Toys R Us... please don't go away. Where would I find and get all my NECA stuff? They had all the new stuff this week. Declaring bankruptsy isn't that surprising for them, but it's a big bummer. And I'm sure we all have armchair-quarterback causality and solutions, but I just hope they come out doing something more/better than "more in-store activities," which, in this digital age, has kind of shown to be a red herring in terms of sales. We shall see, though, and I will continue to support them as best I can.
Mattel - Hot Wheels: Batmobile ('89 Gray)
FINALLY found my favorite Batmobile in the $1 Hot Wheels range! Sadly, it's dark gray rather than black, but... at least I have it now. It's bigger than I expected too - about an inch wide and just over three inches long! Not bad! I dig the translucent blue windshields, too. Hopefully they'll rerelease an all-black one again in the future (and I'll find it before the damn scalpers run off with it, like they do with all the good stuff).
Mattel - Hot Wheels: Gotta Go
Heavens to Betsy... it's a toilet car! "Yes" and "please," Mattel. The seat on the back is a separate piece and on a hinge joint. It's got little tabs on both sides and the rear wheels do as well... which means that as you roll this sucker along the lid flaps up and down! It's a surprisingly novel play feature for this "too goofy to pass up" car. Here's hoping for more color variations in the future!
Mattel - Hot Wheels: Loopster (Black & Glow)
I love me some roller coasters and I love me some Hot Wheels repaints, so not only is this right up my alley - it even comes with Glow-In-The-Dark wheels! I thought the paint on the cars might be GITD too, but, alas, it's just the wheels. This is the fourth color variation of this car - First was Red & Silver, then Blue & Orange, followed by Green & Silver, and now Black & Yellow. The colors look fantastic here, particularly with the complimentary blues to pulls them together. Also, they've continued to release the "all hands down" and "one person with hands up" variants, which is just too cool! The cars also have clips on the front and back bumpers so that they can daisy-chain together like real roller coasters! I LOVE THEM!!!
Mattel - Hot Wheels: Street Wiener
I mean, come on... how the hell am I supposed to NOT get this!?!? I really love these bizarre Hot Wheels, and for $1 this thing is utterly, delightfully irresistible! The colors are so bright and intoxicating, with really nice tampo-printing for the Ketchup'n'Mustard on the hot dog and the "hot dog tray" undercarriage. Plus the the green wheels really pop and draw all the colors together. And then there's the sculpt... it's just genius! The front is a bright silver (vac metallized?) spatula and the rear spoiler is a friggin' grill! The grill is cast in plastic and the lid even folds down and clips closed! Man... I don't even like Hot Dogs that much and I completely LOVE this car!!!
Mattel - Imaginext: DC Blind Bag Series 3 (Firestorm, Hawkgirl)
Suddenly, the third series of DC themed Imaginext Blindbags has shown up, and they're proving hard to get. Mainly, there will always be a couple on Walgreens' pegs but they're always the incredibly undesirable Vibe (#97). But, thanks to mild luck I was able to find Hawkgirl (#00) and Firestorm (#93)! Thankfully Imaginext presses codes into the bags so you can fairly easily know what you have, but thanks to her wings Hawkgirl isn't hard to miss. She's got a super detail sculpted - it looks good but her head seems under-scaled. She comes with a nice mace, too. Firestorm looks fantastic! (Other than the off-center face on mine...) The sculpt is great and the colors really pop, plus his fire-hair is translucent orange! He comes with an inexplicable pronged accessory... just because... Whatever. These are cool additions to the collection, especially Firestorm, and now I just need to track down Mister Miracle (#98) and Martian Manhunter (#94)! (But will happily skip Vibe and probably Vixen (#99))
Mattel - Imaginext: Darkseid & Parademon
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa....! This set is utterly incredible!!! This is the second Darkseid Imaginext has done and it is epically better than the previous New 52 one! First off - it's classic/Silver Age Darkseid (still his best look, by far!) and secondly he's about half an inch taller than standard Imaginext figures! The sculpt is utterly glorious - my only complaint is that his face is printed slightly askew. He comes with a flippin' Parademon, too! That's also a glorious sculpt, and it's bright yellow and dark greens perfectly complement Darkseid's bright gray and blue! But that's the only down side here... they packed a battle-builder with a singular character! Annoying as hell, Mattel! But at least the sculpt exists so hopefully they'll re-use it more in the future so that we can properly build our armies!
Mattel - Imaginext: Steel & Metallo
Despite hating "Death of Supermen" I must say that I really dig all of the replacement Superman designs (except you, Superboy...) so this Steel figure was an absolute must-have for me. The sculpt is perfection and the dull gray, bright silver and red, cloth, cape look great. And he comes with his trusty sledgehammer of justice! He comes paired with our second Metallo, but this is a big improvement on the previous one and has the same '90s-ish vibe as Steel. His core is a translucent green skull, spine and ribcage, with a "metal" chest that clips closed over it. The body pops open as a play feature, which is a neat intent but the reality is that it's a pain to keep it closed. One plus, though, is that there is no back to the metal head and the green interior acts as a light-pipe that works surprisingly well to give the head "glowing" green eyes!
NECA - Action Figure Stands: Head Stands
I feel like I've been waiting decades for someone to do this! And finally it's here! This pack was a shockingly reasonable $5.99 at Toys R Us (just double checked the receipt - for some reason I thought it was $10, I should have gotten two!) and it comes with three stands, each with five interchangeable "mounts" allowing for some flexibility for different head sockets. They connect via a basic twist'n'lock system and are quite easy to swap out. And the stands have a surprising amount of heft to the bases ensuring they'll stay upright. I just reached for the nearest loose NECA heads I could find and the first was the alternate "fat mask" from the Ultimate Leatherface and its peghole was too small to fit any of these mount... Which betrays the immediate fault here - the various mounts aren't all that different and, worse, NECA has never had a consistent jointing system across their many lines. My guess is that these were primarily intended for Predators, but I don't have one handy to check. Luca the gorilla's head just sits weird anyway but the angled peg was able to fit his neck-hole. New Nightmare Freddy's demon head's peg-hole is a bit too small for the vertical post but I managed to get it to fit. The big question here, though, was "do these work for non-NECA toys," and the answer is a resounding YES. The balljoint that comes already mounted on the stand fits that alternate Dark Phoenix head quite well. All in all, I'm pretty happy with these; and at six bucks a pop I DEFINITELY need to get several more sets!
NECA - Aliens: USCM Arsenal Accessory Set
This is a pretty neat set, but its $29.99 pricetag is a bit of a turn off. The Aliens line could really benefit from an accessory set, especially now that there are flame effects and muzzle flashes for the Pulse Rifles, but at $30 it's really tough to justify getting more than one - especially since there is one of every accessory but two of the Sentry Guns. Two is the max number of sentry guns I really need, but with the un-helmeted Sergeant Windrix, Private Frost and upcoming Colonel Cameron figures the ability to get spare helmets is VERY appealing. Plus, while I don't really need more Pulse Rifles and Flame Throwers, getting the fire/flash effects for them is pretty great. But.... Man, I really, really, really wish that NECA had just put in ONE Sentry Gun and dropped the price on this closer to $20 (maybe dropping some of the other accessories if necessary too). I absolutely would have gotten two, maybe even three, sets then. But... it's just hard to warrant duplicates at $30 and, really, what would I possibly due with four-plus Sentry Guns? The set comes with re-releases of the 2.0 versions of the Flame Thrower & Pulse Rifle retooled to hold their matching "effects." We also get a repainted helmet from the SDCC Newt figure, Bishop's Knife & Flashlight, Hicks' shotgun, a pistol and a messenger bag. The all-new/exclusive additions are two laptops with flip-up screens and, surprisingly, both screens have different graphics - very a nice touch indeed. Then, of course, the Sentry Guns. They "necks" have a (limited motion) hinge joint on the top of the stand and a swivel joint at the base of the gun. It's nice and allows for some posing, but not a huge amount of variation. There is also (what I assume is) an ammo box with a rubber hose that plugs in to the gun. They're nice, but they are just diorama filler. Overall, it's a good set and you certainly get your money's worth, but it's less of an "Accessory Set" and more of a "Sentry Gun" set.
NECA - Blade Runner 2049 - Deckard
Well, hey hey hey - we're FINALLY getting an official Deckard figure. Too bad it's from the new movie though. 2049 was okay, but it lacked all the cool aesthetics and designs from the original and there is no better case-in-point than Deckard. Last time he had a pretty stylish trenchcoat, a dark tie and an art deco shirt. Now, he's in a gray T-Shirt, and in some scenes gets a ratty jacket. Yawn. Regardless of that, though, this is actually a really good figure. The likeness is incredible, particularly when considering how hard it's been for toys to get Ford's face right over the many years. The articulation is really where it's at though - the elbows are double-balljointed and work fantastically! They also put side-to-side hinges in the hands which work so much better than their normal ball-and-socket joints. Plus, coolest of all, we get his classic Blade Runner gun from the first movie. Accepting the mediocre costume design this is actually a really great figure.
NECA - Blade Runner 2049 - Officer K
K is just as good a figure as Deckard, but actually has a neat costume this time. Really, it's just his coat that's cool but at least it's visually interesting and "futuristic" (even though it's just another T-Shirt underneath. He's got all the same good articulation as Deckard and a great likeness too, though it is kind of disorienting to see Gosling's eyes even here since they are noticeably uneven in movies/real-life. He comes with his generic sci-fi gun. These are both good figures, much better than I expected and certainly worth owning. But the costumes (and non-K characters) in this movie are just so... "meh" I can't imagine buying anymore. Unless they do Batista or maybe the digital girlfriend.
Playmates - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Samurai Don
I've been holding off on getting the Samurai Turtles until I find Usagi Yojimbo... but at this point I've kind of given up hope so I finally got Donnie, since he's a bit rarer as he came in the second wave with Usagi. The sculpt is remarkably good here! Very, very detailed! The paint is even really nice (at least until you look at the prototypes on the back of the card which look even better with tons more paint detailing). Donnie comes with a removable helmet and dragon face mask (just like his brothers) and a spiked staff. I'm bummed that I can't find Usagi and especially that I waited so long to get these - this is the best modern TMNT figure I think I've bought since the line started [ http://www.oafe.net/blog/?p=10566 ]! (5 years ago!?)