Okay, I’m a bit behind the gun this week, so rather than take photos of the latest and greatest, lets dig in to an unposted batch from a while back! Enjoy my precious! Eeeeeeennnnnnjjjjjjooooooyyyyyyy...
Disney Interactive - Disney Infinity: Quorra
I've been circling around the Disney Infinity figures since that whole thing started. I love collectibles/figures and I love Disney and I really like the sylized aesthetic of the line, so this stuff is right up my alley, BUUUUT I just could never justify the prices. Even on sale they were still a couple more dollars than my perceived "worth" for them, especially since I only want the figures and will never play the game (I don't enjoy videogames, as you might recall). Plus... knowing me, and my love of Disney, this stuff is a very slippery slope. But then... series 3 rolls out these figures... I really enjoy Tron: Legacy, despite its flaws, so the chance for more merch was just too attractive to deny - plus Toys R Us had a "buy one get one" sale the week of or right after launch making the prices more palatable. Quorra is not a favorite for me so I would have GREATLY preferred a Clu or even a Rinzler to her, but what are ya gonna do? The pose is really striking and the sculpt is great while the paint is remarkably clean/good. The base is clear plastic so I'll need to get a tea light or something to place her on.
Disney Interactive - Disney Infinity: Sam Flynn
Quorra's pose is much my dynamic but Sam is much more Tron-y so I certainly prefer him to her. It's kind of a bummer that they put him in a black mask, but I get it. It's also kind of nice that they got the coloring right for him - white, instead of blue like the Spin Master figures - but these figures are remarkably dull with being just black and white. It would have been nice if they'd put a light-up feature in them, or light-piping or something. Still though, the bases are translucent so maybe just a blue LED underneath it will add some nice color. A friend explained the game to me, so apparently these figures house chips which store player data so it can be ported around to different consoles, and that IS pretty cool and certainly helps justify the $15 pricetag. Still though, I do wish it was much lower so I could have collected this line more thoroughly.
DST - Avengers: Age of Ultron Minimates: Bruce Banner & War Machine
This was a surprise when DST tweeted out a photo of this on TRU shelves. I'm not really crazy about the non-marketing they do for these - maybe the idea is "it's fun to be surprised," and there is some merit to that, but TRU exclusive Minimates can be really tough to track down so I just got a flood of anxiety when I saw that picture, especially since Ruffalo-Banner is my favorite thing about the Avengers movies. Bruce turned out pretty great, the figure is nice and he's got tussled up, peppery hair. The face is remarkably good and easily identifiable as Ruffalo, too! Surprisingly he comes with an alternate, "hulking out" head - a really nice touch! That likeness isn't as great though, and they eyes get a bit lost in the hair. I did try that head with Hulk hair and while it did look better, than hair includes green ears, so no dice. War Machine is identical to the Iron Man 3 one but with slightly different colors and weird new face deco. The face seems conspicuously small and generic, even for Minimates. I am pretty tempted, being the kind of collector I am, to get a second set to display War Machine unmasked and hulking-out Banner, but I gotta admit those heads aren't all that impressive to really compel me to drop another $8.
DST - Avengers: Age of Ultron Minimates: Hulkbuster Iron Man & Rampaging Hulk
Who doesn't love Hulkbuster Iron Man!? I will confess that he felt a little shoehorned into Age of Ultron, but then again pretty much everything felt shoehorned in for me. This mate of ol' HB captures it pretty darn well with a very detailed sculpt and paint. The head and shoulders swing up to reveal a fully painted Iron Man head and the same goes for his torso under the armor, too. It does seem a little strange that DST didn't include an extra pair of hands a feet so that we could strip down Iron Man to his Mark Whatever armor, but ultimately it ain't no thang - I'd always want him in the armor and I certainly don't need a second Rampaging Hulk. Oh poor licensees... a relatively last-minute change cost you an easy variant and fun bit of fan service. This 'mate of the not-really-onscreen version of Hulk is pretty good, though, and still green enough as to seem accurate enough to fit Hulkbuster.
DST - Avengers: Age of Ultron Minimates: Ulysses Klaue & Hulk
This is a pretty fun set! You gotta have Hulk, so he alone makes it a must-have, but getting a figure of Klaw? That's just too fun and exactly why I love Minimates! Hulk uses the same bulky body pieces we've seen before but the paint is clean and colorful, making him appropriately unique. Klaw... he's just totally perfect. I really like Andy Serkis so I love seeing in a non Mo-Cap role, and this figure looks just like him. The paint is really nice and even captures his really detailed tattoo! He comes with a gun and a knife, both of which fit on his belt. The only thing missing from this set would be an alternate arm for Klaw. I was really debating what to do with Age of Ultron series 2, since gray Hulk and phasing Vision never really appear on screen and just feel like filler, honestly, in the lineup, but since both this and Hulkbuster sets are available at TRU I just went ahead and got them, so now I just need the regular Vision set from the Direct Market to go home happy.
DST - Marvel Animated Minimates, "Ultimate Spider-Man": Stealth Suit Spider-Man & Ultimate Sandman
This series was also a COMPLETE surprise when I found it at TRU, but rather than being exciting I was just confused - I mean, I thought we were told that the animated Minimates were going to be totally exclusive to Walgreens...? Still though, this is a novel little series with some fun figures. Based on the back of the box I was thinking this Spider-Man was glow-in-the-dark, which would have been AWESOME, but alas - no such luck. I do really like him, though - he's terribly unique and pretty dynamic for being white lines on a clear body. Sandman's outfit is pretty darn goofy but apparently it's based on an old Jack Kirby design. And how utterly genius is it that they used Groot's feet to simulate sand-spill!? This, guys, this is the kind of clever re-use that made me fall in love with the line in the Minimate format in the first place! After seeing the alternate torso for Spidey in yo's review that cinched it - alternate looks for both characters? I'm buying a second. I do wish they'd included regular feet for Sandman to go with his regular arms, but what're ya gonna do? Interestingly his shoulder armor is a single neck piece, a great touch that removes the constantly spinning shoulder armor we've seen in the past, but what's weird that that there's an additional collar piece with a tiny tab on one side which really limits poseability and basically turns the neck joint into a swivel.
DST - Marvel Animated Minimates, "Ultimate Spider-Man": Ultimate Nova & Ultimate Carnage
I really dig the more artistic (read: painted shadows/grading) on these animated figures and that really helps this Nova stand apart from the previous one despite using the same helmet. He comes with a flight "swoosh" that's not only translucent blue but also has some light blue spots painted on it for effect. I like that he's got an alternate hairpiece and kinda wish that Carnage had an alt-look too to warrant doubling up, but Nova is bland enough I don't really want more than one. Conversely, this version of Carnage is really neat looking and I appreciate how is both unique and classic in appearance. I do prefer my Carnage proper-red while this is more of a muted, tomato red, but he may well be my favorite 'mate in the series.
DST - Marvel Animated Minimates, "Ultimate Spider-Man": Ultimate Spider-Man & Ultimate Nick Fury
This set is such an easy pass, unless you're a completist like me. I'm so, so, so tired of "Ultimate Nick Fury" - after 15 years can't we please give him a new, non-trenchcoat "iconic" look? PLEASE! Spidey is more or less "just another Spidey," and seemingly identical to the one at Walgreens. While Fury gets a gun, Spidey gets the same old web loops we have a million of since they've been using it from the beginning. It's seriously time for a "Version 2" - this thing is just too thick and heavy by today's Minimates aesthetics AND it remains permanently coiled! I can't get any of them to straighten out, and web-lines are always straight in the comics and movies!
Hasbro - G.I. Joe 50th: Blowtorch & Croc Master
I love crocodiles but I was turned off by the silly red coloring when I first saw thing. In person, though? It's crazy enough to work and actually looks kind of cool! I think the Croc Master looks pretty snazzy in his gray and red look and I'm little tempted to get another set to have him be the official guard/army of Red Cobra Commander, below. Blowtorch is pretty neat and actually looks much cooler in these more Army-ish colors than his standard ones, so indeed perhaps I will battle built this set. Which also includes an insane volume of accessories considering what $15 buys you elsewhere in the toy world!
Hasbro - G.I. Joe 50th: Shipwreck & Cobra Commander
I don't think I have a Shipwreck and I love Cobra Commander, this set is a given for me. Shipwreck is WAAAAAAY cooler than I ever imagines and the figure turned out so cool that my imagination immediately starts writing movies for him. I love his parrot, too, but it's tough to find a place for it, though its tiny clip-feet just barely fit the handle on the back of his SWAT vest. On his right thigh is a gun holster that fits both a gun AND a silencer the mounts on it. Seriously, guys... in 3¾" scale... that's just damn impressive engineering and infinitely inspiring for the imagination! Cobra Commander, though, doesn't quite work out. The black and red color scheme is a interesting idea but it definitely doesn't gel super great here. I think they could have been better off using a different body, maybe something more armored. I love that he included both the silver mask and cowl heads, and the cape is a great idea but it doesn't fit him very well, especially when wearing the cowl head.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Misty Knight
When first revealed I just couldn't roll my eyes hard enough. Like most of the obscure females now getting Marvel Legends figures I'd never heard of her AND she's so very Blaxsploitation-y looking. However... once in hand I gotta admit that there is something really catchy about this figure and it's growing on me by the minute! It may be very genre, but it does work pretty and is certainly unique on the shelf. I dig the gold robo-hand and the big, golden gun is pretty fun. The only problem here, though, is that every figure of her is painted massively wall-eyed - that pretty much ruins the figure's chances of really becoming something special. She too comes with Rhino's torso, like White Tiger, and I really, really appreciate that because we get two heads for Rhino so now, by simply completing the set I have a full Rhino figure AND, in effect, a mini-bust displaying the alternate head! Now THAT is some very appreciated forethought, Hasbro!
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Superior Venom
Okay, so, spoiler-alert, according to the back of the box this is Doc Ock!? Geez, man, at this point has anyone NOT been Venom? At first I was turned off by this figure (mainly because of the web lining on the neck and head - that ain't Venom!) but it's grown on me a lot. I LOVE the head sculpt - it's really interesting and unique; it turned out sculpturally beautiful even though is is a bit lost in the webbing. The red diamonds on the forearms are an interesting touch. What really helps set this Venom apart, though, are the four tendrils coming off the back, but ultimately they're really disappointing. A symbiote "mount" is glued into the back peghole of the figure and each tendril has a uniquely shaped peg matching a specific peghole on the backpack. Yep, that's right, they aren't ball-and-socket joints. Nor are the tendrils bendy, so ultimately they are totally nonposeable! What the hell, Hasbro!? Overall I like the figure, and am happy to ad him to my growing Symbiote collection, but the lack of play value with the tendrils almost flat-out ruins the figure.
Lego - Seasonal: Halloween Door Stoop
After skipping the summer months Lego is back with a seasonal diorama. Even though they cost a bit more I definitely prefer these to the polybags of previous months. That said, though, this one isn't that great. I like the colors and the intent but it just ends up looking very cobbled together unlike the dynamic Easter kitchen or the beautiful Valentine's Day restaurant. I suppose you get a couple fun bricks/colors and the red spider may be unique, but ultimately I don't see any real reason to get this set. I had hoped it would be a fun backdrop for the latest series of Collectible Minifgures (which is all Halloween themed) but this stoop is still too generic and would need some heavy MOC-ing to be worth those mini-figures' awesomeness.
NECA - Aliens: Genocide Black Xenomorph Warrior
I really want an all-black Aliens Warrior and hoped this would be it but instead of Blue or Brown like the figures from the first to series, this guy gets a bronze dry-brush which ultimately just looks too colorful and too similar to the Brown Warrior to be either what I want or all that exciting. He's basically identical to the 2-pack version and it's weird to include those guys individually in this series but I guess they had to pad out those numbers to afford the new tooling on broken Bish and Aliens Ripley, the latter of which is proving utterly impossible to find. Other than the bronze paint this guy is identical to the previous figure, so you know what you're getting.
NECA - Aliens: Bishop (Queen Attack)
This is a fun little set. I was curious to see how they'd handle "finale" Bishop and this certainly does the trick. It's obviously more of a diorama pack than anything else, but it's nice nonetheless. The egg and facehugger as welcome additions to the collection and nicely executed, though they do feel a bit like filler. Bishop himself is alright but not especially exciting. The arms are the same as from the regular figure but the rest is all new. The shirt is soft rubber with a hard plastic torso inside which does a decent job of capturing the android guts, though they do seem a bit darker than expected. The weirdest thing here, though, is the head which seems very stylistically different that the rest of line and certainly different than the regular figure. The likeness is more caricatured and the head is noticeably narrow. It's odd. Frankly I would have preferred a repainted head to this; it just doesn't seem like the same person. Still though, this is a novel little collection to pad your display.
Playmobil - Dragons: 5484 Teal Dragon and Soldier
Toys R Us clearanced out these Playmobil Dragon sets so I finally bought in. The dragon is pretty neat, and really the only reason to get this set. He's a decent size and has little grip-y hands on his non-moveable wings. I'm not crazy that he has fire permanently molded into his lower jaw. The coloring is pretty appealing, though, dark blue with teal accents and lime green patterning on his underbelly - it's nice! His companion soldier is colored similarly and is fairly standard for the line. He comes with a gold sword that has sculpted on tassels which immediately brings The sword from Crouching Tiger to mind. There's also a mid-sized crossbow weapon which is nice enough though kind of superfluous. It's nice enough set, and really shines thanks to the colors in use, but with such a static Dragon there's not much play value here. And really, I just got this to compliment the figures in the Tower set.
Playmobil - Dragons: 5480 Dragon tower
When this line was first revealed it was very exciting because we were finally getting the much requested historical Chinese/Japanese line, but that excitement wore off quickly once it became clear the promise of that was wrapped up in and weighed down by these goofy fantasy dragons. Plus, the castles were a hint too pan-Asian as opposed to immediately identifiable to one culture (though I think they do skew a bit more Japanese). This is the smaller of the two but I couldn’t pass it up for the circa $30 price TRU had it clearanced down to. The two human klickies are pretty average (read: too fantastical in aesthetic) for this theme. The dragons are nice; there is one that's a reuse of the Foil Bag version and a neat smaller one that is pretty cute and cool looking. The castle/tower itself is remarkably large with a square-ish footprint, though turned diagonally. The gate has a nice hinge feature where it's raised by two chain, but it's a purely manual thing - there's no gears or levers for the figures to hold or pull, nor is there a way to "lock" it open. The walls are also basically just big sheets, so they are fine but they really, really, really make one lament the death of the Steck system since there is no option to customize here. There are some surprisingly cool details, like the torches on the exterior and the stylized fish on the roof. The real star, though, is the super cool dragon altar! It's a really cool design, King Cobra-esque, of a dragon fanning itself over an orb. Insert some batteries and hit the button and that orb lights up via pretty bright blue LEDs! It has two modes, flickering and constant; both of which are pretty cool. The dragon's head is hollow with a chunk of translucent red inlaid for the eyes with act as a light pipe so they glow when the orb is turned on. The Tower is neat, but the altar is the reason to get this set!