I know a lot of folks out there in the collecting community have made the change over to mainly doing online ordering but those of us out dinosaurs who still prefer the old fashioned brick and mortar hunt can have some very surprising weeks. It was looking like this was going to be a light, reasonable haul for me this week, but then I hit a Target and a Toys R Us on whims and my spoils more than tripled! Such is the life of a casual hunter!
DST: Marvel Minimates - Tactical Wolverine & Marvel Now Magneto (TRU Exclusive)
Woot - new Minimates! I don't really read any current comics mainly due to the constant "things will never be the same" events every year, so I don't know or understand "Marvel NOW!" or its Magneto but I gotta admit that the look of this costume is pretty damn cool... except it's just black & white? Cause... bleh. If it were purple and pink like Magneto's classic costume this may well be a favorite look for him, but the black white is just bland as heck. This 'mate gets what I believe is a new helmet done to match the sleek look of this design. He also comes with a flight stand, but since the "science" of Minimate pegholes is FAR from precise, the pole is a smaller diameter than the peghole on his foot, so this is more about balance than support. Wolverine here is a novel idea - it's classic brown-suited wolverine but with a bandana printed on his face and a removable vest and belt. It's weird but neat, and he comes with his cowl so you can have regular Wolverine too. If only Magento came with an alternate hairpiece I might be tempted to get two! But really, this does feel like a filler set, to be perfectly honest. It's just a slight variation of one overdone character and a less-than-compelling version of another popular character (seriously... black & white!?). Still though, I'm pleased to have them and to support Minimates.
Funko: Twin Peaks - 9POA 4-pack
HO-LEE MO-LEE!!! This set is AMAZING!! I like Twin Peaks but am not a super fan or anything but it's definitely a fun property and a surprising/exciting one to get toys. The sculpting is still a bit cartoony/stylized but much more detailed and accurate than the ReAction figures from previous years and paint is really solid across the board! What's more, the shoulders here are balljointed allowing for much more fun with posing! Cooper has a surprisingly good likeness and looks great in his overcoat. He gets a tape recorder and a coffee mug which, bizarrely & annoyingly, he can't hold very well. Bob is kind of a surprising, but logical, choice and he looks great here with the grabby hands and crazy expression. The Log Lady (R.I.P. to the actress) is a great example of the fun breadth of characters from the show and a reminder of all the other kooky characters I hope they do. She also gets balljointed elbows (unlike the hinges the other figures get) to better hold her log, which is still frustratingly pretty tough to do. Weirdly, all three figures' hands are separate pieces glued into the arms. If only Funko hadn't been so hung up on the "nine points" branding, these easily could and should have been articulated, which would have really improved The Lady's ability to cradle her Log. Lastly, we get the real shocker of the set... Laura Palmer! She's the point and macguffin of the entire thing, but also she's a brutal murder victim... so how do you do a "toy" of that? Well, somehow Funko figured it out and, in the process, made one of the coolest figures of the year! Yes, it's exceedingly grim, but certainly there is some nostalgia here for the old days of McFarlane's various horror figures and, also, this figure just looks cool. Her hair is wonderfully sculpted, splaying out like an octopus but it's the "body bag" that really shines her as it's a fully sculpted piece over her body. I'm not exactly sure why, maybe it's my love of translucent plastic or hatred of "softgoods" but I really, really, really like this approach and it certainly is a figure that looks nothing like anything we've seen in years - and that is exciting. Plus, the packaging is gorgeous - replicating the infamous "Red Room" but with metallic red highlights. What's more is that Toys R Us, insanely and accidentally, was selling this set for $9.99 when it first came out - so yes, at that price I definitely had to get a second to keep closed, but probably would have done so anyway. This is such an awesome set!
Hasbro: Guardians of the Galaxy (Animated) - Thanos
I have a bit of a "thing" for Thanos, so I finally saw him and decided I'd take the dive into Hasbro's animated 5" universe. The sculpt is pretty good and I was surprised to find it features a ball-in-socket head and balljointed elbows - better articulation than I expected (though Thanos' big noggin doesn't move much range). I particularly dig that his right glove is a different style than his left, which certainly calls The Gauntlet to mind. One is definitely tempted to get a second to paint it gold, but then again, the lack of wrist/glove articulation really limits pose options.
Hasbro: Guardians of the Galaxy (Animated) - Yondu
The first Guardians movie and Michael Rooker made me a fan of Yondu, so since they had Thanos I got this fella too (and now I'll need get Nebula - I like these figures of supporting characters in series 2 much more than the titular Guardians). He's a neat figure, and like the rest of the line had T-Crotch, swivel elbows, swivel/hinge (aka ball-joint) elbows and ball-in-socket head; and the latter works much better with this lean fellow than with Thanos. Sadly, he gets no accessories - his arrow, or a blaster, or a treasure, or something would have helped his playability a lot.
Hasbro: Marvel Legends - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Star-Lord
Finally picked this guy up, aaaaaaand he's awesome. The short coat is the signature Star-Lord we never got from the first movie and man this unmasked head has a great likeness! It's kind of a bummer that he's got a different hairstyle, etc, this time otherwise I'd be tempted to double-up for my movie 1 display! (Heck, I probably would do some kitbashing with the movie 1 figure if it weren't for the fact that a trenchcoated movie 2 version is coming up soon). The guns are good, and clip onto pegs on his pants and the heads swap easily. He doesn't come with a BAF part, which I'm kinda mixed on, but whatev's. This is THE Star-Lord figure we've been wanting, so he's worth the time and money to procure.
Hasbro: Spider-Man Homecoming - 4" Vulture & Spider-Man
With Marvel Legends kicking so much butt recently I've really tapered off my 4" Marvel purchases, but this was my first Homecoming toy spotted so I mainly got it out of excitement, plus I do have a host of other 4" movie Spider-Men, so it'd fit with those. Spider-Man is good, but not great. A good sculpt and plenty of articulation, but the lack of wrist articulation is surprisingly pose-restricting - at least for this character. Vulture is good, pretty much what we expect from Hasbro these days. The wing/jet-pack is a solid piece and removable; and it's fully sculpted on both sides and the backpack is detailed as well so, other than the pegs/pegholes, it all looks fine connected or not. $20 for two well articulated, sculpted and painted figures is a pretty good deal - I just wish there was something a bit more unique to them here to better warrant the purchase. But, for those diehard 4" collectors out there I'm sure this'll comfortably scratch their itch.
Lego: Captain America Civil War - Crossbones Hazard Heist
Toys R Us had a "40% Off" sale on select Lego sets, including this one, which made this an easy-buy since it had the only Falcon minifig for Civil War. And really, he's the main reason to get this set, but the bad news is he isn't that great. The 'fro hair piece looks weird on him, but I get it... he has more hair than bald, but less hair than "hair piece." The figure is all light-gray which looks more pajama-y than body-suit-y, and it would have helped a lot if they'd done the two-tone arms to recreate his short-sleeves. The other exclusive here is Crossbones, and he makes for a pretty cool minifig even if he's not too accurate or that memorable of a character in the film. He just has the one, masked head - it makes sense but I had assumed he'd have a scared head under a helmet or something. We also get a very good Black Widow and Cap, but they're in other sets too, so not that exciting. The builds are also unimpressive... a massive redwing drone for Falcon, a basic motorbike for Widow and a giant jeep for Crossbones. Oh well, I got my Falcon, and that's really the only reason I bought the set in the first place.
Lego: Marvel Super Heroes - Iron Skull Sub Attack
I got this during the TRU sale, too, and I'm not really sure it was the best decision. The minifigures are neat but the build is only okay - I really just got this with an eye to use the bricks for potential MOCs in the future, and for the minifigures. The sub is a clunky design, but the use of a tapered bricks helps make up for that. The center section is effectively empty so that the "prison cell" can be clipped on and swung up to fit inside (but the sub looks really weird without it in there). There is also a little mini-sub thing for the Hydra guy, which is a clever build but not too compelling in its own right. The aqua-Hydra guy is neat, and it's novel that he has a unique design. Iron Skull is cool, but I'm surprised he doesn't have a repainted helmet to match the armor like the Marvel Legends figure does. Captain America is okay... basically just Cap but blue lenses over his eyes. Hydro-armor Iron Man is very cool though; I quite like the muted green color and the bulky armor gives a cool, retro vibe.
Mattel: Power Rangers Imaginext - Squatt & Baboo
I finally tracked this set down - sure enough I found one at Kohl's, so it does seem like that this is an exclusive to them as that's the only place I heard of anyone finding it. I'm not really a Power Rangers fan, but certainly I'm an Imaginext fan, and this style and price point is a fun and novel way to capture the loose nostalgia I have for the Mighty Morphin' era. These two guys are the last of the recognizable characters to me so I'm also pleased to know that I am now done with this collection. (Well... except for Alpha 5, but he only comes with the playset and I don't think I have the space or money for that) These guys are both pretty well sculpted for the Imaginext style, but the blue guy's face paint is a little splatter-y. Neither have accessories though the bat guy does have a bat wristband thing which can turn around his wrist. Also, Kohl's is annoying - they're one of these places that has everything marked up X% so that they can say they have it marked down X%, so I was kinda shocked to find a $10.99 price tag on these, but thanks to their goofy systems it still wrung up for $7.99 or so.
Mattel: Wonder Woman - Ares
For how "present" he is in the toys it's surprising that Ares is not in the trailers at all. I really appreciate how Mattel is handling the BAF figure this time: he's completed in the first series of 4 figures, and then the additional figures have extra accessories for him! My knowledge of the character comes exclusively from the old DCD figure and the fairly similar DCUC figure of him, so this design is a bit of a departure; and while he looks neat, he definitely doesn't look as cool as those figures. The idea of the bone helmet and bare feet are neat in theory but look kind of off in the final execution here - there is just some "off" about him overall. Disproportionate... like an inverted triangle, kind of... Anyway, he's a fairly good figure and well articulated though I do seem to have difficulty with his shoulder and bicep articulation. He gets a big sword, cast in semi-translucent orange and painted over to give it a "red hot" appearance - kinda neat!
Mattel: Wonder Woman - Diana of Themyscira
Pre-Wonder Diana here looks pretty good! It's certainly not as dynamic a costume as the Wonder Woman outfit, but it is a pretty good hybrid of "classical Greek/Roman" and the futuristic style the Marvel movies have "popularized." The likeness is okay, but seems a bit wide though that could just be a result of offset paint applications. Articulation is ample, and what we'd expect from Mattel's collector figures. She comes with the lasso of truth coiled up and a sword, which is subtly different than the one that Wonder Woman comes with. This is a neat variation of the main character, and a core piece for the display since there are several other Themyscirans in the line who match her look.
Mattel: Wonder Woman - Queen Hippolyta
Like Diana above, this design very much follows the Thor mode of futuristic classical designs, and while in general I don't like that aesthetic I must concede that it does work well for the Themyscirans here, and in particular I'm digging Hippolyta's look. The mix of gold, copper and bronze looks great and the pseudo overcoat and long skirt help break things up while also not getting too in the way of articulation. The head is well sculpted and painted, and is certainly a reasonable Connie Nielson for Mattel standards. Queen Hipp comes with a big sword, reminiscent of a ram, and a spear with a cool head. I really dig this figure and it took quite a long time to track her down since she's packed one per case - thanks, Matty!
Mattel: Wonder Woman - Steve Trevor
I remember being impressed with the likeness on this figure when it was shown at Toy Fair, but in hand it's not as remarkable. Still far better than any other toy we've gotten of Mssr. Pine, but it seems a bit too broad and scrunched. The costume is neat, but kind of bland and boring, especially compared to the women. I like that this is set during WWI but this outfit is a bit more "period accurate" than "filmic-ly memorable." We shall see though, once the movie is out. He comes with a shotgun, which is surprisingly not the same as the one that came with the Comedian from the Watchmen line. It's fine, but suffers the conspicuously-soft-detail style of Mattel and isn't too compelling as a result; nor can he hold it too well.
Mattel: Wonder Woman - Wonder Woman
I am kind of fascinated by this figure - on one hand I am very thankful to get a neat variation of Wonder Woman and I'm happy they kept the core line narrowed to just the four figures they seem capable of releasing at any one time, but on the other hand, it's crazy they'd not put "signature" WW in the core assortment! So this seems like it would make a good exclusive, but based on the trailers this is just "standing around" WW so it probably wouldn't sell well on its own/without a necessary BAF piece. So I just assumed this was like a removable rubber cloak over a standard WW but that's not the case - the shoulders, biceps and head are sculpted with the cloak present, so... that's just what this figure is. The rest of the figure appears to be identical to Batman V Superman release but with a new "shoulder strap" thing that has a loop for her sword and a loop for the separate and removable lasso (on the BvS figure the lasso was sculpted on to the strap thing). The sculpt is quite good and the metallic red, blue and gold really pop. Fortunately, this is a pretty cool figure as is; I just definitely need to hunt down the (Toys R Us exclusive?) version of signature Wonder Woman as well.