Had me a big week - let's check out the Spoils!
Funko - Funko's: Golden Girls
I like the idea of this format - cereal boxes with mini Pops! In as the toys - but I hadn't really come across any that I felt strongly enough to buy... but I am ALL-IN for Golden Girls so definitely got this. The box is nice with fun art and design throughout. The Pop! is the main reason to get this, of course, and it turned out surprisingly well for the size, and she can even stand on her own (with a little effort). It's just a shrunk down version of the Pop! Rose Nyland figure, which is cool, but it's kind of a bummer they didn't at least repaint the outfit or something to make her feel unique. The box DOES come with a full bag of cereal - crunchy O's, which in this case are dyed blue. I guess the color is to match Rose's outfit but it seems a conspicuously odd choice for a property with a specific color already in its name. The cereal is... pretty bad. I opened it and tried some and they're like off-brand Froot Loops, and already seemed kinda stale. Kewl. Still though, you're really buying this for novelty, not for food.
Funko - Pop! Vinyl: SNL David S. Pumpkins with Skeletons
The David S. Pumpkins sketch is, perhaps, the best thing SNL has done this decade, certainly in the last couple of years. So when I saw on ye olde social media that Funko was selling an exclusive three-pack through their online store which included the standard David Pop! but now with his b-boy Skeletons... Well, I jumped at the chance. And, damn, Funko really knows how to manipulate their market and work this racket real nice. The set sold for, like, $45, but that's before shipping so in reality this set cost me $56. For three Pop!s... Yeesh. When they arrived the toy packaging was in a perfectly sized brown cardboard box to keep it safe, and that was in bubble wrap and that was then in the shipping box. Really leaning hard in to that "these are precious valuables" mentality. The Pops! turned out nice for the format and are sculpted nicely are fairly well painted. The Skeletons "glow in the dark" which is more of a technicality than a feature because they really don't glow well. I was surprised to see the glow turn out blue in the photo as it looks like a really, really, dim green to the naked eye. The original art implied that David would glow as well, but no such dice here. Oh well, it's a novel set, and it's "rare" so now I'll be able to send my kids to college when I resell this.
Hasbro - Venom: Venom & Carnage
I've been eyeing this set ever since it first hit. The white and black card art is pretty striking and I really, really like this Venom sculpt. The Carnage figure, though, isn't that appealing... but when I found this on clearance at Target I had to finally pull the trigger. Carnage is a pretty bland design and sculpt. I mean, it's okay... but it's not that interesting or exciting, especially since it's cast is a dull shade of red. The color just highlights how dull the design is. If he were bright, fire engine red I think he'd look a little cooler. The all-black tendrils that plug into his back look weird and their symmetry really make them seem like horns rather than tendrils. Conversely, the Venom is fantastic. A simple 5-POA figure cast in glossy black plastic and beautiful, bulky, cartoony proportions! This is my favorite "bulky guy" version of Venom I've ever had in toy form! The body is similar to the single carded release, but is actually a totally different sculpt (and that one has the head sculpted on the torso for some dumb play feature). Here, Venny gets a ball-in-socket neck joint, though the sculpt of the figure really makes it more of a swivel joint. If this Venom was available on a single card I'd at least get one more - he's awesome! Carnage, though? Easy pass!
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Thing
And here's the guy we've been waiting for! Walgreens finally completes our Fantastic Four with Ben Grimm and he is beautiful - easily one of the best sculpts in the line and arguable the best Thing figure ever made! He's big, bulky, heavy and still fully articulated! I do kinda wish he had bicep swivels, especially since you can kind of see them in the sculpt and the neck joint is weird in that it has a big cut down the front but not the back (so Thing can look down but not up) and the swivel disk has sculpted ridges that really restrict the motion range of that joint. But those are pretty much my only "issues" with the figure and they pale in comparison to the many, many strengths of it. The sheer size of Ben would make this figure definitive enough as is but they also included alternate hands and heads for him! Insane! The two heads, though, seem almost identical save but for one with teeth showing, so it would have been nice if the eyes/brow were more extremely posed too. The hands give us open-hand or fist choices and wildly the cut for the swivel disk in the runs most of the hand so these have a lot of poseability. This is just a great, great figure!
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: General Veers
Walgreens continues its exclusive Star Wars Black figures with this remarkably good General Veers. I've never been a big fan of Hoth or Veers so I was planning to pass on this guy until I saw him in person. The sculpt is really nice (and shares plenty of parts with Tarkin and Krennic) but it's the new digital face printing that really makes this gun stand out to me - the likeness just turned out really well. At least in person, weirdly this new face printing technique seems to rely a lot of three dimensional views because the likenesses always look much better in person than in photos. What makes Veers a particularly good release, too, is that he comes with removable armor so that you can have both version of him. Wow, Hasbro, what is this, Series 1!? The armor turned out really nice as well and fits him well, plus they even painted up the back of it (which I don't think I'd ever seen done before). This one of the nicest SWB in recent memory and, indeed, I'm half tempted to get a second thanks to the removable armor.
Hasbro - Star Wars: "Solo" Range Trooper
I've been hunting for this dude ever since I saw the movie! I liked the costume pretty much immediately, but after The Last Jedi I took a hard "don't buy toys until I see the movie" stance so I missed out on this guy. He's a fantastic sculpt and seems to actually use a lot of different tooling in order to accomplish all the layers of fabric and armor. It's a bummer that all those pieces are glued together so we still just get five points of articulation. Regardless, Hasbro is really killing it with the sculpts and the details are all crisp and tight - it's love it! He comes with a standard blaster and my only complaint is that I haven't been able to find more to continue building that battle!
Home Accents - Halloween: Mini Poseable Skeleton
Hope Accents is the "generic decoration" company that seems to have come out of nowhere and over the last couple of years brought an increasing array of novelty skeletons for Halloween time. This year that includes this cool little 6" dude, which retails for the low, low price of $5! It's pretty cheaply made, using cheap-feeling plastic in simple rotocast molds resulting in a lot of plastic "flashing." Likewise, the paint is very basic - a fast wash or spray of dark brown, which does help add some texture to the figure. Especially since the sculpt is so cartoony. Where it really shines, and what surprised me so much about it, is the articulation! There are full balljoints all throughout the figure, and they are basically like Revoltech joints, which allow for an impressive range of motion! They're at the skull, shoulders, waist, hips, and ankles! This guy is pretty fun to play with, and despite the production gripes he's pretty sturdy. It's genuinely impressive this guy is only $5 and I think I'm definitely going to have to get some more!
Jada Toys - Nano Metalfigs: Nickelodeon - Rocko, Heffer, Ren, Stimpy
Found these new Nano Metalfigs at Target, and had to pull the trigger on my nostalgia favorites - Ren & Stimpy and Rocko & Hefer! I really dig this NanoMetalfigs line for much the same reason I'm sort of hooked on Hot Wheels - they're fun and just a dollar. Plus, Jada tends to use metallic colors more than not on these, which I'm a sucker for. They've done a whole Nickelodeon series, which also includes figures from SpongeBob and Rugrats. These figures turned out pretty neat, though I must say Ren's pose is a weird choice. I really hope these do well and they can do a second series - I'd love more R&S and Rocko's Modern Life characters, and, man, Invader Zim could be so great in this format!
Mattel - Aquaman: Aquaman & Warrior Shark
The DC movie universe has just been a hit parade of ill-conceived and half-cocked movies, and while I continue to struggle "liking" the bro-y take in Aquaman I will concede that the movie does look like it will be colorful and fun, which has been what the DC movies have been lacking overall so far. Case in point... This $30 set of Aquaman riding an armored Great White Shark. Yes, please. Goofy, toy fun - when I saw this at SDCC I knew I wouldn't be able to pass it up. The Aquaman is the same figure as in the standard $10 6" line; he a pretty good sculpt with a plenty of articulation and more paint than I would expect for a $10 figure these days; so that's cool, but he does look like he has no neck. The shark is big and Mattel-y, with screw holes all along one side and a warning on that package that this is NOT a water toy... WTF, Mattel? Making this thing bathtub-friendly seems like it should be concern number one for a toy line! But going that route would have likely precluded the button that makes the tail swish and jaws snap, or the pop-out missile launcher. Both are neat, but not in a way that is worth making this not a toy kids can use in the tub or pool. The set comes with Aquaman's trident (hey look at that - a TRI-dent for once!), translucent blue water missiles and a weird translucent blue water effect, which can be held like a punch-effect or plugged in to the saddle to cradle Aquaman in a "flying" pose. Weird. For $30 this is a pretty solid set, the shark is quite large and the tail/jaws feature is pretty fun and neat.
Mattel - Hot Wheels: Batmobiles
WOW - I found the new BATMOBILES at retail!?!? The Burton Batmobile is MY Batmobile so when I found this weird-but-cool version of it I couldn't pass it up. It's a fun and interesting interpretation of that design. I also found a repaint of the Adam West Batmobile, with metallic blue base color and blue accents (rather than black and red) which is fine, especially for a dollar, since I'll likely never find the regular version at retail. The real star here, though, is the brand-new Animated Series Batmobile, which turned out so gorgeous! Done in dark metallic blue with silver accents and translucent windshields, it's easily one of the nicest reproductions of the iconic car! Update - last night I just found the Animated Batmobile in black rather than metallic blue, so I think that was the original release and the blue is a repaint - both are awesome and I'm so happy to have each!
Mattel - Hot Wheels: Despicable Me & 101 Dalmations
Wow, man, I just stumbled on a surprise cache of new Hot Wheels! I've never seen or been remotely interested in the Despicable Me franchise but this Grumobile was just way too cool to pass up! It's a rad sculpt and is quite big bulky! Surprisingly the only metal part of it is the big engine thing poking out of the top back. They also had Cruella De Ville's coup from 101 Dalmatians which was even more of a surprise and turned out just as wonderful! The sculpt is fantastic and looks just like the cartoon. More of this kind of stuff, please, Mattel!
Mattel - Hot Wheels: Zoom In
This was a fun new discovery - Mattel has partnered with GoPro and rolled out this car that is designed to specifically mount one of the famous small cameras to. It initially came out in black and I was surprised to see a white repaint so soon, but loving redeco-ed Hot Wheels, used that as my excuse to finally pick them both up. I don't have a GoPro so I haven't been able to test how well they work but I love the idea of them! I was surprised to find the dark-silver clip in the center is actually articulated and cast in plastic (despite very much looking like metal).
Mattel - Mega Construx Heroes: Captain Picard
Since I got Data, I had to pick up Picard and the Borg to go with him. He's fine for what he is, but honestly isn't anything all that exciting or interesting. Weirdly he has a peg hole in the center of his head, which really looks weird on him (but is there for the Borg functionality). He comes with a phaser rifle and a PADD which are also fine but feel a little too bulky.
Mattel - Mega Construx Heroes: Borg Drone
The Borg shares the same head and torso as Picard but gets new arms and legs. There Borg chest is actually a slip-on vest over the federation uniform torso. He comes with a baggy that has two hand-held weapons and a bunch of small blocks which I was confused by at first until I noticed the square pegs on the torso armor and realized that these kibble blocks allow you to reconfigure and customize your Drone, which is actually pretty cool. Likewise, the head gear is basically a C with some ridges on the side that eye pieces clasp on to so you can customize the head gear a bit too. There's also a simple rubber hose with a loop on each end which allows you to move it around and connect to different parts of him for further customization! Whoever designed this figure did a fantastic job and really thought it through much more than I'd ever imagine for this line. I'd be quite tempted to at least get a second, if not more, were it not for the $5 pricetags on these.
Playmates - Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: April "Street Smart Best Friend"
Rise of the TMNT has certainly got its fair share of entitled fanboy butt hurt, but for me it's just proved that TMNT is indeed a perennial thing that needs to be reinvented every couple years for each new "generation" to give them their own version to latch on to - exactly like Power Rangers, and this model has worked out really well for that franchise, so... I dig that concept and hope it remains because, while I have "my" turtles, I got sort of bored of seeing slight variations over and over so it'll be more fun to see a variety of designs in the years to come. One such cool redesign is the new April! I know all the "but I'm totally not a racist" fanboys are probably upset that she's black but there's no NEED for her to be white so if nothing else this is just something fresh and different. I dig her look, and like the big hair and green jacket over April's signature yellow shirt. This is just a cool looking figure, man! She comes what what is supposed to be a baseball bat in both "solid" and "powered up" versions, but it's weirdly thick and she really can't hold either. She also comes with a neat little animal which I guess is some Stitch-esque alien. It's a solid PVC piece and I like it's look and especially its colors, but it's annoying that there's no paint on its back despite there being sculpted details imply it should be painted. The articulation is also pretty good as is April's paint in general. It makes me a little optimistic for this line versus the last, but then I remember that that first series was basically the best of the whole series, so we'll see...
Playmates - Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leonardo "The Trickster"
I have no interest in watching Rise, just cause I'm sort of over cartoons in general, but felt like I needed at least one turtle in my collection so I picked up My Main Man, Leonardo. The sculpt is pretty nice, even if the design is a little lackluster. The idea of each of the brothers being a different species of turtle is interesting, but it doesn't really comes across that well in the designs. I know that's why Leo has those red stripes by his eyes, but they read more like scars or ear paint. What is really cool about him, though, is the articulation! He's basically got the same as the last line of figures figures but now with balljointed ankles which really helps improve the poseability and makes him pretty darn fun to play with. Since they're mixing everything up for the new show, Leo one uses one sword, and it comes in both "regular" and "powered-up" versions. His shoulder strap has a clip on the back that holds the hilt of the sword but it looks odd on there. He also comes with a translucent blue skateboard with functioning wheels, and thanks to his ankle joints you can actually get some fun poses with him on it. I gotta say, I'm kind of impressed by this figure, especially after the last several years of TMNT figures! I just wish I Like the design more.
Playmates - Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Meat Sweats "The Tenderizer"
Yeah, booyyyeeeee!!! Everything about this guy is a perfect TMNT villain and easily the most '80s feeling in in recent memory! A big, fat, gross mutant pig butcher. called Meat Sweats. YES and PLEASE! The design is pretty fun and the sculpt does it well. I dig the iron gloves, and it's a fun touch that the right glove is swappable with a three fingered hand. According to the card back, instead of proper arms he has tendrils, so I suppose that's why the "fingers" are so scrawny. Kind of weirdly, the pegs for the metal hands are differently sized so the bare hand won't fit in the left wrist (and it's kinda tough to get the glove back on there). He also comes with a meat tenderizer which is neat but since it's the same gray rubber as the gloves it blends in a bit too much when being held. The paint is pretty good, but the paint detailing stops on the back side of the figure. Articulation is pretty good, though, and he balances pretty well despite his bulky upper half. This is just a plain, ole RAD figure - if you only get one figure from this series, it needs to be this guy!
Excellent mini reviews as always. Do you have the DC icons aquaman? seems aimed directly at you
I still need those Mega Construx Picard and Borg figures but they're hard to get here in the UK so cost a lot more than I can afford. A friend of mine did send some of the other ones from the US such as the MotU and some Turtle figures i couldn't get here but i don't like asking him for anything. He's too nice and i don't want to take advantage.
Also at first glance I thought you had Picard in a wheelchair in that main pic before seeing what it actually was. Just thought it was an Xavier thing you were doing. 😛
I don't have any problem with April being black, I just think the art style is unappealing and makes her design ugly.
The toy looks a lot cuter, with the rounded features. I thought about buying one, but got cold feet about being a grown man publically buying a figure of a teenage girl.
Frankly, I don't know how you do it all the time.
The key is ordering online
Oh, and I should add I felt the same way about the first wave of the 2012 TMNT toys. They looked better than the designs they were based on.
Where can you get those skeletons?
Yeah I'd like to know that too!
I found them at Big Lots. Look for an end cap display. They also had little dog skeletons too. I heard they were also showing up at Home Depot as well. They're a lot of fun! Well worth the five bucks!
" I know all the 'but I'm totally not a racist' fanboys are probably upset that she's black but there's no NEED for her to be white so if nothing else this is just something fresh and different."
Good thing we have you and your "open-minded and accepting of this week's diversity re-imagining" mindset to counter "entitled fanboys" with a opinion that favors sticking to original character concepts.
Does black April O'Neil work for you? Fine. It apparently doesn't for others. You've decided that makes them bigots because you've chosen being morally superior rather than just accepting a difference of damned opinion about a fictional character.
I don't even care about TMNT, btw. But maybe someone will change something you like and you will be labeled entitled or some other worthless dismissive for not being on board with change.
You mean original character concepts like "April O'Neil is Asian or a light-skinned black woman"? Per Peter Laird:
Anyway, nice try, but no: "I don't like this character because they're black now" is pretty much textbook bigotry. Because if it weren't, we'd also be inundated with complaints about how she's younger, or what her personality is like, or any time she's not a news reporter (since, "original character concepts" aside, that's how many fans first encountered her). Funny that it's always the race that's a problem, and not any other changes characters may go through for a new adaptation.
No, this isn't "my" April O'Neil. But she doesn't have to be. My April O'Neil still exists in comics and cartoons and movies, because she is, as you said, a fictional character. I can go to YouTube right now and get as much of my April O'Neil as I want, and this one being a teenager doesn't change that in even the slightest. And if her being a teen bothered me enough to complain about it? There'd be something wrong with me. I don't plan to watch the cartoon, just like I didn't watch the 2003 version, because I don't care for the animation style, but April's melanin levels are inconsequential.
Now, Raphael being the leader, on the other hand? That's utter garbage and someone needs to burn the planet down for that...