Oh man, I'm so behind on Spoils - some of these things were bought back in February! I've compressed several hauls worth of stuff here just in a vain attempt to catch back up to where I'm at now (and yes, there are several weeks yet uncovered [and SDCC is in one week... yeesh]).
DST - Avengers Age of Ultron: Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch
One of the three Age of Ultron sets at Toys R Us and the only exclusive, this is a welcome, solid entry in the format. One of these characters was kind of important and one was pretty much a throw-away and neither have that compelling of costumes. These figures capture them well though, and have the distinction of pretty much representing 50% of all Quicksilver merchandise (I believe the only other toy/collectible of him is the Lego figure). Both figures comes with basic stands and though Wanda lacks any sort of 'sparkle effect' accessory Pietro does get a nice little running dust base.
DST - Marvel Minimates: Space Armor Iron Man & Ronan the Accuser
And here we get the remaining two of the six characters voted on for the Infinity four-pack. I'm still not drawn to or excited by Iron Man's space armor but this Minimate version of it is definitely more appealing than the Legends version. Ronan is a VERY welcome first appearance for the character in the format and he turned out pretty well. His hood and shoulder pads are one piece, which works out okay, I suppose. Even though it's "just another" Iron Man this is a nice set over all.
DST - Sin City: Hartigan (Color)
I'm not really sure why DST would have picked up the Sin City license, other than that it was available, but they sure did. Presumably it was to tie in to the predictably under-performing sequel but all they've released is stuff from the first movie. I was more than content to sit it all out but this guy was on clearance at TRU for, like, $7 so I figured what the heck. I only got the black-and-white versions of the NECA figures so the colorized version here is novel if not feeling a bit like I'm cheating on the source material. It definitely follows the modern aesthetic of Jean St.Jean's work for DST - same articulation and mildly-caricature-ized design. He comes with a street base, his gun and a weird pipe he can't really hold. As much I was really want to support everyone involved with this, it just isn't that exciting of a figure nor does it seem different enough from NECA's to really justify re-buying the character.
DST - Spongebob Squarepants Minimates: Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krab, Plankton
Maybe I've seen two or three episodes of Spongebob in my life? But though the show isn't for me, Minimates sure are so obviously I had to get this Toys R Us exclusive four-pack. I'm not entirely sure what makes this set exclusive or how the non-exclusive version would be released but it's novel for what it is. Every character has varying degrees of all new parts to help cram the stylized aesthetic of the cartoon into the stylized aesthetic of the line, to moderate success. What really helps these are the vivid colors. Interestingly everyone but Krab have pegholes in their heads, presumably for future hat fun. There is a novel, new money bag accessory, too. And all in all, that's what this set is... "novel." I can't really imagine picking up any more, though.
DST - Tomb Raider: Lara Croft & Tomb Raider Scavenger Scout
These guys were marked to about $4 at TRU so I picked them up too. This is effectively "signature" Lara Croft, so it's quite nice to add her to the collection - she turned out very well. The other guy looks really cool but he can't do much with his accessories, annoyingly. It's very weird to me that he is implicitly a battle-builder/generic guy since he looks so unique/specific with the scarred head, but the fun of toys (especially those based on things I have no real frame of reference for) is that you can make up your own names and characteristics for them through The Power of Imagination!
DST - Tomb Raider: Battle-Damaged Lara Croft & Armored Tomb Raider Scavenger
Battle-damaged Lara is your token repaint but now with different and more accessories - so that's quite cool. The Scavenger is a very kickass soldier-y looking Goon that I'd really like to battle-build were he packed with a less specific character. Seriously - that door/shield is pretty cool and that gas mask is totally awesome! It's even cast in translucent orange so that he can see through the lenses.
DST - The Walking Dead: Andrea & Prom Zombie
Snagged this set mainly for Andrea, likely to be the last of the characters I recognize from my time reading the comic. She turned out very well here and I quite dig the red kerchief around her neck. The Prom Zombie (Prombie?) is pretty fun, too, and I'm betting that corsage is a re-use from the recent-ish Dawn minimate from a year or two ago.
Funko - Predator ReAction: Heat Vision Predator
This release was a fun surprise. Sure it doesn't really make any sense but the bright, vivid colors look stellar! In fact, I think I prefer this aesthetic to the translucent green of the NECA Dutch. I skipped the various ReAction Predator figures because the sculpt came out very soft and proportionally awkward, but the fun-ness of this paint scheme definitely takes the edge of that. It does suddenly make me realize that the likeness-free world of ReAction is likely the only way we could ever get the full hit squad so here's hoping Funko revisits the license with the new and improved aesthetic/sculpting and more characters than just the Jungle Hunter himself!
Hasbro - Avengers Age of Ultron: Iron Man vs. Ultron
I really dig the "zombie"/1.0 version of Ultron so I was pretty happy to stumble upon this Target exclusive three-pack. It comes with a version of "regular" Ultron (I really can't tell the difference between 2.0 and 3.0) but with trans-red arms - that last bit is a bummer but I'll take it. Iron Man is, shockingly, MUCH better than the carded version thanks to a lot more paint apps than the other release. Both of those guys get little energy arm blasts reused from the Iron Man 2 line, but now cast in a very soft, almost gummy, plastic. The real star here, though, is Ultron 1.0 and he turned out pretty darn good, considering the line! He's a got a nice sculpt, complete with hollow torso bits, though he's not as hunch-backed as he was onscreen (but that's no doubt a timing issue between movie and toy schedules). Paint is pretty good too, especially since he even gets light blue highlights for his eyes and mouth. At $15 this is pretty good deal - that's about a dollar less per figure than the carded figures, and you get a significantly better Iron Man, a good enough Ultron Prime and a unique Ultron 1.0!
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: TIE Pilot
Well, this guy has the distinction of being the first Star Wars Black I've paid for full retail for. He's pretty good, though, honestly, in no way exceptional or beyond what you'd expect from a 6" Hasbro figure. He's a great addition, but I remain un-enthused about the line and generally burnt out on Star Wars toys in general - hopefully The Force Awakens will change that.
Hasbro - Star Wars Clone Wars: Jedi Temple Guard
Beyond the quite descriptive name I know nothing about these guys nor do I especially care to, they are just phenomenally cool Expanded Universe designs and figures! I really dig the warrior-monk style robes, and the blacksmith-y tool belt over leather apron is very intriguing and unique. I've never been a big fan of a double-bladed lightsaber but I AM a big fan of yellow light saber blades, so that IS pretty exciting to seem some of those here! I (obviously) got 2, and might get 2 more if I can find them during a sale or something. Such neat, fun figures.
Hasbro - Star Wars Rebels: AT-DP Driver
I've only seen the first two episodes of the show and while they didn't do much for me Rebels is definitely getting us some pretty cool character designs. I really dig this McQuarrie-ish driver figure and though I probably wouldn't have bought him if I'd known he'd be coming with the AT-DP I'm still pleased to have a spare. Sure there isn't a whole lot you can do with these, pose-wise, but the sculpting is darn solid and the paint is pretty good. I definitely am enjoying Hasbro's figures in this 5-point-of-articulation format much more than the ReAction figures.
Hasbro - Star Wars Rebels: TIE Pilot
And here we get another fun, battle-builder of a figure. The design is a good blend of classic and cartoon-aesthetic and the figure is more dynamic than expected thanks to gloss black paint on the boots, gloves and "armor," even with dark brown lenses!
Hasbro - Star Wars Rebels: AT-DP with AT-DP Driver
I have never liked the legged vehicles in Star Wars - they make no sense and are way too easy to take down, BUT I have to admit that this one I actually dig. There is something about the longer legs with shorter "articulation" that seems more functional and the "head" is really neat looking, being thin and long, while that balljointed cannon surprisingly really does it for me! These vehicles are the "5 points of articulation" equivalent to ships we've seen in the past, which is most notable here in how UN-poseable this guy is - zero leg articulation. The "head" swivels and has an opening lid complete with opening hatch, but sadly the cheated scale makes the hatch only big enough for the driver's head and the lid won't close if he's standing but his head won't poke out the hatch if he's sitting, so... hecka bummer, Hasbro. This Target exclusive was a couple bucks more and included a Driver figure, identical to the single-carded one, so that is a fun bonus.
Hasbro - Star Wars Rebels: The Inquistor's TIE Advanced Prototype with Inquisitor
Much like the AT-DP, I'm kinda of surprised by how much I dig this design. I'm not super crazy about the smooth curve of the wings but their ability to close really does a solid job of bridging the Prequels design aesthetic and the Original Trilogy aesthetic, and likewise bridging the standard TIE to Vader's TIE. The wings are manually operated (I had expected springs or slide-bar) and are sturdy enough to act as landing gear. The only downside to this toy is that the cockpit is just a big empty ball (though sculpturally detailed) with nothing to hold the figure in place very well, so he flops all around as you fly it about. This too is the Target exclusive which included a same-as-carded Inquistor, though there is nowhere on/in the ship to stash his lightsaber.
Hasbro - Star Wars Rebels: The Phantom Attack Shuttle with Kanan Jarrus
Conversely... I'm pretty disappointed by this toy. The design is awfully bland regardless of how much I try to convince myself of it's Y-Wing-ish-ness. The fold down wings are manual, too, and the cockpit's blasters/missiles (?) slide out to an odd length but don't detach. It's just weird. This could be fun for a kid because it seems to have the most figure-stash-ability of the three but it's just bland and in design and play for my tastes. Also the Target version which came with yet another Kanan - yawn.
Lego - Friends: Mini Golf
This was originally a "gift with purchase" at the Lego Store but wound up in Target's Easter section too, which is great cause I really wanted one. The Mini-doll is nothing special and I'm sure I have identical or similar ones from previous polys but the the build is really cute and fun. It's especially novel because I don't think Lego has ever touched mini-golf before but it seems like a perfect little game/theme for them. The golfball is represented by a standard 1x1 round which I don't think is very successful, a 1x1 round flat would probably look a bit better (especially if it had a golfball print). I'd totally be into a proper set of Heartlake City's mini-golf family fun center.
Mattel - Imaginext: Jousting Dragon Knight
I keep checking the pegs for that phenomenal skeleton with the skeleton horse but I've never, ever seen him (to the point of doubting its existence) but on one hunt I did come across this guy finally and snagged him for the really neat, vaguely Whiplash-y, figure. The horse is much more fun that I imagined - when you "hit" the shield on the left side it pops up a peg in the saddle launching the figure! It's a surprisingly fun and accurate toy of jousting! The lance is pretty nice and I quite dig this guy's removable armor but, really, who would even want to cover up just a super, super cool looking Dragon Man figure!?
NECA - Predators: Renegade Predator
This arguably the most exciting Kenner Predator this time around because he actually comes with new pieces. The gun and scimitar are fairly fun and Kenner-y, so they're nice additions to "just another repaint." The paint is, honestly, really nice and looks great BUT it's just another green-ish Predator... we have that, not to mention Scavage skews green too. He's especially boring because there's no new or non-movie armor pieces. He's good for what he is, but isn't that exciting.
NECA - Predators: Scavage Predator
This guy is heartbreaking. This is the one Kenner predator I had as a kid, so I was really looking forward to his NECA update but this figure is so off-model it's hard to really buy him as the same "character." The problem is that they went with a very dark, blue-ish green though the Kenner figure was a light gray-green. Beyond that, there's nothing about this guy that seems different enough from the previous release. The straight-repaint thing doesn't entirely bother me, since that's what Kenner did, but this isn't a very clever, exciting or accurate re-coloring - as much as I hate to say it, it's boring. And, to add insult to injury, this "super Predator" body uses rubber around the ankles which means he falls over pretty easily - so that's fun too.
NECA - Pacific Rim: Romeo Blue
I hated Pacific Rim but... I mean, I don't know... whatever, it is what it is. I bought the toys. I really didn't like the main robots much but the white one, and now this blue one, seem to be a bit more interesting and more iconic than the ones they did pick for the leads so, eff it, I bought in. I really should have got the white one but missed it so I started here. This is everything the first robot releases weren't - NECA, don't ever try to be something else; Walmart ruined your art! The articulation is very plentiful here and it works pretty well! I really love the hinged finger rings, they add a surprising amount of pose options and personality to the figure. I dig this guy, and will continue with the "if it looks neat to me" route of buying this line despite my feelings toward the movie.
NECA - Rambo, First Blood Part II: John J. Rambo
FINALLY picked up this guy after months of holding off. I've still never seen a Rambo movie but there is no denying how iconic this character is. As a figure, he's okay. This is certainly the "look" of the character that comes to mind first, but it is kind of a bummer that he lacks any more of the iconic weapons like the chain gun or bow and arrow. The rocket launcher is neat and he does have his big knife. It's another good but un-exciting figure.
NECA - Robocop vs Terminator: Endoskeleton 2-Pack
I was very happy and relieved to find a store that still had this Toys R Us exclusive 2-pack since I missed it's initial wave of release. The figures are the same as the carded one in the RvT line but now come in dynamic blue and orange paint schemes. The figure is still a bit flimsy and it's tough to find a really good pose but it's good enough, and really we're just buying this for the paint anyway. It's fun, but certainly not the kind of thing that would appeal to everyone.
Playmates - Half Shell Heroes: Slash & Stockman-Fly
Continuing my general "if it's a character from my childhood, I'll buy it" trend I felt compelled to add this set to my collection. I like the redesign of Slash and this is a fun stylization of that, though his mace is sculpted into his hand. I'm over-the-moon that Stockman is a fly again but this iteration is shockingly boring looking and is the opposite of how neat the 5" figure is. Annoyingly, these figures weren't secured to their tray by rubberbands, twist-ties or paper string... they were ZIP-TIED ON! What the hell, Playmates!? What the hell.