Work... am I right guys? With precious little desire to prolong the wait, I give a couple weeks worth of catching up - here fully enclosed within Spoils 91!
Bridge Direct - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Tauriel
I finally tracked down a Tauriel completing my 6" Hobbit collection - whew! (All I need now is the 4" Thorin/Goblin King set and I'm done with Series 1!) She's another good entry in the line and shows a noted better-than-average quality than most action figure from companies entering the field for the first time. Balljoints at most places, pretty nice sculptural detailing (save for the leggings) and relatively good paint. She comes with what I imagine are her trademark bronze daggers (remember at this point not only does she not exist in the books she’s also not appeared on screen), a pretty cool bow and a quiver with a slew of arrows. Like Legolas the quiver has a peg to attach to the back, however her long, hard-plastic hair won't give space to plug it in. All in all, a good figure for this line, but perhaps not really the best thing out there on the market today.
DST - Marvel Minimates: Juggernaut as Kuurth & Hulk as Nul
Also FINALLY tracked down this set, too! It compliments (completes?) the two Fear Itself box-sets DST has released. Here Juggernaut and Hulk use the familiar "bulky" pieces to pad them out beyond normal Minimate dimensions. Essentially all of the detail comes through paint, which is a bit disorienting at first considering how sculpturally driven 'mates have become (cf. Battle Beasts) but these look way cooler. I've well-documented my preference for paint rather than sculpt when it comes to Minimates and these just look fantastic! New pieces include Juggy's hands, helmet and both of the guys' massive battle hammers. This is just a darn fine looking set and it includes great new spins on familiar Marvel behemoths!
DST - Peter Pan: Cubby, Nibs, Peter Pan, Tootles
DST blew my mind when these got announced. Animation seems like it could be a great match for the Minimate aesthetic and Disney has a limitless catalog of such characters. This set is basically "The Lost Boys" and it includes Cubby (bear), Nibs (rabbit) and Tootles (skunk). What's cool is that each are notably different but in subtle ways. Cubby gets a new cowl and "fat suit" plus the rolled-up sleeves pieces; Nibs gets a new cowl, rolled-up sleeves, a new waist piece with a "cotton tail" on the back and new "short feet" that are longer with grooves sculpted in for the toes and tiny pegholes at the front of the feet; Tootles also gets a new cowl, new "fat suit" with big skunk tail and is built on the new "short" limbs launched with the Thundercats boxsets. The real star, of course, is Peter Pan who comes with a small dagger plus a "leap" base from the Marvel vs Capcom 3 series (which is too short to effectively be a flight base, alas) and a mini-Tinkerbell on a flight rod that plugs in to the back of Pan's skirt.
DST - Peter Pan: Tinker Bell, Captain Hook, John, Michael
Here we get the two Darling boys, John & Michael, the former of which has a new top-hat hairpiece and a closed umbrella while the latter uses the new "short" limbs but sadly lacks his signature teddy bear. Tinker Bell is one of the top-most money generators for The Mouse so likely she is a big draw here, featuring new fairy wings (hung from her neck) and the same style of flight base as Peter, however it's all about Hook for me. He has a surprisingly good face for being a character defined by a large nose, plus he features a bunch of new pieces - most important of which is the hook! He also gets his sword and though the scabbard is meant to hold it, it's an awfully tight fit for the sword which is cast in very soft plastic so it doesn't really get in there. With two major characters and the eye catching reds on Hook this is certainly the preferable of the two sets, but of course you’re going to get both.
Hasbro - Iron Man Legends: Classic Iron Man
This is my second-favorite sculpt of my favorite Iron Man armor - so of course I'm buying it. I got two of this guy when he was in the two-packs and now I'm getting two of this release as well... I know, I know. I like the coloring here more this time, which is odd since I prefer my classic Iron Man in red and yellow rather than metallics. The new "horned" head is cool, though I wish they'd "splurged" and given him a new upper torso if not with the additional details of that armor then certainly with a removable antennae. Regardless I'm a fan so... there we go. He also gets Iron Monger's B.A.F. right leg. My favorite toy of Classic Iron Man is the original Secret Wars figure from Mattel, if you were wondering.
Hasbro - Iron Man Legends: Heroes Age Iron Man
Yay! One totally unique figure in this series! This is a pretty good sculpt of a good-but-not-great armor. For as much as I like blue, you'd think I love this one but really I just find all of the little lights confusing and in discord with the overall design. It's a good enough figure for the Legends style, the legs are are forced a little too wide and the arms can't get too flush to the body though. I'd agree with yo that the reds skew a bit rosier in person than you'd prefer. Really, though, the only substantive issue for me is the flat "sky blue" for the lights which contrasts starkly against the metallic/pearlescent plastic - they really should have been metallic blue. Also included is the left leg of the Iron Monger B.A.F. which is a plus, to boot.
Mattel - DC Universe Collection: Phantom Stranger
I like the idea of Phantom Stranger, but he's such a wildly dated design it's impossible for me to take him seriously. This is right in line with Mattel's other DC figures so your feelings on the aesthetic and execution will likely be in line with that. I'm not crazy about the spray-painted "shadow" on his upper face. It's a nice idea but just looks cheesy and odd in the end. The necklace is a nice sculpt on a big gold chain which is nice. This just isn't a very exciting release at all, especially since I have the old DC Direct one.
NECA - Prometheus: David 8
This figure is pretty amazing. I can't help but immediately mention that it has two issues that keep from "Toy of the Year" contention for me - the elbow articulation and the face paint. For some completely in explicable reason the elbows have a "ball and hinge" joint but with the hinge's swivel peg on the forearm rather than the bicep which means... it's pointless and there's no real side-to-side range on the arms so it might as well just have been a regular hinge joint. As for the face paint, it's good, but compared the paint on the body and definitely the quality of the sculpt it has enough inconsistencies (mainly in the pupil/irises and hairlines) that I had to go through three stores and six figures before I found one without a distracting issue. Other than those though this is easily the best figure of the year and I would say easily the best-ever execution of the double-hinged knee in terms of poseability range. Plus, he gets an extra head and removable helmet, so had I more money I’d get a second one to have that look on display too (there’s also a little flashlight/box-thing).
NECA - Prometheus: Deacon
Maybe it's my fault for spending so much time reading the hero-worship on NECA's Twitter feed but I really had higher expectation for Prometheus Series 2. I'm not crazy about this "oh look how clever we are" proto-Xenomorph design, but dammit the toy looks cool and if I'm getting all the Lost Predators I might as well get all of the Alien-verse monsters (except for the big "trilobite") and while this is a good sculpt with pretty darn good paint, there’s not a whole lot to do with him, pose-wise. The knee and hips joints are loose enough that this guy can't stay standing on his base for more than a day or two and the top-of-the-arm swivel joint is so restricted I thought he only had up-and-down motion. Plus, he's really big. I was expecting a 5" figure based on the scale in the movie but this guy is taller than David! He comes with two of the snake-worm things, which are pretty goody bendies (and the stress-holes don't bother me as much as it does others). The real highlight is the severed Engineer head - great sculpt and great paint!
Playmobil - FAO Schwarz: Soldier
This guy showed up in Toys R Us' "FAO Schwarz" aisle, and while pretty neat looking I held off until a recent sale to pick this guy up. He's a fun allusion to the Greeters/Doormen at the famous New York city toy store and a novel item as a result. The printing is bright and clean and I like the hat, bear and bugle accessories, though they are a bit bare. This guy is a little too stylized, in my opinion, to armybuild but I'm sure he'd be good as a "Dress Uniform" for something.
Playmobil - 123: Moon Rocket
Just as Lego has "Duplo," Playmobil has "123" - a brand of caricatured versions of their iconic style. I'd seen this Moon Rocket a couple times but when Toy R Us offered a 20% off sale I had to jump on this already inexpensive toy. I dig the retro look of the rocket and the figure is a fun throwback to the Playmobil astronauts I had as a kid. The figure is the same size as a Playmo-fig but is only articulated with a hinged waist and swivel neck. The rocket screws apart in the middle for the guy to fit inside. It's a fun little thing, but the main reason I got was to act as a backdrop for other figures like the Outer Space Men.