Okay, here's another batch of stuff I got recently mixed with stuff I've been sitting out on for months. Some of this comes from great deals online or burning through Toys R Us Rewards points, and some just form simple shopping trips - but all of them are Spoils of collecting and should be dutifully shared with all of you Readers out there in dreamland. Take your buddy by the hand and enter the restroom of toy collecting wherein your pal Rustin awaits with but so many delicate Spoils for your precious little eyes. So precious.
Bootleg - Rainbow Batmen
So at WonderCon... what, like, 2013 DCD had this big display for Batman's 75th Anniversary which included repaints of one of their Batman figures in all the colors of the rainbow. This isn't just hyperbole but a direct reference to the cover of Detective Comics #241, and damn novel regardless. Fast forward to early 2015 and what shows up, out of nowhere, on eBay? Bootlegs out of china of these Rainbow Batman! In general I'm pretty turned off by bootlegs but sometimes they are too cute and too cheap to pass up and, including shipping, this group cost about $10 per figure so I had to buy in! From what I can tell these are repaints of the Super Friends sculpt, which is a solid choice considering the source era. The paint is reasonably clean and clear for a nefarious bootleg and all came individually bagged in the shipping box. My only complaint is that this is missing the sixth, Yellow costume and it is a conspicuous absence from the Rainbow of Vengeance. Still though, this is just plain fun - pure and simple!
DC Direct - Arkham City: Solomon Grundy
This figure is INCREDIBLE. He is, of course, terribly massive but that's only half the fun - he's so, so, so well sculpted and painted I can hardly find the words to express his awesomeness! He's so well detailed it's just crazy; I find him beautiful to behold. And, of course, it really helps that Grundy is Grundy is Grundy so he doesn't deviate too much from the look I know and love from the comics/cartoons. He is ridiculously large, though, and that is kind of annoying. I can get behind a big Grundy, but "big" is about half the size of this figure; but this is in the scale of the game so what're we supposed to do? His bulk limits the range on the joints but you can still get a decent set of poses out of him. He also features a removable chest and heart for extra cool, extra gore-y fun! The heart fits very snugly in its cavity but the rubber chest I find a little tricky to get back in place. The main hurdle on this guy is his big pricetag (and indeed I got him on sale) but if you can swing the cost he's definitely worth it.
DC Direct - Arkham Asylum: Batman & Bane
I have the original Bane from the first series somewhere up in the attic but it is conspicuously under-scaled and under-articulated so when I saw this set on discount I jumped on it. I'm not terribly crazy about Batman's duds in any of the Arkham games, but here, at the end of the franchise, the first games suit does seem shockingly bland, and his head is so weird and narrow but with such wide set eyes. Articulation is also pretty limited with swivel head, balljointed shoulders, T-Crotch and hinged elbows and knees. But nobody is buying this set for Batman (so why bother including him, DCD!?) - the real star is Bane 2.0! He's a wonderfully bulky big sculpt, but that bulk does limit a lot of his pose-ability, particularly in the arms. Unlike the first figure this one is fully articulated, though posing isn't terribly grand thanks to his top heavy design. Still, though, I'm a HUGE sucker for super villains in prison orange, so I'm quite pleased to get him on that front as well.
DC Direct - New 52: Darkseid
I know, I know, I know... all I talk about is how much I hate the New 52 design of Darkseid, but what can I do? This was a gift from a friend. As such, I'm pleased to add him to the collection (free of charge) but... why is he so big? I haven't read the comics so I don't know how accurate the size is but with my frame of reference it's just dumb and silly. At least with Grundy it's a cool design and they're just matching a game designer's opinion, but this is just ridiculous. Phil Ramirez's sculpting here, though, is excellent and I really, really love how he handled Darkseid's skin - smooth but cracked. But, at the end of the day, it's still encased in one of the weakest costume re-designs of the last decade. I miss the '90s, when Jim Lee was still creative and interesting. As a figure, it's pretty good but between the size and the price it's basically impossible to recommend to anyone.
Hasbro - Jurassic World: Diecast Jeep Wrangler
I love, love, love Jurassic Park so I was very excited to see at least some merchandise love for that movie even if it is the boring, ugly jeep. This thing cost $5 and as a result it is awesome! It's fully diecast and the doors are even hinged so at about 4" in length this is a steal at only five bucks! What is weird, though, is that there is a plastic bit screwed directly into the bottom of the car which holds it in place in the package. So, to remove the car you have to rip and destroy the package and then manually unscrew the base in order to play with the jeep. I can only hope this is some kind of licensing thing because if not, someone kind of epically failed at their job. Another odd thing is that this is Jeep number 12 though it was 29 which was featured in Jurassic World (the same one Hammond and Gennaro were riding in Park). This is such a wonderful little car; I just desperately hope that they do the far cooler Ford Explorer "ride vehicle" from Jurassic Park in the same quality (and, ideally, price)!
Mattel - Batman Unlimited: Batman & Axe Rhino
How much do I love rhinoceroses? THIS much. $8. Yup, bring the hate - I have no reasonable defense. The Batman figure is neat, he's fun in that "I already have a million Batman figures, can you make something different and novel" but he's definitely a $5 toy. The only paint on him is his mouth and eyes, the rest is just plastic. Really, though, the only reason to get this is for the rhino sidekick, and he's awesome. Zero articulation, only paint is for his eyes, and his horns are removable, becoming a mech-axe for Batman, but by god I love the mecha design for the rhino - it's so cool looking! In fact, I like it so much I've actively been hunting for months to find him. But overall this is just more Mattel malarkey. For $5 or $6 this would be a pretty fun line but for $8... it's easily pass-up-able.
Mattel - Star Wars: Diecast Ghost
Mattel's new line of 3"-ish sizes Star Wars ships looks pretty underwhelming, especially at $5 each. But I was thinking I should have the Ghost represented in my growing Rebels collection in some capacity so I should just get this because it'll be the cheapest option. And you know what? Turns out this thing is awesome! What looks like minimally painted dull plastic is actually a mostly diecast ship (which definitely better justifies the price)! Yes, the paint is minimal, and the sculpt is a little simple, but the weight of the metal goes a long way in helping this feel like a better value. The real star here, though, is the stand! It's a very functional piece which is well balanced and supports the ship perfectly. What truly kicks ass, though, is that the base has an open-bottom "tube" which is a finger clip thus allowing you to wear the ship and whoosh it around in a really fun, really dynamic new way! As a result this the most fun I've had with a toy in months! I can't stress how fun this is to play with and now I really want to track down a Millennium Falcon! I can't wait for the X-Wings, but they also need to do bigger stuff like the Blockade Runner and Star Destroyers.
NECA - Alien: 8-bit Dog Alien
I never found the Dog Alien so this might be my only chance at the figure, but I'm happy for it because the dynamic paint on these Videogame versions is so damn fun! I really dig this half blue/half orange look and it's exactly what this thematic series is all about! The paint turned out pretty clean and they even carried over the half'n'half look to the individual limbs too for the fullest effect. The sculpt of the figure is bloody fantastic - NECA at its best! The scale of him seems a bit too large but the size of the Alien is fairly inconsistent throughout the film so we'll run with it. This thing is loaded with articulation, and that's ultimately my only real issue with the figure - it's a bit too much and a bit too loose and/or a bit too restricted so I'm having a really tough time finding natural poses for him. He does have a clear stand to help keep him upright but it does kind of, well, not "ruin" but "distract" from the look of the figure. Still though, it's infinitely better than the McFarlane version!
NECA - Batman '66: 18" Robin
I know this is old hat by now, but why can't NECA have a 7" license for DC, man? Their stuff is the best! Much like Adam West Batman this figure is the tops - both in sculpt and paint. Articulation is really good too, but like all recent NECA Quarter Scale figures Robin can't remain standing. The engineering physics that work for a 7" figure just aren't the same for something with the weight of an 18" figure, so these balljointed ankles just can't handle the pressures at play. On the plus side, though, he hasn't broken at all, so I got that going for me. Robin gets three pairs of interchangeable hands but they all pop, or fall, off too easily. He also gets a rebreather mask, a walkie talkie, a batarang and a pair of functioning bat-cuffs - not bad, boy wonder! Sure he's not quite as dynamic as Batman but he's a wonderful addition to the collection (though I am pleased there isn't much on the Quarter Scale horizon that appeals to me, I need a break from these frustrations).
NECA - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Koba
I really dig this Series 2 version of Koba, he sans warpaint and get s a cool new head (otherwise he's the same as Series 1). The paint is just as moderate as the figures from Series 1 - painting skin tone over hair color just looks tacky as heck. He gets a stylized looking machine gun and an alternate set of hands, but the hands are really the biggest issue with the figure for me. They're painted differently and more poorly than the body, but what's really frustrating is that removing the right hand pulls the wrist peg out of the arm and I can't get it out of the hand, so he's permanently stuck with that hand. Meanwhile, the alternate left hand can't hold the gun very well so... yeah. At least his head looks amazing, so he's a decent addition to the collection. I kind of wish I had a Caesar to go with him but there is something so weird about the series 2 head that I just can't bring myself to get him.
NECA - Pacific Rim: Tacit Ronin
When I saw this guy on shelves I started getting that "cool robot" itch, but I really hated Pacific Rim and was pretty disappointed with Crimson Typhoon. Buuuuut I had gotten the much improved Battle Damaged Knifehead at SDCC, and this guy sure does look cool... ao once the blue robot came out I had to track down this white one. I don't understand anything, really, about the development of the movie but this design is the coolest Jaeger in the whole thing - much, much, much cooler looking that either of the Hero 'bots so I just don't understand why it was apparently background filler rather than a hero one. The sculpt here is great, with full articulation everywhere you'd want it. The only downside there is that the hip pistons restrict motion and limit pose ability but there's still plenty you can do with the rest of it. The paint is just as good, or even better, than the sculpt, using washes and drybrushing to add a lot of texture and detail to the figure. He also has a blade on each forearm and both have double slides to extend and retract. He's wicked cool and I'm actually pretty happy with my collection of Jaegers now that I realize I have the Red, White and Blue robots.
NECA - Planet of the Apes: The Lawgiver Statue
I'm not the biggest P.oT.A. fan but I really appreciate the love that's going into the line and Randy Falk's enthusiasm for it, so I got this really to help support that and to support NECA trying new things - i.e. creating low-run resin diorama pieces! There's something odd or off about the proportions of the Lawgiver, particularly in his arms and hands, but I think that's accurate to the set piece in the film. Otherwise this is a really neat piece - a very good sculpt and a simple but extremely exceptional paint wash to bring out the details. He's a solid hunk of resin and doesn't really do anything other than be a nice, big, anchor to the display.
NECA - Predator: 8-bit City Hunter
We got a seeming deluge of 8-bit/Videogame figures from NECA all at once, including this fella right here. Until I had him in hand he was part of a growing fatigue I've felt with the line, he's novel but not really all that special. Now that I have him opened up I do dig him, especially as a more dynamic counterpoint to the all-blue Jungle Hunter Predator that came before. The paint on this guy is more varied and more subtle than I anticipated and it helps a lot. At the end of the day, though, he is "just another" Predator repaint, though.
NECA - Rambo: 8-bit Rambo
Okay. Sonuvabitch - this toy is AWESOME!!! This is everything I want from the 8-bit gimmick, and more. It's so, so, so, so, so nice to get a figure that is all warm colors (first time since Freddy) plus the heavy black lining on him is wicked cool. This is absolutely one of the very best, maybe even the best, release in the series yet, and that's before you get to the accessories - of which he has TEN!!! Two extra sets of hands, a grenade, his dagger, a rocket launcher, a bow and two arrows - and the goddamn bow and arrow works!!! This is the best toy bow-and-arrow ever yet produced! The string pulls back without totally warping the bow, the arrows thread on the string while still remaining between his fingers and resting against the bow... it's just... just everything we ever hoped for. I will absolutely be getting whatever movie version Rambo comes with the bow purely just to have the bow up and on display. As is, between how cool the figure is and how amazing the bow turned out I'm pretty tempted to get a second one of these just to have both the bow and the much-cooler-looking green missile launcher on display.
NECA - Rocky: 8-bit Rocky
I think I get what they were going for here, but ultimately this figure just isn't "different enough" to really be exciting. The shading on the torso and knees is pretty neat, but the fact that it doesn't carry over to the head as well sort of "misses the point" of the appeal of these figures - it still looks like regular Rocky. He does come with a unique accessory, a big giant American flag, which is really the main thing that separates this from the regular Rocky line. It's cast in white plastic with the blue and red printed on, and that is quite remarkable in its own right: that they were able to get such clean and consistent lines on such a contoured surface. He's neat, but not necessary for the Videogame collection.
Playmobil: Fairy Bags: Winter Fairy
There is a blue and white Wizard in the upcoming Playmobil Fi?ures blind bag line and that guy has started me thinking about building a whole Fantastical Arctic, so I've been hunting down this set. It's part of the second series of Girl/Fantasy Foil Bags which is themed around the seasons, and this one has been the most popular no doubt due to its obvious Frozen connotations. The figure is actually pretty cool - she has pearlescent blue hair and a clear big dress with great snowflake printing on it. There's also a nice "winter" tree, complete with silver flowers, and in addition to the young pegasus she also comes with a white owl and two white kittens for optimum cuteness! I originally just wrote this set off as a Frozen cash-grab but, ultimately, I'm pretty happy with it and glad I got it.