Jakks' new PotC figures rolled out in Toys R Us this week so the nightmare begins anew. With two figure packed at one per case, this one is going to be particularly hard. It'll be interesting to see the production quality of the 6" stuff once it comes out, because so far... not terribly impressed. Beyond that I finally brought home some recent AFX deliveries which arrived while I was international, so enjoy some delicious Minimate madness!
DST - Marvel Minimates: Uncanny X-Force Boxset
Assumably this is all just an offshoot of that lame black and silver Wolverine costume everyone went nuts about a few years back. I love when teams have matching colors, which was really the one issue I took from my boyhood era of "Jim Lee's X-Men" so I can appreciate the theme represented here, though the black and gray is just so... lowbrow. So very unimaginative, especially since it's just the regular costumes, only grayscale - how Black Ops! I only go this set cause I new I was going to be stuck with Warpath; I compulsively build teams and it's got Deadpool and Archangel, characters one can never really have too many of. Wolervine adds some gauntlets and boot tops he hasn't worn before, but other than that these are all just repaints.
DST - Marvel Minimates Series 36: Lizard & Spider-Man
Both figures are handled a bit different than expected - the Lizard has an all-new coat piece with the tail sculpted on it and Six-Armed Spider-Man is accomplished by a new "girdle" which comes up from the waist with holes for the standard arm pegs. Of course, what this means is that the standard shoulder holes now have less peg to clip onto and pop off regularly. Also the new arm pegs, two on each side, are in a straight row with the standard ones, which just makes the arms hard to pose effectively because each arm is battling for the same real estate. It's surprising it took us this long to get a Lizard, but he's just in time for his big-screen debut next year. Spider-Man is the first unique/worthwhile variant in a long time, but I just can't get excited or interested in him. It is kind of surprising, though, that this is only the second figure of this more unique variation of the King of the Toy Aisle.
DST - Marvel Minimates Series 36: Professor X & Warpath
Warpath - who cares. Professor X - HUZZAH!!! Jim Lee X-Men effectively complete! (Just missing Forge.) The chair is pretty awesome. The front flap opens in order to get the professor in place and both arm rests open to reveal... tech stuff! A typical DST unanticipated-but-very-cool feature! The chair plugs on to the same base from Stiltman in order to keep it upright. Also included is the Cerebro Helmet and a wedge of blanket for keeping the old man's legs warm. The latter is a cute touch but I cannot get it to stay in play or really figure out what they were thinking with it, for is design doesn't seem to match the practical requirement of the toy at all. Regardless, though, this is just a fantastic addition to the collection! Like Six-Arms above, its also pretty surprising that this hasn't had a toy since the ToyBiz days - fix this Hasbro.
DST - Marvel Minimates Series 36: Thing & Doombot
Doombot is pretty much the last armybuilder we were waiting for and here he is. There's a ton of different permutations of the Doombots so we'll probably see more down the road, but this is a pretty cool "classic" version. Sadly, though, he comes with no accessories or fun add-ons, etc., like prevous army-builders. Thing is basically a great example about what I hate about modern Minimates - too much sculpting. It's a good figure and all of the pieces (new feet, arms, thigh covers, upper arm covers, torso cover and head cover) fit well and surprisingly don't inhibit the articulation too much, but come on. It lacks most if not all of the Minimate style, that flavor, that aesthetic that makes the brand so great.
DST - Marvel Minimates Series 36: Thing & Doombot Variant
Same as above, but with unique coat, upper arm covers and head with hat permanently sculpted on - unlike Six-Arms Spider-Man this is not a valid or interesting character variation and is pretty disappointing. Even doing Thing is pretty weak - why not Dr. Doom? They could have done Doom 2099 as the regular and then Magic/Leather-Armor Doom as the variant, for example. I love the Fantastic Four but seriously, how many Things do we reasonably need?
Jakks Pacific - Pirates of the Caribbean: Barbossa
And it begins - Barbossa is my biggest question mark and biggest fear about the new PotC film. I love the character, and think the inclusion of a pegleg is a fun twist - but why and how is he working for the English Crown now!? I'm not crazy about the costume and I don't like the allegiance shift at all, makes no sense with the character. So, the good news is that with a little work you can get him to stand just fine. Why is that good news? They screwed up his crutch so there's no way he can use it. Disappintingly there is no surprises with articulation. It's the classic Big Five plus waist and hinge knees and elbows. Nothing to write home about at all, especially for $7.99.
Jakks Pacific - Pirates of the Caribbean: Blackbeard
My fingers are hyper crossed that they use Blackbeard/Ian McShane to his utmost potential in the new movie and that he is not another Sao Feng (pointless character that dies without doing a thing other than a hamfistsed spot of forced plot movement). Same articulation and disappoint as above. Jakks is using as little paint as is humanly possibly so this guy is basically just a hunk of black plastic.
Jakks Pacific - Pirates of the Caribbean: Gibbs
Gibbs rules! I'm quite happy to be able to tick him of the list right at the beginning. Same quality as above, but let's take a moment to talk about likenesses - they're generally pretty solid - certainly better than Play Along's. It makes sense since Jakks pioneered digital scanning of actors, but that said, the style of the likenesses is, much as with the figures, very simplified and slightly cartoonish. No texture or detailing at all. Jakks' gimmick for the line is this UV "ghost" effect that's only visible under UV/Blacklight, and they actually include a little UV LED accessory with every figure. I garuantee that device alone adds $2 to the pricetag. Customizers and collectors alike should be pretty exicted to get access to such a wealth of black lights, but honestly, the quality of the figures barely justifies a $5.99 price and certainly not $7.99. I was pretty worried about the "disappearing quality" of the UV paint and fortunately it's totally unnoticeable under regular light. You can see it at certain angles on darker plastics but in general, and certainly on the faces, it's unnoticeable.
Jakks Pacific - Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow
I'm pretty sure I have more Jack Sparrows than Spider-Men. He looks dumb without his hat, but it fits on quite nicely. I was hoping they would spend a little extra on this guy since he's
Mattel - Green Lantern Classics: Black Hand
Why blue and not black/gray as per his actual look when he got the ring? Well, since he does have the Black Lantern ring on maybe this means they were just doing the character once and thus gave aimed for both versions in one. He's 100% new tool which is a waste of money, in my opinion. A good figure, though.
Mattel - Green Lantern Classics: Black Lantern Abin Sur
The first skinny figure they've done that hasn't looked proportionally awkward, so, yay! It's interesting that he has double-hinged elbows but regular knees. Regardless, there's actually some good poses to get him in, and frankly the double-hinge elbow plus the swivel-hinge wrist gives him the ability to hold up his ring hand perfectly - all Lantern figure should be given this articulation.