceptor so much (my pick for 2013 Toy of the Year)! I'm really not too crazy about the bug aliens, or at least their ships, but I need something for the Interceptor to hunt, plus this comes with a blue robot guy! The build is simple but novel, if not continuing to blur the line between creature or machine. I dig the Green Alien guy and the Blue Robot is pretty fun, particularly his bazooka build. It's a simple set but it's fairly solid.

NECA - Bioshock Infinite: Booker DeWitt
BookerThose Bioshock designers sure are good at their job, then you through NECA at thems designs and BAM - action figure beauty. Aside from watching my friend play the game for about half an hour I have no real familiarity or attachment beyond it, but man... how cool does this guy look!? I love the outfit AND the colors just a whole heck of a lot. A very nice turn-of-the-century Han Solo vibe. He comes with a small shotgun and the signature grapple-gun thingee. Sculpturally and paint-wise this guy is fan-effin'-tastic, however the articulation does leave some room for improvement. While there is plenty of it, it's kind of restricted - especially at the elbows, which leaves for very little range in posing, alas. Still though, the general quality of this figure is well worth the purchase.

NECA - Planet of the Apes: Cornelius
Cornelius"Coooooooorneeeeeeelioooooooooooossss." For some reason Cornelius and the Gorilla were tough to find upon the initial release, but eventually they were to be had! Again, classic NECA - such a wonderful sculpt! The paint around the face is a little wonky but good enough. Similarly, the articulation is plentiful but still restricted enough to not allow for a lot of good or interesting poses. And while I'm glad he comes with an accessory, it's a bummer that it's the same scroll-mallet than Dr. Zaius gets. Still, though, it's a nice figure a must-have character for the display.

NECA - Planet of the Apes: Gorilla Soldier
Gorilla SoldierThe unsurprisingly tough to find Gorilla Soldier is wonderful! NECA + Army Builder = Wallet Trouble! A GORGEOUS sculpt with pretty great paint, and the articulation is broad enough to get some fun poses! He comes with, compared to the others in the line, a ton of accessories adding to the variability and fun. Honestly, I don't know that I'd get many more than 2 (plus the TRU 2-Pack) personally but if PotA is your bag then this figure will certainly fill it!

Playmates - Ninja Turtles: Turtle 4-Pack (Don, Raph, Mikey, Leo)
TMNTFor $15, sure... I'll swallow the pill and get these f**kers just for historical novelty in the collection. Yes, I sat through this movie and yes, it was quite bad, but to fair it wasn't god-awful. I'd give it 1 out of 5 stars, which is certainly better than 0. These Turtle designs are just awful, though. I get what they were going for and in theory it's sound (they're teenagers, of course they'd express themselves through different clothing) but egads... they just turned out so... bad. And hey - guess what!? The figures are actually WORSE than the designs! Now, I know what you're thinking... "But Rustin, it's Playmates - how could the figures possibly be disappointing?" And that, dear Readers, is where I must leave you. I just don't understand how Playmates can care so little about the only thing they have going for them.

Playmates - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtle Sub
Turtle SubI love submarines. I love the TMNT. I love saving money. Spending $15 to get this sucker is like a fairy tale! The scuba Don is goofy as heck, not is a '90s toyline sort of way but in a "well, okay" kind of way. He comes with a bladed Bo staff that fits in his hand, on his back or in a clip on the sub. The sub itself looks pretty neat, a fun stylized turtle mech. I will concede that it's weird that a turtle designed a turtle shaped thing but at least it looks cool! The four fins rotate, the propeller/engines shoot missiles and the jaw snaps. The whole thing opens up and Don just barely fits inside, though he can only do so while NOT gripping the ball-and-socket jointed controls. It's a fun little thing, like the Kraang Hover Ship.

Playmates - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: High Flyin' Blimp
Turtle BlimpI was super excited when they revealed the Turtle Blimp was coming back (that was the first TMNT vehicle I had as a kid) and even more so when I snagged it for $15 - a'thankee, Target! It's certainly not as interesting a design as the one from the '80s but it's still pretty darn neat and has plenty of direct references to the original. Four clip-harness allow figures to repel down (in lieu of the original's awesome bombs) while a fifth pilots from the front. There are four fins that clip onto the inflated balloon, which, you may have noticed, I have not inflated. It comes conveniently folded and wrapped in tissue paper so I'm a bit wary of undoing that knowing I'll never get it as concise again. Plus, I just don't have space for such a thing so, at least for now, I'll hold on to it as is. Still though, it's the kind of toy that reminds me what it's like to be a kid again.

Playmates - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secret Sewer Lair Playset
Turtle LairAnd here she is, ladies and gentleman, the Sewer Playset I only paid $15 for!!! Someone at Target screwed up big time and apparently swapped the dollar values to "$15, $75 off SRP" from "$75, $15 off SRP" and even printed out specific sale tags to that effect, so a few of us lucky SOBs were able to score that price before the Home Office figured it out and had all the playsets and sale-tags pulled from shelves. Aaaaanyways, guess what? This playset is AAAAAWESOME. First off... it's HUGE. Including the cardboard city skyline, this thing is 41 inches tall - that's 5" taller than three feet... that's 7" shy of FOUR FEET TALL! Indeed, its size is one of the hurdles that kept from Spoils-ing last year because, indeed, how do you effectively photograph such a behemoth!? It's loaded with fun features, like sliding Japanese doors, an elevator, a slime funnel, a hinged subway tunnel that opens into a computer lab, a Shredder-dummy, a (permanently attached) dumpster concealing a periscope, a flip-around wall revealing a computer and a missile launcher in an electrical transformer. There's just a bunch of fun features at play here, and though stylistically simple I do quite like the color-through-plastic aesthetic of this piece - which is not to say there aren't stickers, there are... lots. And inexplicably the sticker guide is ONLY available online, and is NOT referenced anywhere in the physical toy or package. This is easily the best $15 I spent in all of 2014, but gloating aside even at the SRP of $100 I think you get your money's worth here.

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18 Responses to Rustin's Spoils of the Week #149

  1. Wolf says:

    Oh my goodness!!! $15 for the Sewer playset? That is incredible!!! That bad boy costs around $120 AUD here. An incredible-looking playset, which few can equal.

    As for the new TMNT designs -- I don't mind the clothes and hunched postures so much. I think it's actually the nostrils that are the real problem, strange as that may sound.

  2. Scott says:

    Regarding the TMNT. I enjoyed the movie but dislike the Nick show and that includes the designs (I REALLY loathe that simplified cgi look of that show particularly the faces). I just wish the figures for the movie had been better but I've seen some customisers do some great work with them.
    I still will never understand the appeal of Mini-Mates. I bought some Marvel ones back when it was a new thing but they're just ugly junk like a clumsy overgrown Lego figure with far less playability. It's shocking that the only full range of classic ThunderCats as modern figures exists as Mini-mates rather than decent but very short-lived range Bandai started.

    • stack32 says:

      I get that minimates aren't for everyone, but I can't understand how anyone could say they have less playability than a Lego figure. That's crazy.

      • Americanhyena says:

        Speaking as both a Minimates guy and a LEGO guy I can say the Minimates as figures themselves are deffo superior to LEGO minifigures playabilitywise. However, with LEGO you get the construction element soooo...

        I like to combine 'em honestly.

  3. BanzaiBoB says:

    So glad to finally have Booker to round out my Bioshock Infinite collection. I do wish he could lower his arms a bit more, but the sculpt and paint (except for his jacket buttons - mine are way off) are terrific.

  4. jestergoblin says:

    I don't mind the movie look for Raph and Leo - they have a modern Next Mutation vibe, but Don and Mikey just look weird to me, even in toy form.

    And I'm jealous that you were able to snag the sewer for so cheap. I'd love to have one, but I have no place for it.

  5. Joe says:

    You should really give the larger sprukits a shot. I got the 5" Arkham City Batman and it has articulation for days. It's practically a smaller scale Figuarts figure... just made out of modelling plastic, so much lighter. The only thing that bugs me about it is the piece of paper they give you for a cape. I've got some spare black screen cloths around somewhere, so I'm going to customize my figure, but otherwise they're awesome. I want to get the Halo Sarah Palmer kit and the Dark Knight Batman. I think the smallest kits are made more to get kids into it, so to really give them a chance, I think oyu need to go at least with the medium sized kits.

    • Rustin Parr says:

      Yeah, I was planning on trying the larger figures but the fact that they're weird scales (5"? and what, like 9"?) and that the prices double for each scale was just too much for me to commit to after how disappointing these were (plus, I'm tired of the Nolan Bat-suit and am not crazy about the MoS Suit), but maybe once they hit the inevitable clearance I'll go for it. And paper cape? That's lame.

  6. prfkttear says:

    Can I just go on record here and say that I am still extremely bitter about that whole $15 snaffu and the fact that I couldn't take advantage of it? Well, I am. My only solace is that you, Rustin and other friends I know were able to take advantage of it for your own collections --- and even some folks who put it to good use by buying up stuff for Toys-for-Tots. Even if I couldn't enjoy the spoils, at least somewhere, some kids whose family fell on tough times had a really kickass Christmas!!!

    To say the sewer lair itself is massive is an understatement. The fact that Playmates was able to pack all of the features in there for about a hundred bucks is amazing. I was fortunate to find one last year on clearance for $50, the box was opened but I gave it an inspection and everything seemed to be there, still sealed in the polybags. I hesitated at first, but after sleeping on it I decided to grab it. I've never regretted the decision. I would have loved to get it for $15, but even at $50 it was a steal. Heck, folks paying $100 are getting a bargain (but never pay full price is what Mumma PrfktTear always taught me!).

    I still need to get the updated Turtle Blimp! I was able to obtain the vintage blimp from a local comic shop and while it's in great condition it tends to deflate after a few days --- still a grail of mine that I'm glad to own --- and now I want the updated one!!!

    I never did pick up the movie figures --- I kept telling myself I was going to look for sales this Christmas, but the holidays have come and gone and I still haven't bought any. --- I guess I had plenty of opportunities to grab 'em --- and if I could have found 'em for $15 each I probably would have snapped them right up!

    -fin

  7. Friginator says:

    Every time I read the words "Galaxy Squad" I have to remind myself that it is not, in fact, a Tim Allen movie.

  8. Neuro says:

    Bit of a shame to hear the bandai kits aren't so hot, especially considering that they have a -lot- of experience with creating high-articulation, great looking cheap model kits in the past.

    What's the quality on the stickers? Bandai stickers usually pretty good and not too sticker-y, but considering the articulation, I wouldn't be surprised if they cut corners there as well. Sharing the surprise that they didnt go with gold base -> red S overlay for the Superman symbol, since I know they've done similar setups in the past.

    • Rustin Parr says:

      They seemed good, fairly thick and printed on a metallic/foil paper. I think it looks nice for the S-shield but is odd for Batman. But like I said, I'm not going to bother with them so I'm not sure how sticky, flexible, etc they are.

      • I opted for the level 3 Master Chief last night, based on your review of this.

        It's very akin to a HG level Gundam build, but the size would be 1/100 over there.

        The price point is a bit higher than a Gundam of the same size and piece count, but that may be the Toys R Us, specialty retailer price gouging.

  9. Stormtrooper53 says:

    I hate you for getting that Sewer Playset for $15.00. You are nothing but a piece of crap. I find you extremely ugly. You emit a foul and unpleasant odor. I loathe you.

  10. Sean C says:

    Destro's original 1983 head had angular features. The toon and later comics made him more like a guy with silver skin on his head than a fellow in an immovable metal mask.
    That Hawk is more a less a reissue from The Pursuit of Cobra line a few years back, it saw spotty distribution.
    Leatherneck dates to 1986, a burly fellow but was never that huge, but this one uses Rise of Cobra's Roadblock body, which is large.

  11. Boot Hill says:

    That sewer playset! THAT SEWER PLAYSET! How come there's never been a full review of that? It looks awesome, and THEN IT'S ONLY $15?!?!!? Wish I could of had one!

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