It seems like every January I vow that I will open all of my Matty Collector junk as it comes in, and yet I still accumulate piles of untouched white boxes. Well, this year I'm attempting the same vow (though I'm already breaking it. I mean, why would I open Netossa? Especially since 80%+ of my MotUC collection remains un-opened). Add to that some good finds and behold ye the party! You know what, this Spoils... this is exactly why I love writing this column. Not to toot m'own horn but look at this variety! Predator and Playmobil in the same place as Gandalf and DC characters. Too. Much. Fun!
Bridge Direct - The Hobbit: Gandalf
Against all odds this guy managed to pop up amongst the handful of Thorins at the only Toys R Us in my area carrying the 6" line, so I'm now 80% done with the first series! When opening and playing with him I was honestly very impressed by the detail of the sculpt, easily one of Gentle Giant's best! That heavy texturing is likely why the plastic used here is quite hard, meaning articulation is tight and limited. Add in his beard and hair and there is absolutely nothing to do with his head (I had hope it was a ball-and-socket joint like the 4" line and I could just pop it off to remove the scarf and allow some wiggle room but no such luck). Plus, his dress essentially renders all leg articulation pointless, though it does appear to be there. He does have balljointed ankles, which is a nice bonus. He comes with Glamdring (which can fit into a permanently attached scabbard), his staff and, of course, his hat. The latter is a solid sculpt it just sits with the brim way too low over the face, and with no real neck articulation there's precious little you can do about it. On the upside, though, he has amazing balljointed elbows that look equally good bent and straight - a marvel for baggy-sleeved figures!
Mattel - DC Universe: Saint Walker
This is the first of the Matty Collector DCUC-continuation figures I've actually opened and I've gotta say... I'm impressed. I have a big passion for the various Lantern Corps and quite like this character design so I was pretty happy to see he was first on deck for Year Two, though I can't say I was all that excited based on photos and reviews. He's essentially more of the same in terms of that soft-detailed, painted-on costume look for the line, plus he has a big unsightly seam in his head-tail where the joint is. What I wasn't prepared for though was the super-articulation! That's right - this is a double-hinged knees and elbows guy complete with balljointed wrists and an actually functional neck! Who fell asleep at the wheel and let a well articulated figure out in this line!? The joints are too tight for easy posing but at least he has those options. Plus he get's an "it's the thought that counts" blue lantern accessory. He's an important character and a surprisingly fun toy for Mattel so I'll just go ahead and call him a must-have for any one with even a passing interest.
Mattel - Watchemen: Rorshach
Again, consider me impressed. Yes, it's just a DCUC style take on the character but it turned out very well. There is some nice subtle shading going on with the overcoat that really goes a long way to making this guy look good. On top of that he's got remarkably clear paint details on his face and legs. What Saint Walker is to articulation Rorshach is to paint. He gets a decent Watchmen logo stand as well as his grapple-gun (which looks both off-model and too large based on memory and a quick flip through the book). I'd be remiss to not mention the packaging as well. I have a tendency to loathe novelty packaging but I gotta admit this time it's really nice; it's certainly the best execution of "collector friendly packaging" I've ever seen and now I'm going to have to find room to store it. Sure I would have infinitely preferred we get the Tim Bruckner sculpted DC Direct line or that this figure had come with alternate face pattern heads rather than the gun but this is a pretty darn good figure. Between him and Saint Walker Matty has really bumped up my expectations for this year so now the pressure is on!
McFarlane Toys - NHL: Jonathan Quick
So I'm not interested in videogames, but I essentially hate sports. I really just don't get it. I mean, I "get it," I just don't get it. That said, hockey is pretty much the only one I can stand. I like the cold, that scoring is actually difficult and they have the coolest armor and costumes. One of my best friends is also wicked into hockey so when McFarlane made their step into sports figures she followed that line pretty religiously for several years and I joined on getting most every goalie and any other jerseys that looked cool to me. Well that died out about five years ago because it just lost all of the fun. I had to get this S.O.B., though, because he's a King and I'm from Los Angeles and because my friend and I have always marveled at Todd's inexplicable hatred of the Kings. He just makes them so infrequently and several, like this guy, are Canadian exclusives. Well at least this time he is available on at the spawn.com web-store (yeah, that still exists - cute, huh). Well, you've probably noticed he's still "M.I.B." - that's because, as a casual fan, I've never opened any of my hockey figures, tending just to hang them from pushpins and enjoy them as such. Thus it is local hero Jonathan Quick remains encased in carbonite. Man, this new, "modern" jersey is UG-LYYYY (but most NHL logos appear to be nowadays) and while he does come with the Stanley Cup he can't rightly enjoy it since he's in 'action pose,' and one that we've seen countless times before. So... yeah. This exists. I'm pleased to have a Kings goalie but am sorely reminded of why I walked away from this line and never looked back.
NECA - Predators: Big Red
I remember seeing this guy at the SDCC booth this past summer and being somewhat impressed by the new direction, if not the bottom-of-the-barrel character selection. Well, now knowing it's from Sandy Collora's (he sculpted a bunch of toys for Mezco back when they launched) fan-film Dead End this figure is pretty exciting, more so than even NECA completing the "Lost Tribe" from Predator 2. It's an unprecedented move in the world of action figures and promises a very in-depth knowledge and passion for the Predator license. Best of all, this figure turned out great. He's basically a repaint of the Jungle Hunter 2.0 figure but with his new belt, helmet and bright red coloring he feels like an all-new figure. He also gets more accessories than any of the Lost Tribe, too - two sets of hands, open and "holding", and two differently length-ed katanas, which both fit in sheaths on the new belt. All around this figure is just as good as you've heard. I'd been suffering MAJOR Predator fatigue after completing the Lost Tribe but after this guy I'm really, really excited for what the future may hold!
Playmobil - Specials: Pirate with Treasure
I stumbled across this dude at an art supply store and you know I had to get it! Not only is this a Specials release he's a figure I don't think I've ever seen before! He's a great pirate that's very much in the more realistic vein on the newest iteration of the Pirate theme and more pleasantly not some hokey captain for once. He gets a conspicuously painted on shirt which looks quite good and it's likely painted to allow for the scabbard/sash to fit over his torso. He also get's a great though ill-fitting hat, a sword, a pistol, a gold treasure box, a bag of gold coins and a sack of treasure. And I said gul'darn! That is a lot of accessories, especially the insane volume of gold coins! The real star of the set, though, is the tan colored sack. This sculpt has been coming out for decades and is always cast in yellow, unquestionably signifying golden contents. It's just a fact; I never questioned it. But now... now we get a realistic color and I gotta tell you, it looks phenomenal! I've definitely got to go buy one or two more of this guy just for all the darn treasure!
Yeah I hate sports too. Recently I saw a video where there was a sports montage with the Dark Knight Rises chant in the background and you have no idea how angry I was. Well that's besides the point.
I want that Gandalf figure, although it looks really restricted
it is really restricted, but it does look cool. all the hobbit toys so far have been pretty good, though Legolas looks a bit iffy...
Yeah - Gandalf is a perfect "shelf toy" - i.e. just to have on display. The arms have pretty solid motion/range without the "blanket" draped over them.
Ugh, I hate sports too. I mean, you get paid a ton of money to win a game, then what? you play more games? Why? there's no end result. It's pointless.
Unlike toy collecting, which totally has a point.
I'm glad you agree.
The DC Direct Watchmen? Those things were garbage! The only exciting thing about them was that they (almost) existed, and once the movie toys came out, not even that...
Oh lord... of course you would prefer the 90s style movie costumes with no real posing options to the glory of a Tim Bruckner sculpt. Manhattan with a Mars base and Comedian with three interchangeable heads would have been greatly better than both the DCD and the Mattel stuff.
You lack reading comprehension!
The only good thing about the movie toys is that they came out. But them being crappy doesn't somehow absolve the DCD versions from their terribleness - especially in the face of Mattel doing fully articulated ones...
I think I understand what's happening... I'm talking about the unreleased Tim Bruckner figures from circa 2000
No, you're still confused.
DCD showed off Tim Bruckner figures, which we were all excited about - because there was no other choice for Watchmen toys.
Years later, DCD released movie toys, which were pretty lame, but we all tried to enjoy because there was no other choice for Watchmen toys.
But the idea that the lackluster Tim Bruckner ones would be preferable to Mattel's is just silly. Having better accessories and bases does not make up for the usual bad DCD joints...
hoo-boy, so I was right originally and you are just nuts.
while a mars base and a comedian with gimp mask head are indeed appealing, i prefer my figures to have knees and waist articulation at a minimum. i'm absolutely fine with matty doing DCUC versions of watchmen, if the rest are as great as rorschach. and we haven't seen the comedian yet, so he may indeed have at least one alternate head. i can dream can't i?
Yeah, I was thinking about that, but based on Rorshach, my guess is that Comedian will only get one gun.
But considering how easy head swaps will be, there's lots of potentials for SDCC or even a mediocre Year 2. Also, I think it'd be super cool if they do a 12" Manhattan with a "energy blast" for his hand to do him from 'Nam - especially if they can do the cigar & Molotov cocktail Comedian.
any of you guys know if The rest of the watchmen characters are expected? i really want this figure, but i made promise to myself that from now on i can only buy DCU if it's part of a team. plus Articulated Niteowl? Yes Please!
Yes - they are doing six figures, released bi-monthly. Officially the only other confirmed figure is Dr. Manhattan, but at SDCC Neitlich heavily implied/essentially confirmed they're doing the main roster as those six figures - Rorshach, Manhattan, Silk Spectre, Niteowl, Ozymadias and Comedian.
a silk spectre has been shown, albeit a falling apart prototype with the leg held together with sticky tack.
Don't begin your description of a figure based on a professional athlete by saying "I hate sports." It totally discredits anything you say afterwards.
Don't be ridiculous. That's like saying if you don't like cooking, you aren't allowed to discuss what kind of food is on your plate. He's not talking about the merit of the sport in question, he's telling us about a toy that happens to be based on it...
color me impressed with how well bridge direct's hobbit line is doing. there are a lot of the 4" figures clogging pegs, but other than thorin, no 6" figures are at all easy to find. i want a bilbo, but he's long gone.
As a Masshole I hereby declare -10 points for misuse of the word "wicked" ---
I am by no means a huge sports fan myself. The only sport I can plop myself down in front of a TV and enjoy is football, and 9 times out of 10 thats when the Pats are on. I only have a halfhearted interest in the Sox, B's and Celtics. That said I like to see them do well, for some reason it seems to get everyone in a good mood.
You praise Rorschach's packaging, and then decide not to show it? Party Foul!
thats what she said.
Can't say anything about the 4 inch Hobbit figures, but having bought all the 6 inch ones, I can say they 100% suck. Yeah sure, they are not bad shelf pieces, but for an articulation junky like me, they bring nothing to the table. As far as I'm concerned Hasbro would have done a much better job with these figures, at least they can make a 6 inch fully poseable figure, even with the robes and skirts over the hip joints. Look at 6 inch Avengers movie Loki, that figure is proof Hasbro could've knocked the Hobbit 6 inch line out of the park, while Bridge Direct just struck out completely.
i own a thorin 6", and he's way more poseable than my gimli 6", which was part of a later box set in the LOTR line and lacked elbows AND knees. people forget just how long it took toy biz to focus on articulation over action features with LOTR. well into the line we were still getting bendy gollum and staff thrusting gandalf, and even some of the more poseable figures still have ugly knobs sticking out of their backs. i liked the LOTR line a lot, and nobody's saying if toy biz had still existed and obtained the hobbit license it wouldn't have been ideal, but what we got instead was not nearly as bad as it could have been. 6" action figures, designed by some of the people who worked on toy biz's LOTR line, devoid of obtrusive action figures. nobody's saying it's the best line ever, but sometimes it's enough just to be relieved the product isn't as bad as you expected.
as far as hasbro doing a better job, maybe, but they didn't seem to want the license, and haven't really pushed a 6" release at retail that was easy to collect in quite some time. look at how awesome a figure like loki was...and how easy was he to find? the only reason i didn't get a bridge direct bilbo wasn't because i never found him. i just never stopped to pay attention to the figures until after i saw the movie, and by then most had sold out. it's not like, say, hasbro's latest marvel legends that can't seem to get new waves on the pegs, or like any of the recent limited retailer exclusive 6" movie lines they've had recently. if they'd gotten the license the figures might be better, but there'd be a whole set of new problems to get mad about.
So guys anyone watching the Super Bowl? .... For the Iron Man 3 trailer?
Sports! Who cares? But I'd read about them if they were in Spoils!