I have a bit of goodies scored from New York City! I made the general Time Square rounds and bought some stuff from the Lego Store at Rockefeller Center and Midtown Comics. The Disney Store had a new light-up version of their Minnie Mouse as the Statue of Liberty Vinylmation, buuuut, I had just spent more at the Lego Store than I expected so I'll stick with the one I got last time I was there. Then back home I had some great luck at Walgreens and TRU too!
DST - Marvel Animated Minimates: "Avengers Assemble" Black Bolt & Medusa
Found almost all the newest series of Walgreens Minimates while out looking for Human Torch, and I gotta say this is kind of a weak series... there's really no stand-out figure or two-pack; but this one is pretty good, all things considered. The muted colors or the cartoon do result in a more muted appeal of the figures, but they're nice enough. Black Bolt has little flappy wings sculpted onto his arms and he comes with an alternate screaming head and that neat Banshee scream effect (though it sits a bit loose here). Medusa gets a quite impressive new hairpiece that does a pretty good job of getting across the bulky sized of her mane and allows her to hover a bit. The grip of the hair on her head is actually pretty solid so she does stay up hovering. In fact, it works well enough that, like Mr. Fantastic, I'd kinda like to see some alternate sculpts where the hair could be punching or able to hold another Minimate up. Ultimately, I dig this set more than I expected too.
DST - Marvel Animated Minimates: "Ultimate Spider-Man" K'un-Lun Armor Spider-Man & Iron Fist
This Spider-Man is fun just because it's so goofy and extreme. The paint is pretty good and I dig that Asian armor he's got on - it's bright colors are quite nice. Surprisingly, underneath it his chest does have a bit of torso paint with his spider logo on it. Iron Fist is good enough, but the mask piece is awfully ridiculous as he has perfectly shorn hair as part of it. More like "Iron Mullet." He also gets a little fiery punch effect.
DST - Marvel Animated Minimates: "Ultimate Spider-Man" Iron Patriot & White Tiger
Yeeeee-aaaawwwn. Iron Patriot has never done anything for me and here it really does just seem like a "cheap and easy" repaint. At least he comes with a flight stand and has a removable "helmet" which does help with the sense of value. Weirdly, his right shoulder joint is very shallow causing his arm to come off super easily. White Tiger remains one of the most boring costumes to me, and it doesn't really compliment Patriot's much at all adding to the bland feeling of the set. She does come with alternate hair and her mask, with sculpted-on ponytail, is removable. This whole series is really just about adding to the collection as opposed to "gotta have that 'mate," unlike previous series.
DST - The Nightmare Before Christmas Minimates: Devil & Corpse Boy
Weirdly, I found these two NBX sets at a Toys R Us, even though this is supposed to be the Direct Market assortment... Did something mix up, or is TRU carrying both this and their exclusive series? Anyway, here we get two move denizens of Halloween Town. The Devil works better than expected in this form, particularly with his sculpt horns and goatee. I'm a little tempted to move the head over to other Minimates to see if I could make a straight-up devil. His painted face is a bit stylized, but if DST ever gets a chance to go back to original designs I'd be interested to see what they could do with this head sculpt. He also gets the sole accessory of the set, his pitchfork. Corpse Boy is a fun little fat-ass. They sculpted up new tiny legs to help hid his height, and it'll be interesting to see when and where those get reused. They do look kinda odd, but I really like how short they let him be.
DST - The Nightmare Before Christmas Minimates: Zombie Sax Player & Undersea Gal
Next up is the Sax Player, which will complete the trio assuming the other two guys are still coming as a TRU exclusive set. He's a nice figure, a decent sculpt and okay paint, but his sax turned out surprisingly good for the size and line. Plus, its handle allows you to pivot it so it can almost actually line up to his mouth - nice! Then, we get the "Undersea Gal" - she too is a fun sculpt that is surprisingly undetailed for how sculptural Minimates have gotten in the last few years. I dig it! Having the scales be painted on rather than sculpted does help better translate her into the Minimate style. Her tail is sculpted standing and it has a peghole that perfectly fits the standard base. Sadly, though, it's a bit too shallow to fully fit on one of the "flight stands" (as though she were leaping out of water) but she can balance well enough for a while on it.
DST - Thor Ragnarok Minimates: Roadworn Hero Thor & Civilian Loki
DST has taken a very different, very interesting approach to the release of Minimates for Thor: Ragnarock and I gotta say I'm digging it - especially since it means that Walgreens is now carrying movie Minimates, too! This is first of their two exclusive sets and it's easily the least exciting of the entire line. "Regular" Thor is a nice addition to the collection and I love that his armor detailing is paint rather than sculpt. While I do like all-black business suits (and their customizing opportunities for Minimates) it's really damn boring to look at here, especially with "plain head" Loki. Or is it Tommy Wiseau? I get that people "love" Hiddleston Loki (which I'll never understand) but he gets three different Minimates for Ragnarok and is this one really all that necessary? I'd much, much, much rather have gotten something cool, like Dr. Strange from the epilogue of his movie - that'd make a much cooler looking figure and it ties in to this Thor too. But... oh well.
DST - Thor Ragnarok Minimates: Skurge & Grandmaster
Now THIS is a great set! Interesting designs and loads of color! I would have liked some accessories (isn't Skurge wielding off-the-shelf machine guns in the trailer, that'd be easy enough) but it's not a deal breaker. Karl Urban's Skurge is surprisingly comic-accurate with that weird hair/tattoo look. He gets sculpted bracers and torso armor, and his chest has a print on it under the armor, too! Goldblum's Grandmaster is just nutty fun and this 'mate seems to capture it really well. Who knows if it'll work at all in the film but he makes for a hell of a fun addition to the shelf here! I really hope the movie and these Minimates do exceedingly well because I would LOVE to see DST do a second series with some of the awesome Jack Kirby-esque designs we've seen from Sakaar!
DST - Thor Ragnarok Minimates: Sakkar Loki & Heimdall
This is Toys R Us' one exclusive set for the movie (they also share two-packs with Walgreens of Gladiator Thor & Hela and Gladiator Hulk & Valkeryie - so Walgreens has four sets and TRU has three). Loki looks good here, despite my strong dislike of this costume. I'm a big fan of painted, rather than sculpted, detail on Minimates - which is what we have here. Conversely Heimdall gets an all new, all big coat/cape sculpted piece. Unfortunately there is no printing on his chest underneath (which possibly would have talked me into getting a second set, since I love Idris Elba so much). He does come with his big sword, which is a welcome inclusion! It's a good set and while it is "another" Loki, at least he pairs with Grandmaster, and Heimdall is an additional character for the display we'd otherwise not have!
DST - Thor Ragnarok Minimates: Box Set (Gladiator Thor, Hela, Bruce Banner, Loki)
I was rather shocked when DST announced they'd just be doing a four-pack for Thor Ragnarok, but after seeing all the exclusives they're doing it started to make a bit more sense. Hela is a fantastic figure with gorgeous paint detailing on her body, plus she gets two heads and alternate hair and giant headdress! Gladiator Thor is equally neat, and comes with his two blue swords and alternate short-hair and helmet. Both of these are available as a 2-pack at TRU and Walgreens, which I'll definitely pick up thanks to alternate looks for both figures! Loki and Banner are exclusive to this set, and both are neat but not great. Loki is in a more "normal" costume for his MCU look (but the amount of black is a real bummer - why can't they just let him wear green and yellow!?) and he comes with a unique hair piece featuring his new helmet-less crown. Bruce is welcome but the all-gray outfit is certainly bland. He gets an alternate "almost Hulking out" head, which is nice... but... I guess maybe I'll just wait on another Hela/Thor until I see the movie to see I need/want a second Loki (maybe do a hair swap with a second Sakaar Loki?) and a second Banner.
Lego - Magnet: Statue of Liberty
My visit to New York City a few years back kicked off this mini-collection of Toys Of The Statue Of Liberty that I'm kind of amassing, so I opted to continue that trend with this exclusive to the Lego Store at Rockefeller Plaza. It's the same Statue Minifigure from one of the CMF series from long ago, but it's a great one so I'm happy to have another. Surprisingly, NONE of the parts here are glued at all! The minifigure fully pulls apart and is removable from the base! The base is a 4x4 magnet brick with a print "New York" skyline tile, and the a 2x1 tile and 2x1+2x2 "overhang" brick make the vertical stand for the statue. It's a great souvenir and I really, really, really wish all Lego Stores (or at least in remarkable locations) had some kind of store exclusive like this!
Lego - Pick-A-Model: Statue of Liberty
Last time I was there they had an exclusive Statue of Liberty polybag set while this time it's an exclusive Pick-A-Model build. I've never done a Pick-A-Model before, which in essence is a clamshell case with a booklet showing what bricks you need and build instructions inside it. Then you go through the Pic-A-Brick wall collecting out the necessary pieces on your own. It was an annoying process for this one since it just shows you how many bricks but doesn't give you an actual count, and even though I was "checking off" as I went, I still managed to NOT get the 2x3 tile needed for the base. Ugh. It's cute for what it is, but despite using a bunch of bricks that statue is awfully far off model. But... at $5.99 I can't really complain (TOO much).
Lego - Pick-A-Brick: Small Container
I haven't done Pick-A-Brick in AGES... but since they had all these, what?, "copper green" bricks there for the Statue, I decided I couldn't pass up this relatively rare color so I filled up a small bucket with those bricks and some others that seemed worth getting. Including some sky blue and gray plates that seem intended to "plus up" the P-A-M Statue, which seemed like a cool, fun, easy thing to do - and so I did it!
Lego - Seasonal: 40260 Halloween Haunt
I've gotten a bit burnt out on these seasonal sets, but this one is kinda fun. Obviously, Halloween themed stuff is going to grab my attention, but it's the brick build miniature/forced perspective scene that I found so appealing. Inside this "crypt" is the silhouette of a small castle, set in front of a yellow-orange sky, It's a pretty fun effect, but I do wish the set was a built taller. I could easily do with out the freestanding cauldron setpiece or the confusing pumpkin/rat piece in lieu of building out the crypt diorama a bit more. We get a skeleton and a not-Vampire here, which is fine but not very exciting. What IS exciting, though, is the inclusion of the awesome Jack'O'Lantern from the Scooby Doo line. For $9.99, this is a fairly novel little set.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Human Torch
Walgreens' run of exclusive Fantastic Four figure continues with this Johnny Storm! He's good, but unlike his sister, Sue, he ain't great. The plus side is that he gets an all new head (and, like Sue, it is arguably the best Human Torch head yet) and new fiery forearms, hands, calves, and feet. He also comes with alternate "regular" fists and "power punch" fist effects plus an all new fire piece for his shoulders & back. He's cast in translucent plastic with dark reddish paint for his "belt," collar and "4" symbol. BUT what's a big bummer is that the head is a different, much lighter shade of orange than the rest of his body while the calves and feet are a darker, less "milky"/diffused plastic. It just looks weird. Certainly better than NO Johnny Storm; but it's not at all the home run that Sue Storm was. Still - get it. It's the best Human Torch figure yet and it's definitely worth supporting Walgreens and their awesome exclusives!
Mega Construx - Mega Construx Heroes: Aliens Marine
I've been dragging my feet on this series mainly due to sticker shock. I mean, in the world of single packed mini-figures these guys are the most expensive at $4.99 a pop, and Mega Bloks - oh, I mean Mega CONTRUX [eye-roll] are definitely not of a quality matching that distinction. But, I finally found some Xeno's so I went ahead and got these. The Marine here is non-character-specific (though I think that chest deco is Hudson's) and a pretty good figure. Sculpt and articulation is what we'd expect from the brand, and the paint is a bit cleaner than normal. He comes with a tiny knife, a removable shoulder-light pack and a pulse rifle; plus a three part stand. It's neat, but at $5 is not really something worth armybuilding - especially with no sets to go with it (though an APC and/or Dropship would be awfully tempting...)
Mega Construx - Mega Construx Heroes: Xenomorph
These guys have been the hardest to find figure in this first series, for obvious reasons, but I finally found two and thus bought in. Good sculpts, especially for the size, and decent paint. It comes with two facehuggers, one splayed and one closed for heads, and two clip-on claws. I'm very glad I found two because the claw on one of these guys broke in two places! The middle finger snapped off while removing it from the packaging and one of its clip-sides snapped off while trying to put it on the Alien. Cool. Interestingly there is a peghole in the Xeno's mouth, so I think we can certainly expect a re-release with inner-jaw accessory down the road. Honestly, aside from the breakage, this is a better figure than I expected it to be - but still not worth $5 to me.
Moose Toys - Grossery Gang: Putrid Pizza
Yes - found the last two figures I need of wave 1! (Now just gotta find Blow Fly, Squished Banana and Fungus Fries from the second wave) This guy is an obvious favorite because, come on, who doesn't love pizza? Like the other figures he's a got a great sculpt with lots of paint to draw out all the yummy, or gross, details. He's got balljointed shoulders and hips along with a ball-and-socket head - and, yes, it can be interchanged with the little rubbery sidekick, too! This dude's accessory is a slice servin' spatula, and it's got a gross mound in the middle... which is exactly the size of the peg-hole in the sidekicks, so he can serve up his buddy to ya! Man - the more I get of these the more I see why folks are loving them! Just pure, utter toy fun!
Moose Toys - Grossery Gang: Vac Attack
Here is our sole "good guy" (or bad guy, if you're on the side the muck). The cardback poises this line as: Join the Grossery Gang as they power up to fight the Clean Team in a battle of septic proportions! And yet... this guy is the only member of the Clean Team in the line. He's a cool design and sculpt - very retro future robot! And the metallic red paint really pops and adds a good sense of value to him! He too gets balljointed shoulders and hips. His head only swivels due to the sculpt, but it is still removable and swappable with the sidekicks! His is a bit too big, though, and HARD plastic as opposed to the rubber of the other ones, but you can still pop the Grossery Gang guys on there as though it's Mech Suit for them! His accessory is a four-hosed backpack, which is removable. Interestingly, his right hand is a vacuum cleaner and on the under-side is a peg-hole the same size a little bigger than the sidekicks' - I have no idea why... but it's there. Gross food is obviously more easy and fun to come up with than neat cleaning products, but this is a fun and welcome addition and I hope we see some more in future series!