This week I actually made no new purchases, if you can believe, so let's pull up an undiscussed past haul of ol' Uncle Rustin's to tide our hungry eyes over until my next batch of material wealth is accumulated. And, since we're taking a bit of a walk down memory lane, let me also toss out a hearty tip of the hat to reader Boot Hill, who made his enthusiasm for this column quite well known. Many thanks to him, and all our toy-hungry readers out there in the world wide aether.
Funko - ReAction, Fight Club: Marla Singer
It's Fight Club, man, of course I gotta get them! Marla is a fitting choice for the line but is definitely the second weakest figure in the assortment (I mean, shirtless Tyler...? Really?). The sculpt is fairly good for ReAction and I like her spiky jacket, but man there is something off with that head! It's her eyes - her crazy zombie eyes. Actually, I finally figured out what the problem is: they painted the whites of her eyes. This may well be the first ReAction figure to get that treatment and it just doesn't fit the aesthetic of the line, especially when the guys have the traditional pupils-only eyes. So, she ends up looking like some kind of deranged zombie. Plus, this costume would have gone better with her wearing those big sunglasses instead. But it's Marla... what're gonna do? They want me to complete the set, as. hard. as. I. can.
Funko - ReAction, Fight Club: Narrator
Wow, I'm actually kind of impressed by how this figure turned out. His outfit is properly disshelved and a bit more detailed that most ReAction sculpts. More over, the face is absolutely Ed Norton - so much so that one really has to wonder if they've got the likeness rights... And if they do... Legacy figures...? There aren't any accessories with these figures, but it works since they sport fists, appropriately, rather than traditional "gripping hands." I do kind of lament the lack of a bar of "Fight Club" soap being packed in, as per the poster and cardback, but it's by no means a deal breaker.
Funko - ReAction, Fight Club: Tyler Durden
Much like Narrator, Tyler turned out pretty well and with a more than passing likeness to Brad Pitt (or is it Zach Snyder?) - really, guys, it's so conspicuous to me how "accurate" these portraits are after how stylized everything has been up until this point. This is Tyler's most iconic look from the movie, and matches Narrator's "bar parking lot" look - "I want you to punch me as hard as you can." Fight Club is one of those movies (like The Matrix) that's so easy to write off since Pop Culture jumped all over it and reappropraited it for the wrong reasons, but every time I pop in ye olde DVD I'm surprised by how good, fun, and intelligent that movie really is so I'm very jazzed to have figures from it!
Funko - Evolve: Goliath
I have no familiarity with Evolve and the rest the figures seem to really suffer from "digital sculpt smoothness" but this guy... this big old hulk of a beast... well, monsters are just plain cool so I couldn't pass him up. The design is a little generic but the sculpt is wonderfully detailed, especially the head. The paint is really nice too with a light gray drybrush on the skin giving him a really nice sense of texture. The only accessory is a big giant tail that plugs into his rump, but it's surprisingly it's just a solid chunk of plastic (everything about it's appearance says "bendy"). The peg on it is very strong and it's too tight of a fit into the peghole - I could feel and see the peg starting to twist off with it only about 75% inserted. Likewise the cut-joints on his thighs have the pegs fused inside their sockets so I can feel them about to break as well. Other than those joint, the only complaint is that his shoulders' balljoints are sooooooo tight they can barely turn within the socket. Beyond that stuff, though, this is a nice big beastie with a good sculpt, nice paint and ample articulation!
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Chameleon
You know me - I love interchangeable parts, so I definitely want at least two of this guy and I figured most collectors would too so he'd be pretty hard to find, so imagine my surprise when I found him right there on the pegs! I love this suit body a lot and am really excited to see it released as a single figure! Chameleon is another in a long line of relatively obscure characters for the line but at least I have some familiarity with him thanks to the old '90s cartoon. And, like that figure this too comes with alternate heads, including J. Jonah Jameson (just like the old figure) and Hammerhead (or is it Flattop? Either way this is his first foray into action figures!). All three heads are simple but nicely sculpted and cleanly painted. They swap out easily, though the neck uses one of the larger balls so Coulson's and Cap's alternate heads don't fit on here. This guy also comes with not one but three guns! There's a sci-fi laser pistol which looks familiar and must be re-used, an old school machine gun from the various WW2 Caps, and an awesome new sci-fi-y machine gun! The latter looks cool, has minimal but pretty effective paint and the ammo drum is removable, and the tab that holds it in place? It's sculpted to look like bullets! That's so awesome! I definitely need to get another of this guy to display Hammerhead's head too, and I love it so much I'm tempted to get up to 4 total - but really, how many blue suits with black shirts can one collection have? I really hope that they get this body out at least once a year in different color schemes and retain the swap-able head gimmick!
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Kraven
Kraven is one of many characters I've never really understood the popularity of. Conceptually, I get it but his costume is sooooo goofy! Still though, Hasbro captured it here remarkably well and I actually end up digging this figure a fair bit! So remember that last part, all you who are constantly complaining that I buy toys of characters I don't like - it's generally becuase I LIKE THE TOY OF THEM, and this is a perfect example of a figure that has changed my mind on a character. Plus, he comes with a BAF part for Rhino. Kraven also comes with a big spear, which is rendered quite nicely, though it does again play towards the implausibility of the character. My only real complaint about this guy is that him armbands are just painted on, which is only a bummer because the belt, vest, forearms and lower legs are sculpted so well he feels a lot more unique than his tooling actually his. And, fun fact, his head uses the same ball-and-socket diameter as Chameleon so you can put J.J.J.'s head on this body.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Scarlet Spider
I've also never understood the popularity of Scarlet Spider. I'll admit that there is a novelty to his cut-off hoodie outfit but it's also just so wildly ridiculous and '90s. Ben Reilly's way cooler! But, despite my antipathy toward the character, I must confess that this figure is cool and about as definitive as one could imagine. The head has nice big McFarlane eyes and the hoodie is fully sculpted and looks pretty great. The more I play with him, honestly, the more I fall for this design. His little ankle pouches are new, free-floating pieces and his forearms have the bracers sculpted on, though sadly the lining is just paint and not sculpt. It's weird since they could be reused for Ben Reilly, but maybe Hasbro has other plans as well. One thing that is damn impressive about this figure is how they paint the spider logo on his torso - not only does the logo paint continue up the joint into the chest (so that it's still there/visible as you pivot his chest) but somehow they managed to design the paint so that it always lines up with the pattern on the chest NO MATTER WHAT POSITION THE CHEST IS IN! Now THAT is some damn fine design work and I want to shake the hand of whoever did that, whoever said "good enough is not good ENOUGH" and spent the extra time to solve it. Bewteen how great this figure turned out and all the alternate hands I really think I gotta get a second one! He comes with not one but two Rhino B.A.F. heads - an angry classic costume one and a calm modern costume one. I can't imagine anyone was expecting or clamoring for the modern head but it's such a nice inclusion I'm tempted to build up a second Rhino for it.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: White Tiger
I just... I don't get it. I mean, "Black Panther" was too on the nose so they had to make a "White Tiger"? The costume is pretty bland with its overwhelming whiteness, but based on her name I guess that's her thing. She's got the same claw-hands as Black Cat (I'm seeing a trend in nomenclature) but a new head and necklace. I am a fan of swoosh-y hair sculpts so I like hers and it definitely helps liven up the figure. Thanks to the box-back micro description I'm given to understand the necklace is an integral part of this character so it's nice it's included and is a sculpted piece, but it sits so loosely it just becomes annoying in playing and posing. She's not really for me but I think there are certainly folks out there very glad to get her. Plus, she comes with Rhino's torso, that makes her a must-have (even on top of my newfound completionism with this line [and yes, I know Misty comes with the torso too]).
Lego - City: Race Car Polybag
I actually picked this Target exclusive polybag up a couple weeks back but forgot it until cleaning the house one weekend. I've never been a fan of cars but this is a fun build nonetheless. I like the stoplight accessory and the minifigure looks great. The real star, though, is the very clever engine which is made out of a ray gun and metal fist (from the latest Agents line) connected to a 1x1 brick with holes on the sides. Those metal fists have only ever been in the Agents sets so it's a little tempting to get 1 or 2 more of these polybags just for that piece.
Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: Arkham Knight Detective Mode Batman
IMPOSSIBLE!!! Toys R Us has this line for a mere $9.99!!! That means they are the cheapest place to buy not only a toyline, but one from Mattel!? This is madness! Given that pricepoint these suddenly become much more interesting to me and while I have little knowledge of the Arkham games I really dig the color palette of this figure. Batman is repainted all in shades of teal and he looks awesome! I really like this figure, much more than I probably should. His coloring is just so rich and beautifull and the sculpt and paint are really, really nice! At $10 he's practically a steal these days.
Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: Arkham Origins Detective Mode Bane
I really dig the look of Origins Bane and I love skeletons - how could I say no? Sure he's just a cheap, simple repaint but he looks wonderful and really, really stands out on the shelf! Plus I can now basically have a little "Detective Mode" display on my shelf. The figures are pretty poseable, all things considered, but since I really just bought this for the skeleton I need to keep him "waiting for the bus" so those bones stay visibile. If I can find the regular version of the figure at TRU/for $10 I will certainly get him.
NECA - Gremlins 2: 8-bit Video Game Mowhawk Gremlin
Yes! I just so excited that this figure got released because, like Batman, it means the tooling for a normal colored repaint is paid for! I have NECA's original Mohawk Gremlin but a) it's not as strong as their current sculpt, articulation and paint work, and b) I've since lost the original's back-spines piece. This sculpt is remarkably good and reuses the head and arms from the utterly phenomenal Spider-Gremlin but surprisingly not his torso. Even that one would have required a T-Crotch it seemed cheaper tooling to get to a proper figure than doing up a new V-crotch torso for the balljointed legs from the previous Gremlins - so mega extra bronwie points to NECA for figure out a way to cost things out to do it "the right way." Plus, this guy comes with an Uzi, which was apparently the hold-up this whole time - the studio really didn't want him to come with one for whatever reason. But, what makes this figure special is the paint! He's all black with some neat yellow and gray highlights to match the look from the game. The appearance is heavy on the black and thus a bit more minimal than previous figures but the black/yellow colorscheme is certainly unique in the collection and he looks quite nice on the shelf as a result. The only issues with this guy is that his feet are cast in much softer plastic than the rest of him so he definitely has issues staying upright. But, to end of a positive, his double-balljointed neck is remarkably fun and poseable!
Playmates - Half-Shell Heroes: Bebop & Rocksteady
Yep... found 'em and got 'em. I'm just a sucker for nostalgia-based characters and I love these two. I'm not terribly sure what I think of them in this style. Rocksteady seems a bit too cartoony while Bebop seems like an improvement with more chunky proportions closer to the original show/figure than the new, modern one. I think this set means I'm done with Half Shell Heroes, at least unless they ever release the four plain/regular turtles in two two-packs or one four-pack. I just have no need of or desire for non-character pack-ins.
Playmobil - Knights: Jousting Red Knight Foil Bag
Oh MAN - YES!!! I've been waiting a year and a half for these to come out in the states (at Toys R Us) but I figured the death of the Dragons Foil Bags meant these were doomed to never show up here, but WHAMMO! A casual, about-to-leave-the-store stroll down the Playmobil aisle rendered out these much anticipated figures. They take the same concept as the Dragons bags but re-work them into something much more desireable. We get a jousting Knight, his steed, a small armory, and a short bit of jousting wall - but the fun thing is the wall piece is interconnectable so while the bag from one wall isn't that impressive, if you get all 4 bags you suddenly have a decent sized run (and can, of course, can keep adding to it with further purchases - now that is SMART product design)! This guy I was fully prepared to dislike based on his more fantastical armor but, in hand, I really dig his dragon crest and with it the helmet makes some sense. Most appealing, though, is that all his armor has a black wash over it for a tarnished sort of look that is pretty unique in Playmobil and makes him stand out in a good way. My only complaint is the silly axe with the translucent red blade (but I will concede it looks neat when back-lit).
Playmobil - Knights: Jousting Yellow Knight Foil Bag
I was most excited by this set because this guy is sporting copper colored armor and I don't think Playmobil has ever done that before. But I totally fell in love him in once in-hand becuase he's so historically plausible! His armor looks realistic and is just utterly gorgeous with it's black wash, giving it a burnished look, but the rest of is outfit is so medieval that this whole thing just feels so "real." He does have a bit of fantasy to him, though, by sporting a weird bit of back armor which I take to be holsters for throwing daggers, and there is a little mini-cape that clips on it. This guy is just utterly, utterly badass and is pretty much the coolest thing I've bought from the Knights theme in a long time. I love him so much he immediately is on my "I need a second one" list but at the same time I love how wonderfully badass and unique he is that I want to keep him just that way and get extras...!