Back in December, Toys R Us had a "Buy One, Get One 40% Off" sale on Justice League figures, so, against my better judgement, I broke down and bought in. Then, after seeing yo mention it in a review, I hit up a Five Below to take advantage of their Fall dump of Hasbro overstock. So... away we go!
Funko - 9POA '66 Batman: Bookworm
After dragging my feet for so long I finally pulled the trigger on the rest of Funko's great Batman '66 line (thanks to TRU having the two villains I still needed, and for BuyOneGetOne40%Off!). Bookworm is a very excitingly deep cut of a villain! Memorable chiefly for having been played by beloved character-actor Roddy McDowell, I don't think he was really on anyone's must-have list - but, even more so than King Tut, if they're going to open with this guy then really EVERYONE is on the table and I very much hope the line continues going strong (though word on a second series has been pretty mum). The figure is quite good for the 9POA format, and his hat-lamp and glasses are separately tooled pieces glued on. He comes with a ridiculously large book but, fortunately, his right hand is sculpted wide - in fact it is a perfect fit for the book with the fingers and thumb fitting snuggly in the grooves of the book's spine - well played, Funko!
Funko - 9POA '66 Batman: Mr. Freeze (Otto Preminger)
Mr. Freeze has been an exceptionally personal favorite ever since his iconic introduction on Batman: The Animated Series so I've been eagerly awaiting product from him on the Adam West show, and Funko has fully delivered. The sculpt is pretty nice and fits the 9POA format/aesthetic well. He comes with his big freeze ray gun that, like Bookworm's book, fits in his hand surprisingly well and in no substantive way restricts articulation on his arm - nicely done, Funko! This is the standard release featuring the bald head of Otto Preminger, and then there is a chase variant with his replacement on the show Eli Wallach. I really want that one too, but at this point it seems I'll have to resort to the dreaded secondary market in order to complete the collection, alas.
Hasbro - Marvel 4": Hydro-Man
FiveBelow has this wave of Not-Marvel-Infinite 4" figures, and... well, for 5 bucks I went ahead and got this kooky figure. From the waist up, this guy is just your average mediocrity of the line. Decent sculpt, decent paint, weird articulation that is oddly limited in range. From the waist down, though, he's a water boy! The pillar of water is a gorgeous translucent light blue/teal color and is sculpted pretty well. It's a hollow, hard plastic core with a soft rubber exterior featuring all the sculpted detail. This figure is fun as a novelty but sadly not much else. The water "legs" are fairly clever in their engineering and execution, but beyond that, there's unfortunately not much to this figure that's all that appealing.
Hasbro - Marvel 4": Gamora & Star-Lord
As the name would imply, at FiveBelow everything is $5 and under, so... $5 for two figures? Sure, why not. I definitely wanted the Groot, and after a lot of hemming and hawing I got this set too, because it was just $5 to complete the team... Gamora is a repaint of the newly tooled 4" figure, which FiveBelow also had, and actually the paint on this one is actually kinda nicer than the single carded release. I would prefer it if she were in the same uniform as the rest of the team but this is a pretty dynamic suit and her green head and short hair are a nice counterpoint to it. She comes with a big sword and laser gun - for SPACE!!! Star-Lord is a repaint of the previous figure and basically the only difference is that rather than a red line on the chest, arms and legs it's now a garishly bright white. Really, the white is just such an unappealing choice and it makes them look less like a kickass space team and more like porters on a cruise ship. But, what're ya gonna do? Five dollars.
Hasbro - Marvel 4": Groot & Rocket Racoon
Like Star-Lord above, Rocket is a straight repaint of the previous figure but with the gross white stripes instead of the red ones as before. He's got swivel shoulders and ball-in-socket head and tail. The real star here is Groot, though! Previously we only got Groot as a little seedling in a pot so it's nice to get a full grown one here, and the sculpt is fantastic! His lower legs, feet, forearms, hands and head are really nicely sculpted and cast in an appropriate brown plastic that has a rich black wash which brings out a lot of detail. The rest of him is in a Guardians uniform, which I can't tell if I like or not, but it really highlights how weird it is that Gamora isn't in one. Still though, Groot is a fantastic figure and well worth the $5 I paid for this set!
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: Admiral Ackbar & First Order Officer
Woohoo - Ackbar! Everybody's favorite Mon Calamarian Meme! The sculpt is fantastic and the articulation is really well engineered (all things considered) - it really is night-and-day the difference in quality between figures they had to "rush" out to meet a release date and ones they could take their time with. He has an articulated jaw, and to make that work it appears that his head is three parts - a neck, the cranium and the jaw. And the latter is sort of a single free-floating, wrap-around part as opposed to hinged to the cranium because you can even twist and offset the jaw a bit for some more variation. He comes in his Force Awakens costume which suffers the same "boring design + bland earth tones" of almost ALL the modern era costumes, but the red of his head and forearms help offset that and makes him a bit more interesting and dynamic. Contrarily, the First Order duder is boring as F.O.ck. He's obviously just quick reuse of the Finn figure from Last Jedi but with a new head and skin tone. I was surprised to see an Officer in the film that actually kinda looks like this guy, so I suppose he's someone specific... but why they didn't pick someone like the Dreadnought Commander or something is beyond me. He does come with a little blaster that fits well in his hand or his holster and his tiny hat is removable and fits shockingly well and secure on his head. Overall, this is just a boring as heck two-pack and it was a struggle to justify spending the $40 on this, even as a Toys R Us exclusive.
Hasbro - Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Battle 3-Pack
Oh man - this set is awesome! It's a bummer these aren't single carded releases because I definitely want multiples, but only really need one Luke. He is a great sculpt, though! A bit skinny, but a nice pose (though I'd prefer his legs not posed staggered - it makes him a bit wobbly). The Imperial Guard is a nice new sculpt, and under the cloak sports the now-standard Crimson Empire armor. His right arm and hand are excellently sculpted to hold his staff as seen on screen. The real star here, though, is the PERFECT Emperor figure! The sculpt is immaculate - great pose, great likeness, great cross-hatched texturing on the cloak... he's just beautiful! And as if that wasn't enough, he comes with interchangeable hands! One pair is his "old guy" set, which allows him to hold his cane with the right hand and casually gesture with his left. I know that sounds kind of goofy, but they really nailed it and the casual point he's doing is instantly recognizable for the character and great attention to detail. The other set of hands are his "now... you will die" lighting fingers! They're great too, though I will concede that his arm sculpts/pose kind of limit what you can do with them. Still though, he's just a dreamboat of a figure I NEED one more, and WANT two or more! He apparently has shown up single carded outside the US, but since the Last Jedi figures have face-planted hard it's unlikely he'll ever see release here in the States outside of this Target exclusive 3-pack.
Hasbro - Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Chewbacca with Porg
I hate the Porgs, but everyone else loves them and it occurred to me that I haven't seen Chewie and his Porg buddy on shelves in some time, so I pulled the trigger on this guy "to be safe." Chewie is a solid figure, but the cross-bar on his bowcaster is annoying as it pops off super easily. The Porg is pretty good considering the tiny size of it.
Hasbro - Star Wars: The Last Jedi: General Leia Organa
I found Leia just before the Last Jedi opened so I snagged her to be safe, and because any OT character is cooler to me than any... what are we calling these? "New Trilogy"? "Sequel Trilogy"? Anyway, the figure is good for what it is, which is Leia in a weird ball gown instead of her jumpsuit from the previous film. I suppose I should just be relieved she isn't in earthtones like everyone else in the franchise, though.
Hasbro - Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Force Link First Order Starter Set
As mentioned previously, the Praetorians are pretty much the only figures I dig from this new movie, so I definitely needed this set to get the pointed-helmet version. He's the same from the neck down as the other Praetorian figure but does come with both versions of the weird dildo-y whip/sword thing. He's paired with the painfully ridiculous "Executioner Stormtrooper," such a goofy idea and especially goofy name wrapped up in uninspired armor (just a clone-esque repaint of the standard armor). His silly electro-axe did actually turn out neat as an accessory though, I will concede. The figures come packed with the weird wrist-connected electronic thing that supposedly reacts to different figures and vehicles to say dialog and sound effects... but in my experience, it's frustrating and kind of "garbage." Across my three different attempts one evening with six figures and one vehicle all I could get it to do was say "May the Force be with you" in a 20-30-year-old's voice while I was holding a Jedi Master Luke figure. What miserable fun. The batteries were pulled and the thing tossed in the ol' "Commtech" bin. Such a bummer, as the idea of it sounds neat, but it just doesn't work. And being held hostage and having to buy it in order to get 1 figure I actually wanted is not fun. Plus... these are basically the only two new armors in the film and they're battle builders... so... eff you, Hasbro, for putting these in a two-pack as an upsell for a pricey piece of junk - especially since these are battle builders and one doesn't need multiples of that wrist band. Oh - and this is a Toys R Us exclusive. God damn it, Hasbro... I really don't get how they fubar'ed up this line plan so bad. Even accepting the hyper-secrecy of Lucasfilm (thanks for having everyone's back on Zuvio, pricks) putting the three Praetorian armors in multipacks and exclusives... GROSS and AGGRAVATING.
Lego - Dimension: Beetlejuice
Despite announcing the end of the line/game Lego still got out its last series of figures, the highlight of which is this Beetlejuice. TRU was having some kind of sale, I think, so I picked up this guy to be sure I had him. He follows the general format of being a neat minifig with an alright mini build. In this case the 'Geuse gets a handful of bricks to build up a boxy Sandworm, or whatever else the game tells you to do with them. It's a good-enough build that gets across the idea of the creature and it uses a couple hinged bricks to get the curved neck appearance - It's fine enough, but I think I'd have preferred Beetlejuice's headstone or something. The real draw to these sets are the minifigures, and this one is quite good. He uses the "Doc Brown" hair in very light green and has an appropriately dirty face. He's wearing the signature striped suit, though I must confess that it points to the one thing that drive me nuts about this set... the strips stop halfway down his legs ending with white feet... What? Beetlejuice wears dark boots so his feet should be black. I suspect the plan was originally that he'd have dual injected legs, then when they killed the line they decided to go the cheap route... but still, they could have at least painted the front of his lower legs black... It's one of those things that once I saw it I can't unsee it, and it essentially "ruins" an otherwise cool figure.
Mattel - Batman V Superman: Batman Unmasked
So those punks at TRU were sold out of Flash but had the other five Justice League figures and I needed a sixth in order to get the sale rate, so this was the ONLY BvS figure I didn't have, and... ugh. Slut. I am a slut. This is such a, frankly, embarrassment of a figure. What makes him unique is an un-cowled head, and as accessories a removable rubber mask and grapple-line attachments to the Build-A-Gimmick bat-gun. The likeness is awful and the rubber mask is ludicrously oversized. I genuinely don't understand how Mattel is releasing this at the same time as Hasbro is releasing Marvel Legends.... The quality difference is insane. I pity the Mattel team, that this is something they felt was worth releasing.
Mattel - Justice League: Aquaman
This is the only Justice League figure I honestly had any interest in. I have a passion for classic Aquaman, and while I'm not crazy about this particular design, his armor is kind of interesting and toyetic, plus the green is a welcome change to the black and primary colors of the other characters. The face is surprisingly detailed for the line and looks fairly like Momoa (while the BvS one was very Rob Zombie to mine eyes). The overall sculpt and paint is fine, especially given the general blandness of Mattel's offerings. He comes with his not-Trident and Steppenwolf's leg. Overall, it's a good figure. He's a welcome visual counterpoint to the other characters and, all things considered, pretty well manufactured.
Mattel - Justice League: Tactical Batman
Yeah... what cool armor... yeesh. And those stupid, dumb googles. Whatever, these movies aren't there to be "cool," they're there to be "sick, bro!" The sculpt is good and the paint is pretty tight/clean. The articulation ain't that good though as the limbs are so bulky and the engineering doesn't adapt to that so the range of motion is pretty limited. And then... the cape... it's a pleather-y kind of cloth material but it's SO thin that it just natural curls up on the edges - BATMAN!!! He comes with Steppenwolf's torso.
Mattel - Justice League: Cyborg
Egads... this design... Transformers much? CG is SO BORING in movies today, especially when the aesthetics are SO derivative! Plus, with such a wonky design and Mattel-ish engineering the range of motion is pretty limited here. On the plus side he gets an alternate "cannon" hand that can be swapped out with his hands, so at least that makes him look a little neater. Plus, he comes with Steppenwolf's arm and giant axe, so that's... fun.
Mattel - Justice League: Superman
Good lord... DC just genuinely has no concept of what to do with this character. This figure appears to just be a straight re-release of the one from BvS (though he might have a new, even less Cavill-ish) head. He comes with Steppenwolf's waist, skirt and helmeted head, so... what else do you want from me, I already stated that I'm a slut.
Mattel - Justice League: Wonder Woman
A straight re-release of the Toys R Us exclusive Wonder Woman from her standalone movie this summer, so... that's cool. Glad I got to rebuy this for the BAF part. Ugh, why me, WHY!? Why do I do this to myself!? She's a good figure with arguably Mattel's best likeness (damning with faint priase, I know, but... "Mattel") - but still. ...Still.
Mattel - Star Wars Hot Wheels: Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle (hinged wings)
Hasbro's Titanium and Micro Machines lines are apparently, and sadly, dead; but at least Mattel is carrying the torch with their Hot Wheels line for Star Wars. One of the big annoyances of Force Awakens merch was that no one did a Kylo's ship with hinged wings, which is about all it does in that movie. "Finally" Mattel fixes that for Last Jedi and we get the ship now featuring hinged wings so that they can be vertical or V-ed out. Comparing to the initial release it appears that this reuses the wings from that but adds in a new body to allow for the hinged action, which works well and holds both positions securely. It comes with the new display-disc stand which is nice, though I was a fan of the original finger-mount stands. I dig this release, actually. Much more than I expected.
Mattel - Star Wars Hot Wheels: Imperial Assault Hovertank
I "regret" not getting this or the AT-ACT the one time I saw them since that last Rogue One series barely hit shelves, so I talked myself in to getting this now that it's been re-released. I don't even particularly like Rogue One, I guess this is just one of those "because it exists" purchases. I do appreciate that it doesn't have a flying-arm stand or anything, the plug is directly on the display-disc, so it better sells the "hovering" despite the tank not hovering in the film.
Playmates - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: 80s Bebop
W00t - finally found him! Much like Rocksteady, this figure repaints the modern/CG figure of the character in the classic '80s colors. It looks surprisingly good on this figure, and indeed looks much better than that bizarre Tron jumpsuit sculpted on to him. A new rubber chain-belt, bandolier belt and a glued-on turtle shell shoulder pad to help complete the aesthetic. Not sure why his hands fade to red, but whatever. He comes with same annoyingly small accessories as the original release as well. He's a fun companion to the '80s Rocksteady and an enjoyable addition to the collection.