I promise I'll get back to contemporary/immediate Spoils soon, but yet again my hopes for being current have failed me. So, we'll dig in a lovely potpourri from last year (which I imagine might also be a nice break from all the themed editions I've been doing of late - I like 'em [and they just do make linking back in reference a lot easier when it comes to writing future editions] but I'm not if the readery prefers a mash-up of product or the cohesive theme around a line or franchise). So these pretty much all come from the late 2015 / early 2016 era - let's us take a jaunty look back to the Spoils of yester-year.
Bandai - Big Hero 6: Baymax (1.0)
I was pretty comfortable with my Big Hero 6 collection being the basic, "naked," Baymax, but when I saw this "1.0" armor I couldn't pass it up. This figure is a really nice sculpt with reasonable enough articulation given the design of the character and nature of the line; the paint is also basic but tight. There is something just cool and fun about this armor, plus I really like it when characters don't quite get it right on the first attempt so we get a bit of evolution. So it's kind of an exciting figure to get since it seemed like such a relatively obscure choice for Bandai to do, especially as a uniquely tooled figure, given how standard the rest of the lineup was. Moreover, it thusly meant that every iteration of Baymax was covered, so... now I have to have them all.
Bandai - Big Hero 6: Baymax (Armored)
The sculpt here is really nice, as is the minimal paint. He's cast in tomato-red plastic with tiny glitter mixed in for a very subtle metallic vibe. The articulation is kind of interesting - swivel head, balljointed shoulders, hinged elbows, swivel forearms and ball-on-socket hips; but the hips are mounted forwards facing rather than side-facing. It's an interesting design solution and works ok. Unfortunately the figure is do bulky and back heavy that he won't stay upright unless the legs are perfectly aligned - but when they are he's pretty stable (though I wish they'd included pegholes and a stand). His wings are separate pieces with plug in to prongs coming off his back and as a result have a swivel joint so you can pose them too! It's a pretty good/cool figure, all things considered.
Bandai - Big Hero 6: Hiro Hamada
Really I just bought this cause he comes with "sleeping" Baymax. The figure is pretty good, all things considered, with a good sculpt, clean paint and good articulation. He's Baymax's maker so he kind of has a place in my collection, too. The Baymax accessory is a hollow piece with hard plastic, two halves glued together. It's nothing special but it doesn't need to be. Again, like the 1.0 armor above, I'm just impressed and happy that Bandai actually made this - I can now have a complete "evolution of Baymax" collection!
Disney Store - Mickey's Christmas Carol: PVC Set
As long time readers may recall, I'm a big Disney fan, and I have a mad lust for toys in cool shades of blue, so... really the Goofy Ghost piece here made the set irresistible for me! I'm not sure if I've ever actually seen Mickey's Christmas Carol in it's entirety but I'm certainly pop-culture familiar with it, and this set covers the Dickens-ed versions of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy - which is pretty darn cool! As one would expect of modern era Disney Store PVCs, the sculpts are really nice and the paint is surprisingly good. We also get a Tiny Tim mouse nose-to-nose with Scrooge McDuck, standing a detailed rug, for a very cool center piece. The real star here, though, is Goofy as Marley! Not just a great sculpt but also cast in two-tone translucent blue plastic for a shockingly cool looking figure! This is a fantastic set that gets us major characters and the "fab five" (sorry Pluto) in their looks from the movie. Now we just need a companion set with the guide ghosts Jiminy Cricket (past), Willie the Giant (present) and Pete (future) we would be golden!
DST - Gotham Select: Edward Nygma
Of all the crazy licenses DST has picked up over the years, one of the weirdest is Gotham which, thanks to it's "just people in clothes" aesthetic, I assumed was doomed to a fate worse than Expendables 2 - but I was wrong cause they managed to get out 12 figures from the semi-popular show despite only two or three of the figures wearing anything like a "comicbook" outfit. I picked up this mediocre Series 2 figure for half off simply because I wanted his desk for the Janine figure from the Ghostbusters line. The desk is pretty damn big - 6¾" long, 3⅛" wide, and 3½" tall! The two sides are hollow and all of the drawers are sculpted on. It... just is. It doesn't do anything; and frankly is more underwhelming in hand than I imagined (plus it looks remarkably too large with Janine). The figure is fine - everything we've comes to expect from DST; no surprises here.
DST - Marvel Select: Captain America, The First Avenger - Captain America
I actually took these First Avenger photos back in July of 2013 - so it's about damn time I get to writing them up! The sculpt and articulation on Cap are pretty great, as is the paint, and I think it's pretty safe to say it's a better figure than the old pseudo Marvel Legends one that was a Walmart exclusive. The one real bummer with this guy is that he can't properly wield or wear his shield on the left arm since the fist is too big to fit through the inflexible front strap. So your options are Cap with his shield OR Cap with his gun. He comes with half of the Tesseract device from the movie, which is the version featured on the flying wing at the end. He has a grilled floor and the piping and chamber for the Tesseract, but annoyingly/sadly the thing is designed/sculpted/produced as a single piece so (a) you can't have the cube holder pull in and out of the device, as in the movie, and (b) no separate Tesseract. BUMMER. Still though, the figure is excellent!
DST - Marvel Select: Captain America, The First Avenger - Red Skull
This was the most accurate depiction of the movie Red Skull released at the time, and I'd argue that, other than Hot Toys, it still is. DST captures his signature trenchcoat really well here and the balance of flat and shiny black colors gives it nice variation. I don't recall his cuffs being so pointed, but it does look like they may just have been. He comes with a pistol, similar to the classic German WW2 one that was also the base of Han Solo's blaster. Sadly, no Tesseract or alternate hands here - not an alternate Hugo Weaving head (which would have absolutely got me to buy two). His head is a great shade of bright red with a subtle black wipe for texture, but boy is it off model to the movie. One can't really fault DST for that given the constant changes to CG models studios make versus the long timeline toy companies need. He comes with the other half the of the Tesseract device - some more grated floor and a large block that plugs on to the combined flooring and onto which the piping with Cap connects. It's a neat build-a-display, but ultimately I would have preferred more accessories, I think, to it.
DST - Marvel Select: Hulkbuster Iron Man
This was a, forgive me, BIG surprise that DST was both doing a Hulkbuster and that it was a Disney Store exclusive - of course then meant it'd be relatively easy for me to score, though! He sold out fast initially but fortunately I found a Disney Store that still had some late in to December so I was able to buy brick'n'mortar (and, of course, they seemed to do a reasonably good job of doing additional run to keep on periodically on shelves). This is probably the most accurate and my favorite toy of the comic book Hulkbuster toys. The sculpt is great and the articulation is good, but a bit limited due to the bulk. The paint is stellar, though, with metallic sheens to it all. Not much can be done with the head and it's kind of annoying that the fingers are sculpted in poses and not articulated. But oversized figures like this are what DST excels at this sucker is huge and shiny! He's beautiful on the shelf!
DST - Universal Movie Monsters: Lucy Westerna
I don't know, man. This is another Jean St. Jean original creation and it's overall a neat design and is really well sculpted... but I don't really "get it." Obviously, she follows the format of the previous Van Helsing figure in terms of being a "fantasy monster hunter" type - but it's weird that it's Lucy and not Mina, since Lucy is basically just the "inciting event" of the book. She also comes with a steampunk-y Proton Pack, I guess, which is permanently glued to his back and just makes no goddamn sense. The Select version comes with two heads but this Toys R Us exclusive version lacks the "human" head with blonde hair (and otherwise this $15 release is identical to that $25 one). I guess it's neat that she has this vampire head, but it's weird that she has brown hair and "alive" skin tone, making the vampire head just more confusing - is she supposed to be a Blade-esque kind of Daywalker type thing? And the bland facial expression just adds to the confusion. Her kind-of open mouth just looks like she's wearing those old school plastic fangs. This head just seems like a perfect place to do a more "animated" expression, like a wry smile or a big snarl, and paler skin tone, but then that'd clash with her obligatory cleavage that's conspicuously bare for no clear reason. This is 75% a cool figure, and that 25% bizarreness is so frustratingly solvable it just renders the whole figure "weird."
Funko - Rocky Horror Picture Show: Magenta, Riff Raff, Dr. Frankenfurter, Brad, Janet, Columbia
To be perfectly honest, Funko's handling of the ReAction brand was fairly iffy - but much to their credit each wave seemed to improve and, much like with the Indiana Jones 4" line, the last stuff was by far the best - case in point, this excellent series of Rocky Horror Picture Show figures! We get all six of the main characters and each are about as good as one would hope for from this Kenner homage aesthetic - but with some nice modern touches like really detail and good face paint. Each figure comes with one accessory (though for Brad it appears to be his glued-in glasses - but that's fine as they look so much better than being sculpted/painted on). The likenesses are fine, some betters than others, which I imagine has a lot to do with not having likeness rights. These are easily the best of all of Funko's ReAction figures and I'd love to see them revisit the license with there new 9PoA format to get us a few more characters (Dr. Scott, Eddie, Narrator, and, of course, Rocky!) and some of the other costumes (floor show Brad & Janet, Frankenfurter in scrubs, alien uniform RiffRaff & Magenta, and so on!).
Funko - Predator: Predator, Glow Version
This was an Entertainment Earth exclusive of the blocky Predator figure from the first wave of Reaction figures, the twist though is that it's cast in glow-in-the-dark plastic, which seems to work well enough, with the armor painted silver. It's a pretty fun variant and a welcome addition.
Funko - Star Trek: Beaming Captain Kirk & Beaming Spock
Entertainment Earth also got these Kirk & Spock ReAction exclusives, which I bought half due to clearance prices and half due to completionism. They're cast in clear plastic loaded with silver glitter and loosely painted over - pretty effective and novel.
Funko - Terminator 2: T-1000, Final Battle
Yet another Entertainment Earth ReAction exclusive. This T-1000 gets a new torso-front with some silver bullet impacts - pretty neat! This is the only ReAction T-1000 I have and I think it's a pretty good one to fill that character niche in the collection.
Hallmark - Keepsake: "The Needs of the Many" Ornament
A friend gave me this ornament as a Christmas gift and I figured it'd be fun to show off here. It's of the iconic moment of Spock's death and is a pretty good sculpt with remarkably good paint all things considered! The base is a little thick but it houses the electronics which play pretty much the whole final Kirk/Spock dialogue exchange pretty clearly. I wouldn't have bought this on my own but it's cooler than I expected and a nice addition to the collection.
Hasbro - Avengers, Age of Ultron All-Stars: Rampaging Hulk
I'm pretty sure that I found this last series of 4" Age of Ultron figures at Five Below, or maybe it was Target clearance and got this Hulk since his bulk makes him seem like a better value; plus now I have "crazy" not-gray Hulk in the collection. He's a repaint of the regular figure but gets a new angry head, which is surprisingly well sculpted AND, particularly, painted! Pretty neat!
Hasbro - Avengers, Age of Ultron All-Stars: Ultron 2.0
He was cheap and I had a bunch of the other figures, so why not get the "big bad" as well?
Hasbro - Avengers, Age of Ultron All-Stars: Vision
I've grown to really like the color combinations on Vision and they really, really pop on this figure here - so I kinda had to have him. The sculpt Is good and the paint is fine, though you can definitely see (or get the sense that) the deco changed after the figure was sculpted and tooled. Thanks to the vibrant colors I'd say this is my favorite figure in the 4" line.
Hasbro - Avengers, Age of Ultron (4"): Nick Fury & Iron Man
This was a Toys R Us exclusives that I got simply to continue my "fully articulated four inch movie armor" collection. Fury is a re-release of the 4" figure from Avengers 1 but with a brighter skintone (and maybe a new head). He still comes with a worthless giant bazooka. The Mark 43 armor looks a little better to me, more proportional, than the 6" figure though it is, of course, not as articulated. This set's a fine, though honestly unnecessary, addition to the collection.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: "Deadliest Foes" Ultimate Beetle
I put off getting this weird figure for a long time as I had no familiarity with it at all... but this was also the glory days of not feeling the need to complete every BAF. But with the subsequent Build-a-Figure Hobgoblin that I really wanted, which necessitated buying an Ultimate version of Spider-Woman, well... since I learned that this was from the Ultimate universe, and complete an Ultimate BAF as well... well... there's the justification right there - and I've effectively been all-in ever sense. The sculpt is 100% all-new, which was super frustrating given that this is/was effectively an unknown character & costume. He come with Ultimate Goblin's left leg and a removable backpack with little green beetle wings. It's the green of the wings that really draw this figure together and help break up the otherwise overpowering cheap-looking red plastic and cheap-looking thin silver paint.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: "Mercenaries of Mayhem" Taskmaster
Hey, hey - I just wrote up the recent "classic" Taskmaster figure so it's about time I tackled this old "modern" version. It looks neat but a little "hip and current" to really register as Taskmaster, so it's nice that they include a more traditional head for him - but the figure does, aesthetically, look best with the silver mask and blue hood. He comes with the signature shield, a pseudo-light sabre and a Red Skull head for the Onslaught BAF.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Ultron, Hulk, Vision
I bought this Target exclusive 75% because it was on clearance and 25% to have a "comicbook" (ish) Ultron. This is such a weird, ugly set it frankly boggles the mind it got released to shelves. Sure it ties in the Age of Ultron movie, but how many times do I need to explain that figures in multipacks need to also be visually complimentary, not just narratively complimentary? These are pretty much all just repaint, with the worst offender, BY FAR, being the ugly as hell all-white Vision. I can't even believe this ugly-ass costume was ever a thing, but it was so I'm sure some uber-nerds out there are happy to get it, but it's execution here - particularly being frosted white on clear plastic - really just highlights how tacky and ugly the look is. To give a since of value we get a repaint of movie Hulk in to some "flavor of the month" version sporting a new head with shaved/short hair. The head has a cheap vibe to it with his soft details clashing with the heavily detailed movie shants. Finally, we get a repaint of Ultimate Beetle (see above) with a new head and forearms/hands to give us Ultron. It's fine for what it is, but it's not great, I believe it's not accurate to any actual depiction of him, and it's a tough pill to swallow having to pay for two figure I absolutely DO NOT want in order to get one I kind of do. No wonder this hit clearance fast and still lingered long.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: "Age of Ultron" Thor, Black Widow, Bruce Banner, Hawkeye
Amazon got this hefty set as an exclusive to complete out Age of Ultron movie core group of Avengers. I believe these figures are mostly new sculpted, but I could be wrong about that, and represent my three least favorite members of the team - also making this multi-pack a bit of a tough sell. However, it does comes with a Mark Ruffalo version of Bruce Banner, which is arguable my favorite member of the movie Avengers, thus making it a bit of a must-have. As with all Amazon exclusives it just took some patience to wait for a marked down price that made the whole thing palatable to my wallet. In retrospect I'm pretty happy with the set, especially since it completes the team AND, most importantly, got us a Ruffalo figure!
Jakks Pacific - World of Nintendo: (Metroid) Gravity Suit Samus
I was pretty in to buying the non Mario figures in this line, hence I got this Metroid figure - only to just now realize its nothing more than a repaint of the previous one... bummer. I really don't care for the purple highlights but figured I was buying the armor from a different game. It's so lame that Jakks didn't make more Samuses since it's generally a pretty cool design and from what I understand there are different versions across the different games.
Mattel - Hot Wheels: Batman Live Batmobil (Black) & Let's Go! (White)
Here we have the Batmobile from the comically short-lived Batman Live traveling arena show. It's easily one of the least appealing Batmobile designs ever (and certainly in terms of live action entertainment), but it's nice to have this $1 memento of a show gone by. It's painted in glossy black with a translucent yellow plastic windshield/canopy. At the same time I found and bought the third version of the Let's Go! Car, now in fabulous white, with orange and blue highlights - which actually perfectly match/compliment the white Fig Rig that I photographed with the green Let's Go.
Mattel - Hot Wheels: The Jetsons Capsule Car & Pedal Driver (Aqua)
I actually found a cool licensed car on pegs! This is part of the Hanna Barbera license, like the Flintmobile, and is a pretty good recreation of the Jetsons' flying "car." They added wheels to it here, which I get why they'd do that and I'm 50/50 on if I dig it. They recently released the Capsule Car in the $5 line and gave it a new, accurate chassis. When I found this car I also found this Pedal Driver car, clearly inspired by old school pedal-driven kid-sized cars... with its beautiful '50s-esque paint scheme I couldn't pass it up.
Mattel - Imaginext: Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Goldar & Lord Zedd
This was the first follow-up set to the initial series of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Imaginext figures and features the two most recognizable villains from that early show (the only one I really have any familiarity with). Both are adapted exceedingly well in to the Imaginext aesthetic and look fantastic with their vibrant colors.
McFarlane Toys - Game of Thrones (Building Sets): Blind bags - Kingsguard (Attacking), Crow (Defending), Grey Worm, Wilding (w/ Spear)
Oooh, McFarlane Toys... I can really see what you did there... I picked up a couple of these blind bags hoping to get a Dragon or a Tyrion, but was yet reminded of why I hate blindbags. Overall the figures are remarkably well sculpted and pretty well painted considering the minuscule size. But, like every other attempt to mainstream RPG mini's, it just doesn't work. If only Todd understand the construction market and it's customers rather than just planning to "revolutionize" it... If these little guys were less pre-posed they'd be more appealing, especially with some basic articulation (which these lack).
McFarlane Toys - The Walking Dead (Building Sets): Dale's RV
I picked this up on clearance for, like, $15 or $20 for the pure novelty of having a toy Winnebago. The final model is pretty decent, we get two zombies, two chairs, and a Dale with two sets of legs (cause articulation, schmarticulation - right, Todd?). The build, though, is not fun - it's overly repetitive and tedious since those RV is built using 2x1 and 1x1 bricks... Yup... WTF, guys!? And, not being Lego (or even Megabloks) the clutch strength isn't the best which results it a surprisingly unstable build at that. You basically have to scoop it up, because when you grab it from the top (with thumb on one side and fingers on the other) you can feel the walls flex in... and since the roof isn't easily removable you then have to disassemble to straighten out the walls. Why they did make, at least, 4x1 bricks is well beyond me and betrays a basic lack of understanding about construction sets. It's fine for what it is, but this has 100% talked me out of buying any more McFarlane construction sets.
McFarlane Toys - The Walking Dead: Dale
Jeffrey DeMunn is one of my favorite character actors, so I had to get this figure chiefly for that reason alone (plus, I kinda like that my Walking Dead collection is basically just Dale in different formats). This ~5" figure is fine and everything we've come to expect from modern McFarlane. I do wish they put a bit more time and effort into engineering the figures are the key articulation at the elbows and knees don't seem to bend or work enough to really get the poses one hopes for. Dale comes with a removable bucket hat, a pair of binoculars, a hunting rifle and a functioning lawn chair that does fold up. The likeness is fine, not spot-on but you can still kinda tell that it's DeMunn. I'm happy to have this fella in the collection.
Playmobil - Super 4: Sir Ulf
Toys R Us must have had a "Buy One Get One" sale going on since I got the two Super 4 singles. Ulf, here, is from the Knights themed part of the show and is most notable for being the first ever Klickie (Playmobil figure) with a properly bald head. He also, perhaps as a result, has inlaid rubber hair, beard and mustache which can't be removed. The head all-in-all looks pretty good, I just wish he had the proper Playmobil eyes rather than these painted on "realistic" eyes. He comes with all new, and removable, chest armor, should armor and weird balled-up armored gauntlets - not sure if those are meant to be fists or specialized hand weapons. He's neat for what he is and if not for the eyes could be incorporated well enough into the regular line.
Playmobil - Super 4: Sharkbeard
Pirates are always welcome and this one is pretty neat. He uses all the familiar accessories, like a compass (with a lenticular sticker allowing the arrow to "move"), a sword and a sash. From the neck up, though, he's all new with a new sculpt for a beard, spiky hair and a new pirate hat. Even though it's a rather big I do like the hat and hope to see it incorporated into the regular theme (though with a less cartoony icon). His face sports the signature "realistic" eye that turns me off so much from Super 4 and a printed on trap that justifies with gold "eye patch" - and that eye patch is apparently a telescope as you can extend or retract the gold bit by pulling/pushing it. It's a surprisingly novel feature and one hope that they find some fun ways to reuse this tooling in the future.
Underground Toys - Sherlock: Sherlock Holmes
Like many people, I fell madly in love with Sherlock in it's first season and was delighted to find out that Underground toys would be making figures (since I love their Dr Who line) but, unfortunately, this was the only one that ever got released (at least in the US...?). This is everything we've come to love about Underground's 5" Who line, and one just really laments the lack of a Watson and, ideally, Moriarty. Holmes here comes with a skull, a cell phone, a violin and a violin bow - not bad (though not terribly exciting). It's a delightful figure and I'm happy to have, but since the show, like all things Russel T. Davies, declines in quality each successive season I'm also kind of happy to be able to just walk away as well.
Warpo - The Legend of Cthulhu: Cthulhu
I'd got the whole Legend of Cthulhu line in the Kickstarter and had been eagerly eyeing this, so when Entertainment Earth marked it down I jumped right on board. This is easily one of the best large scale figures I've bought in a long time! He's rotocast but feels hefty and not "cheap." He's got V-Crotch, swivel shoulders and neck. His wings are removable via twist'n'lock pegs - though the pegs and holes are separate pieces and have come loose on one of the wings for me. Likewise, since the head makes him front heavy and he his hollow, I've found that on particularly hot days he'll topple right the eff over, which is a bummer. Still though, this is a great sculpt that looks good both as is or holding 4" figures in his hands. The paint is simple but very effective too. Much like the line-proper my hat is way off to Warpo - these guys really "get it" and I very much wish they'd make more products cause the Cthulhu line is one of they very best independent lines this century!
This week in "distribution is a fickle and unpredictable mistress," you saw that Target set in great numbers, lingering long enough to hit clearance - I, meanwhile, saw exactly one box exactly one time, and if I hadn't bought it then, I'd have been screwed...
DST's Gotham line would've lasted longer if only they’d mixed costumed crimesters in sooner! It was up to me to make Edward Nygma as The Riddler. Affordable custom fodder was the silver lining of Toys R Us liquidations. I’m a simple man. When I see a William Atherton action figure marked down to $8, I buy. Also I figured Walter Peck would provide a good suited body for Ed. (Alfred came this close to being decapitated!) I used the boil & pop method to swap Peck’s head & hands for Edward Nygma’s. It worked surprisingly well. The hat was the tricky part.
When I visited Dallas in 2016, they had a whole stack of those giant Warpo Cthulhu figures in Half Price Books. I've regretted not getting it ever since, and seeing this only confirms my regret even more.