Oooh boy - this is a fun one! Pretty much all figures I've been very much looking forward to - AND, spoiler alert, most of them I was very happy with! What a tweest! So, without any further babble... let's dig in to the very delicious spoils from this week!
DC Collectibles - Batman, The Animated Series: Mr. Freeze (BTAS)
Few things I love more than BTAS Mr. Freeze, so he was The One I was waiting for DCC to tackle ever since they started the line - which was frustrating since they held him till the very end and dropped him in a boxset making is unreasonable for me to double-up as I'd hoped. Well, they recently released 4 of those 5 figures single-carded giving me the chance to finally get a second Freeze! (I should also note, I've still not opened the boxset so I can't compare the two versions of the figure) The sculpt is pretty darn good and captures the iconic Mignola design quite well. The articulation is... well, like most of the figures in the line, it's present and fine, but the logic is confusing. For instance, the ankles are hinged but there is no "rocker" function, meaning it's impossible for the feet to land flat. Also... the blue bands around the elbows and wrists are rubber... and are ALREADY cracking and "frosting" up, so this is some real garbage rubber. I think it was a real poor decision for the elbows, but at least I get the thought process... but why the wrists!? Interestingly, the head is articulated with a balljoint at the base of the neck rather than the base of the skull which overs a bit more range of motion ...that is hindered by the diameter of his dome/helmet. The hips, though, are THE worst - they are sooooo loose, at least on my figure, that it's a real tough balancing act to keep him upright. He comes with five sets of hands, his ice-gun and removable helmet-dome. The dome is perfect and the gun is pretty good, but... why so many hands? Couldn't we have gotten and "ice blast" for his gun? Or an alternate head? Or an alternate broken dome? Or his snowglobe? Or anything other than slightly differently posed hands? Siiiigh. Still though, it's a good enough sculpt that I'm pleased to have him in the collection (even doubled up).
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: "Skywalker Strikes" Luke Skywalker
Ceremony Luke is arguably my favorite costume in all of Star Wars, so I've been quite eager to get this guy. Apparently he's officially based on one of the modern comicbooks here so he comes loaded up with a bunch of accessories that don't quite line up with the movie appearance (though there is a single release in the regular line that just comes with his Yavin Medal rather than a bunch of these, so there is that too [and yes, I plan on getting it as well]). Lukey Luke gets his trusty lightsaber, with removable blade, and what looks to me like Leia's blaster. The latter fits in the holster on his thigh, but annoyingly the lightsaber hilt can't be hung from his belt anywhere. He comes with a book and snap-closed case (probably one of those "burn it down - JK, we saved it" books from Last Jedi). More interestingly he gets the lightsaber training gear from the Falcon! There's the helmet with the blast shield down - sculpted so close to his head that his nose pokes the blast shield out when it's worn. Then there is the target drone, which is actually a four-piece affair! There is the drone itself, then a blast effect than can plug in to the smaller of two holes on the drone, as well as clip on to the lightsaber blade, and a stand (which plugs in to the larger of the two holes) that's actually a tapered shaft on a balljoint which allows it to be posed around - very cool! This is a super great piece, and certainly a good example of the line firing on all cylinders! I really, really dig this guy and am quite pleased to have found him (and on sale at Gamestop)!
NECA - A Nightmare on Elm Street: Accessory Set
I'm wildly obsessed with horror movie toys, and Nightmare on Elm Street is a particularly favorite franchise of mine for toys! This accessory set gets us some fun versions of Freddy that wouldn't really fit in a standard or "Ultimate" release. Both versions of Freddy here are apparently from the third film, subtitled "Dream Warriors." Worm Freddy is about 12 or 13 inches of veiny, shafty gore! The neck plugs securely into a neat little busted-floorboards base and then the head is on balljoint with a pretty good range of motion. The sculpt and paint here are both just wonderful, and exactly what I dig about Horror toys! TV Freddy is a fun little piece with surprisingly more to it than I expected. The TV itself, which looks to share a base sculpt with upcoming Halloween 3 not-megos, has a hole on top for Freddy's head to plug into. The neck and head are all one piece, but can swivel around on the TV, and astoundingly both the antennae are on ball-in-socket joints meaning they're fully position-able! The two sides have "busted out" damage where his techno-arms protrude. I expected the arms to either be a solid sculpt on a simple pivot or a bendy thing... but in reality they're solid plastic with balljoints at the shoulders and hinge joints at the elbows, allowing for A LOT more poseablility than I expected! And as if that wasn't enough, the TV screen is a nice, subtle lenticular sticker AND there is a hole on the back of the TV set allowing you to hang it on the wall! Soooo awesome! And lastly, to complete the set are two versions of an Elm St street sign - "real world" and "nightmare." They're nothing amazingly special but they really do feel like the perfect cherry-on-top that I didn't know I was missing for my Freddy Krueger display. I gotta admit I dragged my feet on getting this, which is kind of a shame because everything about it exceeded my expectations! My only complaint is the corporate/legal drama on the licensor side which is preventing NECA releasing any more NoES stuff for the time being.
NECA - Halloween (2018): Laurie Strode
I think we all pretty much expected to get Michael Myers from the new Halloween movie but to get Laurie Strode... that's been the impossible dream of the franchise! But impossible dreams are what NECA specializes in. I mean, come on - this is an action figure of a 60-year-old woman, and she's super bad ass!!! I thought the new movie was pretty good but my favorite thing about it was their take on Laurie. There is certainly an air of T2 Sarah Connor to her, but especially given the time between the original and the new one there is something very fresh and exciting about seeing the original Scream Queen as a PTSD survivor armed to the teeth, and I'm very excited to get this character as a figure. Clearly NECA was excited too and they pulled out all the stops. She comes with her handgun, her knife, her shotgun and even her daughter's rifle (which of course makes me want to Judy Greer figure to wield it). Laurie is also articulated to the teeth, with all of the standard points of articulation that we've come to expect from NECA's Ultimate figures; including some of the best double balljointed elbows yet. They look great both straight and bent and allow for a lot of great range poses! We get two interchangeable right hands, one for holding a gun and one for holding the knife, and then we get two heads. Both heads have incredible Jamie Lee Curtis likenesses; definitely among NECA's best work. The only difference between them, though, is that one has glasses. It's kind of a bummer that the hair and faces are identical between the two, and it's strange that the head with the glasses actually seems to somehow more accurate of a likeness... but there you have it. I love this figure so much and I'm so excited that it exists in today's world - especially to pair Old Laurie Strode with Old Sarah Connor!!!
NECA - Terminator Dark Fate: Sarah Connor
Hooo man, and I thought I was excited for all Laurie Strode... Boy howdy - T2 Sarah Connor is one of my all-time favorite film characters as you might recall, so while there is no such thing as a good sequel to T2, as proven by this new movie yet again, the chance to see Linda Hamilton back in action is just too appealing and exciting to me (besides at this point it's not like any of the sequels could be worse than what we've already got, I mean they've set the bar super low so seeing a beloved character is fine enough for me). Here we get old Sarah in her fairly iconic look from the new movie and much like old Laurie she comes with several weapons and alternate heads, ironically both with and without glasses too (and similarly, the likeness is great on both but the glasses somehow make it even better). She comes with a short shotgun, a machine gun, and a pistol. The latter of which is meant to plug into a small holster on her belt however I can't get it in there either because the holster is too thin or its plastic is too firm. She also comes with alternate right hands with the trigger finger slightly more extended or slightly less allowing for a better fit for her different weapons. She's got all of the standard articulation that we've come to expect from NECA, except she only has basic balljointed elbows, sadly... Especially since Arnold comes with the double jointed elbows it's a VERY conspicuous absence on this figure and is kind of heartbreaking as it holds this figure back from the same level of perfection that Old Laurie hits. Still though, I love the idea of an old Sarah Connor and this figure nails it perfectly. She looks fine compared to the T2 Sarah Connor and it looks great next to old Laurie Strode too! At this point, I only want that rumored Aliens continuity-skipping sequel to happen just so I can get an old Ripley to complete this "bad ass women of genre film" trifecta.
NECA - Terminator Dark Fate: T-800
I mean come on it's just Arnold, and worse off it's just Arnold in plain clothes. I figured they only made this guy right off the bat because they could re-pull a bunch of tooling from the last movie's Terminator, but it turns out that at best he just has the same shirt/torso and same hands as "Guardian T-800," the rest is all new sculpts. I guess Arnold is just super popular enough to make it a reasonable choice of a figure, and certainly from what I've seen at my local Targets it seems like he is actually out-selling Sarah unfortunately, but still this is such a boring outfit and boring figure. I guess to be fair though it's not like Mackenzie Davis or that other girl would make better figures, and it really would make sense to release both versions of the T-whatever together as a set, so what're ya gonna do? But if it were up to me, I think I would've preferred old Sarah and the new endoskeleton if I were only going to have two figures from this movie. But here we have it. It's a great figure for what it is, and as good as Laurie's double-jointed elbows are... honestly this might be the best execution of it yet! No doubt aided by the bulk of his jacket (allowing for bigger joints), the range of motion here is really good for hitting all of the poses with his different weapons. He comes with a machine gun, a grenade launcher, and some other kind of macho-machine-gun. He also gets two alternate heads, also with and without glasses - which is annoying since in the film he never wears sunglasses (in fact it's just a joke when he sees them). Why the alternate head isn't him with battle damage is absolutely beyond me, but maybe that was some dumb filmmaker "no spoilers" decision. UGH. But you know... It's a fine figure and completes the set, and it's more than likely going to be the last terminator figure we get (at least if/until NECA dives back into the first two movies). While I wasn't a fan of Dark Fate, it certainly was the least worst of all of the T2 sequels. It is kind of surprising that NECA isn't doing the endoskeleton from this movie but given how bad it did at the box office I can't say I totally blame them for skipping it.
NECA - The Shape of Water: Amphibian Man
I've never been a big fan of Guillermo Del Toro and certainly this Oscar-winning film didn't change my opinion a whole lot, but I will say that The Shape Of Water is certainly his least bad film. I am a big sucker for sea creatures so there's automatically an appeal to me with this figure, not to mention that I'm enjoying the whole Del Toro collection NECA has been doing - It's just nice to get neat figures from beyond just the standard heavy hitters like Freddy, Jason, Predator, Alien, etc. This figure plugs right into their Ultimate style nicely. It has a nice sculpt and is painted really well, using a nice translucent plastic and some layers of paint over it to give him a nice realistic look. He also gets alternate heads, hands, and forearms. The difference between the forearms are shorter fins which allow for the cuffs chained to the base to fit on his wrists. The two sets of hands are slightly different poses allowing for some nice variability and can be swapped around between the sets of forearms. One head has a very plain, neutral expression while the other has an angry expression and a hinged jaw allowing for some more dynamic expressions. The hands and arms swap fairly well but the fit is pretty tight so it does take some effort. He also gets two little wing flaps that plug into his rib cage under his arms to give him little Spider-Man wings if one so desires. Lastly, he gets a little plate of eggs - how fun. He comes with a big honking base of the platform that he gets changed to. Attached to it are three real metal chains with cuffs at the end of them. The plastic cuffs for the wrists slide over the forearm once you unplug the hands while the one for the neck, you have to pop the head off and then slide it on over the neck. The neck one actually has a working hinge in it so that you can put it on that way as well by opening it and then closing it around the neck - but I worry about breaking it going that route. The length of the chains is consistent which makes it a little tough to get him in good chained poses; but I've seen photos that look better than I got, so maybe with more effort and I'm willing to put into it things will work out better. This is a really good figure of a decent design. I'm not trying to pick a fight, but obviously it's impossible with this figure to not see direct parallels to Abe Sapien... and they're certainly there, I mean it's the same director with the same aesthetic sense and the same actor - It's basically just Abe but green and with fins. But, you know what, he still looks kinda neat so I'm happy to have him.
NECA - Wes Craven's New Nightmare: Freddy Kreuger
This is MY Freddy! I really enjoy the premise of Wes Craven's New Nightmare and I have to confess I really like the look of this Freddy redesign. I wasn't that crazy about the original Cult Classics figure NECA made, and the Ultimate version they released a couple of years ago is good but still not great. This figure continues this upward trend, but still falls short of my desires since he's an 8 inch "retro cloth figure," and softgoods are not my jam. But New Nightmare Freddy IS my jam, so here we are. The figure uses the standard body that all of the others do, but he's got a new neck, new hands, new feet and new calves which re-create his full length boots - and a really nice touch, his pleather pants fit underneath the boots to complete a surprisingly accurate look. I was also surprised to see that he has a uniquely sculpted neck, and from what I can tell the tooling is actually designed for the neck to be a separate part from the torso so that NECA can do things like this. Rather than tool up a new torso, just do a new neck and clavicle part that glues into the torso - that's a nice touch. Of all of their versions of New Nightmare Freddy, this is probably my favorite take on his bone claw hand ye! It feels a little over scaled but it captures all of the detail really well and it just looks super rad - I love it! Another nice touch to this figure beyond their previous ones is that he has a fully removable coat, meaning this is the first New Nightmare Freddy we can have on display wearing his classic "outfit" (well, I say "first"... there was that Sideshow 12" figure a long while back). While I do love the overcoat it is nice to get this little bit of variability and it's a fun look that I like surprisingly more than I would have expected. The coat is a bit of a tight fit for him simply thanks to his shirt bunching up when its slid on. It seems that the tailor is a little tight to make both the arm and shirt fit. It looks fine when he has the coat on, though, so that's good, but I think it's just one more reason for me to leave the coat off and make this more of a unique look in my display. Just like the previous New Nightmare Freddys, he comes with a removable hat and the demon head. I still don't directly recall the demon head from the film but it's an easy enough thing for them to do, I just wish that maybe he would've had an alternately posed claw hand or even the animatronic claw from the prologue of the film. Still though this is pretty cool. NECA is certainly warming me up to these 8-inch figures the more that they do them (and the more that it's my only option for buying characters that I like) so I'm glad that they keep stepping up their game and it is a good looking figure even if it's not my preferred format for figures.
Super7 - Masters of the Universe Classics: Commander Karg
Well they've finally gone and done it. Not only has Masters Of The Universe Classics actually come to an end, it indeed does so with the biggest coup of the line - finally giving us figures from the movie! First up is Karg, which is easily, EASILY, easily the least exciting figure in this entire wave. He's just a straight repaint of the previous Karg but now in slightly more movie-accurate colors. One can't really say we didn't see this coming given how mostly movie accurate the previous figure's sculpt was, but now that he's here the inaccuracies definitely highlight here with just how gold the figure is, and how tall and bulky he is. But it's good enough and, well, you had to order the entire set so... now I have him in my collection. He comes with the same gun and curved knife thing as a previous Karg but now in more movie-ish colors. As a really nice touch, he gets an all new hook for his left arm which has a serrated edge and a bit more greebling on the stump helps separate this figure a tiny bit from the previous one. The figure is fine but it's just basically just a straight repaint and as a result, kind of a bummer. I was a lot more upset about this before it became clear that this was the last series of MOTUC, so previously all he did was remind me of all of this figures and characters we weren't getting from the movie. But here, as part of this final series, he's a decent "last one in" and I don't mind having him.
Super7 - Masters of the Universe Classics: Dark Despot Skeletor
Hahahaha, YES!!! Finally - the figure we've all wanted the most: movie Skeletor, baby!!! This figure is insane, it's so good... so good! He uses a new belt/skirt, a new cape, new forearms, new shoulder armor, and new accessories but so much of the figure is reused, which is surprising given how unique he feels! The sculpting is fantastic and the paint is phenomenal, especially on his face! Infamously, this is based more on the concept art for legal reasons so it's not necessarily a perfect match to the film, but the sculpt is so crazy it's immediately identifiable is Frank Langella under the makeup! A nice little detail, to separate it from the movie make up, is that they even painted flesh tone around the eyes making it seem like this is more of a mask (think of the Batman movie cowls, where the actors have to wear black make up around their eyes because the cowls have larger cut outs for the eyes). Another nice touch is that the cloak has sort of a V-shaped hung-down hood sculpted on the back, and then this guy's hood has a hanging down flap in the back that overlaps and gives this whole thing a more fluid, "all one piece" look to it. He comes with his sword, which has a cool skull and bat wing look to it, as well as his big Skull staff and really impressively, he comes with the Cosmic Key - and this time in appropriate scale and detail to the movie, as opposed to the giant one that came with Gwildor. I really can't rave about this figure enough, and honestly my only complaint with him is that I didn't (and that we can't now) buy a second one! He's so great, just SO great, and an absolute highlight to end this line on!
Super7 - Masters of the Universe Classics: God Skeletor
I have always hated God Skeletor from the movie. Gold is just the tackiest color, and cloaking such a cool villain in nothing but it, along with such a ridiculous headdress... it's just lazy. But, here we are. Also like Karg I was shocked and upset that this guy was in this series, thinking he'd make a lot more sense to hold back for a second wave of movie figures, with Man-At-Arms and Teela and Beast-Man and Evil-Lyn and Skeletor's Soldiers and so many others; BUT now that we know that this is the final
wave series, I'm glad he's here. Just given how iconic this outfit is, it would feel kind of like a hole in the collection to not have it. This is an exact repeat of Skeletor just with less paint and accessories... but a new head. That's a bummer. Especially given how he's just one solid color, I wish that there was at least one more thing included to make him feel a bit more unique and special, but much like the infamous finale battle in the film from whence this outfit hails, tight budget costs dictated what we get here, I'm sure. At least the head continues to be an incredible sculpt, with the visible mouth and separate-piece eyes sunken in to the headdress beautifully sculpted and looking very accurate to the movie. The headdress is an impressive sculpt and I'm kind of warming up to the design seeing it here in more detail. It definitely has an '80s, almost Kirby-esque vibe to it, and a really neat detail are the bat wings on the back of it I'd never noticed before. Like I said, all in all this is not an exciting figure - but it is an iconic look from the film and I'm certainly happy to have, it all things considered.
Super7 - Masters of the Universe Classics: Rebel Leader He-Man
I mean... and I thought Skeletor was good - this figure is off the charts!!! Dolph Lundgren He-Man is certainly a figure we all wanted, but never in a million years did I imagine it's turn out this good. He comes with two heads, which is weird because both are surprisingly similar while also being notably different but neither offers a different expression or hair sculpt. or really any clear and obvious reason to exist... but one is slightly more realistic looking while the other is slightly more artistic, which makes me think one is meant to be closer to the concept art, or perhaps both are based on different concept drawings - but the more realistic one is certainly passable use for Lundgren. I do kind of wonder if the second head is kind of meant as a bonus so that you could pull the hair off of it and put it on one of the NECA Ivan Drago heads to make a more movie-accurate head, but I haven't the skills to even attempt such a thing. Like the other figures in the line, this uses the core MotUC body but it looks somehow very different here, with somewhat more realistic flesh tone and the added bits of armor from the movie. His shin guards are awesome, his belt is great, his harness and shoulder pads are fantastic - all with great sculptural detail and really nicely painted with some dark and bright bronze colors. He's also sporting a softgoods cape and one of the best that I can recall. I think it being cloth is actually a first or the line, but it's so good it doesn't feel out of place! It attaches to the shoulderpads and has a nice big gap between the shoulder blades in the back which allows for a really cool and unexpected feature: a holster for the sword! It has a little cup at the bottom for the tip the blade to plug into and then a little c-clamp for the hilt. It holds the sword really well and it looks surprisingly iconic and super great. He, obviously, comes his Power Sword, and also a blaster, a dagger and a little knife. The little life knife fits into a hole on his right boot, which nobody really seems to recall from the movie (or from anywhere) but it's still a cool little detail. The dagger fits into a sheath tied to his thigh (and happens to homage the look of the original toy's Power Sword), and the blaster has a holster on his belt. It's so great that there's a place to put ALL of his accessories on him so that nothing has to get packed up or worried about being lost! It's also crazy how cool he looks with everything in place and also everything being wielded in his hands. Between that and the two heads, I am really, really bummed that I didn't get myself a second He-Man. If these figures were reasonably available individually, I absolutely, ABSOLUTELY, would be getting a second He-Man and a second regular Skeletor! I just can't rave enough about these guys, man... He-Man turned out 110% brilliant and Skeletor is an easy 100%! Super7 really knocked these figures out of the park and they're such an absolutely wonderful high note for the line to end on.