A few weeks ago I was in Chicago and in addition to hauls from regular stores and my beloved Legoland Discovery Center but I also made a sojourn a FiveBelow, which we sadly lack in California. My hope was to score Playmobil Fi?ures Series 3 but there was none to be seen or had, though I did find several alternatives upon which to spend my hard earned dollars
Hasbro - Thor: Destroyer
Huzzah! At long last he is mine! And what's best? Only cost me five buckaroos! This is a pretty swell figure (considering the price I paid). He's 8" tall and has simple articulation at the Big Five, though the head is at least a ball-and-socket joint with limited range. Paint is simple but effective and for this kind of release the eyes are remarkably even and clean. I'm quite glad to get this guy! I would have loved to have seen a second version released with the more fully opened eyes for fire-belching effect with a fiery orange wipe to fill in the creases in the armor with his fiery power. Scale is always the big debate here and while he seems too big for the 4" and too small for the 6" or 7" figures the bigger issue is that it's hard to tell scale from the film. I did find one photo of Sif fighting him that does indeed suggest this figure is in scale to the 4" figures, so that's good enough for me. Klaatu Barada Niktu.
Mattel - Retro-Action DC Super Heroes: Darkseid
I've had a weird relationship with Darkseid. I hated him for a decade after getting the Super Powers figure, but have been nearly obsessed with him for a decade due to the original DC Direct figure (such a glorious head sculpt by master Tim Bruckner), so for the mere price of five dollars I was happy to add this sucker to my collection. He's just as basic and bland as any Mego knockoff, so your enjoyment with this figure is entirely 1:1 to your passion for that format. His head, boots and gloves are, I believe, all unique sculpts (maybe the gloves are re-used) but the most notable bit is his gray body suit. They sewed in padding to beef him up with some muscular bulk. It's a neat tactic and new to the format for me. On the one hand to limits the articulation a bit but on the other it seems to make for a more stable figure when standing. If you missed this guy you missed little, but I'm pleased to add him to my Darkseid display.
Mega Bloks - Marvel Minifigs: Cyclops
Ooooooh Mega Bloks. It's easy to pick on them because they pretty much just stole Lego's entire premise once their patent expired and make lower quality product that the Danish mainstay. Since I couldn't find any Playmobil Fi?ures I filled my blind-bagged urge with these single packed figures, mainly thanks to some online de-coders I sourced on ye olde smart phone (quite handy!). Cyclops comes is some costume I'm not familiar with, it looks like what I like the modern one is but with the free-hair Jim Lee style head. He comes with a shield featuring the X logo which has a T handle allowing some varied holding options, plus there is a hole in his back it can be plugged into. His "base" is a 2x4 brick cast in translucent red, a pleasant allusion to his mutant power.
Mega Bloks - Marvel Minifigs: Magneto
Like Darkseid, Magneto was a villain/character/design I wasn't too crazy about (he has a purple cape from criminysake) until a specific piece of merchandise forced a complete 180° shift in passion, in this case Bowen Designs' first mini-bust of the guy. This is probably my favorite of the figures, I dig the cape (which has a peg that plugs into the back) and the helmeted head. His "accessory" is a shield of implied metal debris with just a single peg coming off it. Magneto is the only figure I got which has traditional pegholes within his "stud holes" so that the shield can be plugged in as a sort of hovering base. He gets a purple brick for a base, too. What fun!
Mega Bloks - Marvel Minifigs: Mr. Fantastic
After Magneto this is a close second for my favorite figure of the line - just nice, bright colors. I believe this is the Ultimate Fantastic Four costume, but like the ToyBiz figure, it has the main continuity gray templed head, so it's a bit odd for aficionados. Regardless it's just a snappy looking figure and a pleasant addition to my FF-lovin' collection. What really sets him apart though is his excessive accessory/ies! Rather than a shield he gets a cannon, but not just any a cannon - one built from four parts, so he's the best value figure to boot! It's neat, but a good example of a big issue I have Mega Bloks' style - the cannon is pretty detailed and "realistic" in proportion but it's connected to simple, stylized bricks making for a very stark contrast in styles. It does, however, use some translucent blue pieces so that helps keep me a happy camper as I am quite the sucker for such plastics.
Mega Bloks - Marvel Minifigs: Spider-Man
I thought I was getting Iron Man but instead ended up with my least favorite mainstream superhero, alas. He gets a 2x4 brick for a base and two bizarre tendrils cast in translucent blue plastic. They represent, well... excess pieces in the stock room, I suppose. All things considered the paint is pretty solid, particularly with all the line work. These figure are also well sculpted and impressively articulated for 2" figures, though they do lack the appealing stylized quality of Lego mini-figs, Minimates, or most other small scale figures - at least for my tastes. They get ball-and-socket heads, shoulders, and hips with hinged elbows and knees plus swivel wrists and waists. Their ranges are limited, of course, due to size but still impressive when compared to Lego figures.
Mega Bloks - Marvel Minifigs: Venom
And here I thought I was getting War Machine, oh online code lists how you LIED to me! This guy is probably third on my "faves" list and that is mainly a result of his head sculpt and broader chest. In fact, his torso is fully unique to give him the bulky, inverted triangular look he is known for. Instead of a joint at the waist his pegs plug on to a peg which serves as a swivel under the codpiece. Odd but effective. Like Spidey, the tampo printing is surprisingly well done considering how sloppy some of the other figure can be. Venom gets two tendrils, which actually do make some sense here, and the brick base. The bricks are clearly a lower grade plastic than Lego's with the telltale semi-translucency giving them away. They also have the Mega Bloks named sculpted into the brick in the center of each 2x2 stud set so all around it isn't hard at all to tell the competitor's products apart. In a particularly tacky move they have their part number and county of origin printed on one side of the brick ensuring that your building options are limited by 25%.
Playmobil - Fi?ures: Pirate Captain
I did manage to find this one Fi?ures 2 guy and it just so happened to be the one I wanted a double of! I've done a write up for him previously with the rest of Series 2 but rest assured, he remains a great figure. I really like the same-mold-but-different-colored-plastics of the hair piece and the stellar hook (though it does have a thumb nub) but the real reason to get his guy is the awesome crystal skull! And, true to my previous word, I went ahead and popped in the diamond sticker eyes for an ultimate tacky look. It was actually much easier than I expected to get the stickers in the eye sockets and honestly they don't look too bad. I can't wait to have this skull displayed prominently behind the bar amongst the various liquors and spirits of the newly re-released Western Saloon!
If you want to complete your Marvel Mega Bloks, let me know. I have almost a full set of them all (I'm only missing Wolverine and Silver Surfer I think...).
Thanks for the offer, but these were very much "whim of the moment" purchases and not really something I imagine I'll follow very closely.
You ever get into the blindbagged Halo Mega Blok figures? They're pretty fun (considering they have the exact same articulation as the Minimates, but are cheaper and can mount weapons), and have a pretty great variety. I also think that MB's "kind of stylized, but not really" aesthetic works particularly well with the Spartans and aliens. The Marvel characters just looked kind of off to me, especially the ones with exposed skin and eyes. The two-pack of grunts are a good deal in particular.
After the "high" of being able to use a de-coder sheet in store and being pleasantly surprised by these I was tempted to try out some of the Halo ones, but honestly I'm just not that into Mega Bloks or Halo (and despite that I already have two substantive Halo collections). I think you do make a good point about the sculpted armor looking good in this format, and I'd agree that it makes those more desirable than the Marvel ones. Maybe if I'm bored in a store one day and come across an assortment with some armor variations I'll try them out.
One of my best friends is a hardcore Lego fanatic so part of me bought these just to mess with him. He'd probably beat me up something fierce if I started getting more.
My Target has series 3 of the Halo ones for 50% off (so they're about $1.68 a pop). They also tend to be ridiculously easy to feel out since the guns tend to be quite distinctive. And they benefit from the mix-and-match aspect way more than the Marvel ones.
Just sayin'. I don't really care for Halo either, but I do like their armor designs (I don't own an Xbox, but I do have a bunch of Halo Minimates and Mega Bloks). I recommend you give it a shot.
Plus, you know, you get to get into a fist fight with your friend! Always fun!
Those Marvel Mega Bloks are just barely holding you over for CMF Series 9, aren't they?
No, its Fi?ures 3 that's got me all ants-in-the-pants! CMF 9 has some good stuff in it but doesn't really have the pull for that 6 or 7 did.
I don't know about you, but that Battle Mech figure has me drooling!
Scale was all over the place this week, huh? Spoils is so fun!