Well, as you may have noticed I tend to buy a lot of stuff. I also have nothing but the best on intentions when it comes to reviewing it all, in fact Spoils of the Week was partly born out me just getting too much to review individually, and that’s sort of the boat we’re in here today. Even though I’ve quite literally had a year I have not been able to get around to reviewing these remaining exclusives from the 2012 Comic-Con International in San Diego. So, since this week marks the occurrence of the 2013 SDCC, I figured it was a quite timely event to wrap up the rest of last year’s Con Spoils.
Bif Bang Pow – Twilight Zone: Kanamit’s Gift Set
The Lunchbox fad is just like bobble heads in terms of a thing that really took off but that I never really understood or got into. Bif Bang Pow has started expanding out past figures into more broad merchandise and this is a nice combination of their three major types of product: “Tin Totes,” journals, and Mego-style figures. The (legally can’t call it a) lunch box is nice – not sure what else to say, but it’s clean, bright metal with decent, vivid graphics and it closes and locks easily. The journal is a very cool prop-replica type thing, being about a ½ scale replica of the titular MacGuffin from this, my favorite, Twilight Zone episode. In fact, it’s because of the latter fact that I chose to “censor” the title of this set since it completely and arbitrarily spoils the twist of the episode. Finally we get a “bizarro” Kanamit. In essence he’s a perfect exclusive – fun and novel but in no way a hole in the collection. Here he wears a black tunic rather than white and the collar rises to the right rather than the left. It’s a cute spin on the character but whatever material they used for the dress is pretty sticky and managed to dye Kanamit’s hands black where he was touching it in the package. He even comes with the same accessory of his book from his regular release. This is nothing but pure novelty and I have to say the journal is the real highlight. Now I just have to convince myself it’s okay to write in it.
Bif Bang Pow – Twilight Zone: Icons of The Twilight Zone Bobble Head Revisited
This is a sequel of sorts to a previous Bobblehead they’d made in 2011. It features the famous “floating door” and several of the iconic elements that float past the camera during the opening. It’s really a clever bit of re-use. It’s also a great companion piece the previous one (which I got at a previous SDCC but also have yet to review. Le sigh…) and with it will certainly be the heart of my Twilight Zone display. The back of the starfield is curved and features the Twilight Zone logo sculpted on it, for those of the curious variety.
Bif Bang Pow – Twilight Zone: The Invaders Diorama
Remember how I’m so into Star Trek that I’ll buy just about anything? Well, the same is unfortunately true for Twilight Zone. At least this was “only” $25, but even then… This recreates a very famous moment from a mildly famous episode but manages to do it in a pretty boring way with poor sculpting and equally bad paint. The Invader is sculpted well enough, though a bit wonky in proportion, and the saucer is okay but also somewhat “off.” The latter has pretty rough paint, with lots of bubbles and sloppy lines. The real problem with this thing, though, is the woman peaking out from the trapdoor. The likeness embarrassingly bad – whoever it is it certainly isn’t Agnes Moorehead. Best case scenario is they didn’t have the likeness rights, but if that’s the case then you don’t do the episode featuring that actress. Plus, the arm is all off too, with a somewhat anatomically incorrect feel and an absurdly tiny hand. Sure, this is sculpted better than I could sculpt it, but I have no training and wouldn’t release my stuff as a product. Through listening to the “Geek Shall Inherit” podcast I’ve grown to like and enjoy Jason Lenzi but the only thing more shocking than that he (or anyone) would actually release this is that the Licensor allowed them to.
DKR Toys – Android: Mini Collectible Summer Edition
Okay, so I’m apparently not too “with it” because I thought this was just a fun little designer toy type of thing until a couple months ago when I discovered this is the logo for Android phones. Yeesh. Well, had I known that I probably have passed, but in my blissful ignorance grouped this into “anything Trek“. The one guy is a neat little barbequer with a peg hole on his right hand for one of two spatulas (they’re kind of a pain to get in though). He comes with a little barbeque made from a upside-down, smaller scale Android head and has two burgers and two hotdogs painted on it. The other figure is, of course, a close-as-legally-possible riff of the infamous Star Trek Red Shirts. Clearly this is a cosplaying Android, as exemplified by his removable con badge. Both figures have swivels at the shoulders and neck. They come packed in a fun little window box made to look like luggage. This set is nice enough, but nothing all that special. Had I known I was just shilling a mascot I probably have saved my $25.
Gentle Giant – Mars Attacks: Martian Mini-Bust
I was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, when I found out that not only was this only going to be a Comic-Con exclusive it was going to be limited to only 550 pieces! It’s a true shame because this is one of the coolest mini-busts that Gentle Giant has ever put out. I’m not entire clear on if this is the movie version or card (or comic) version of the Martian Soldier, or a blend of them, but it sure is darn cool! It’s sculpted to utter perfection, with the sleek ’50s-ness of the design being a perfect match to Gentle Giant’s generally “smooth” aesthetic. The bubble dome is a little thick, but not so much as to obscure or warp the head within, and while there is unfortunately a seam they did move it towards the back and it’s totally unnoticeable from straight-on. The paint is phenomenal all around, with a nice hint of weathering on the suit but it’s the tanks on the back which are especially great. They have a nice red undercoat with a heavy orange-red drybrush which adds a surprising amount of depth and texture. I love that the base is a saucer and its translucent red and orange support is completely awesome. I really liked this Bust before getting it but absolutely love it now that I have it in hand!
Gentle Giant – Star Wars: Admiral Motti
I’m not entirely sure why this was done as an exclusive, but it was. Maybe it’s because it’s just not that impressive of a final piece. Sure it’s the second or third most famous Imperial Officer (after Tarkin and Veers) doing his trademark thing, but… it’s just off. Just a dude choking… I don’t know. I think the real issue is that the likeness isn’t too strong. I had to look up a photo of Motti to see if I was even thinking of the right guy (I was). What’s odd too that he has a very pale complexion, almost sickly in fact. As part of the exclusivity of the piece its “Certificate of Authenticity” card comes hand signed by Richard LeParmentier, the actor who played Motti. I ultimately got this for the exclusivity, that it’s something from my beloved A New Hope and it sort of goes with the phenomenal Tarkin bust they’d done a while ago. But on its own merits, this is a sadly lacking entry in the world of Star Wars busts.
Gentle Giant – Star Wars: Imperial Stormtrooper (McQuarrie Concept)
Gentle Giant continues their annual tradition of SDCC exclusive McQuarrie Concept art busts with this one of the Stormtrooper. Following in suit, it two comes with multiple parts allowing it to be customizable. We get two different heads, two right arms (one more extended than the other) and alternate left hands (one with the shield and one without). Each has a small metal pin which plugs snugly into a hole and the right shoulder armor is even wide enough you could finagle some posing there too. Each helmet is connected by a ball-in-socket joint to a neck so there is ever more poseability there than I imagined (though not much in terms of the Y axis). The lightsaber has a clear plastic blade that can connect to either hilt. The paint is good and has a pretty subtle light blue speckling. Presumably that’s for texture but I find it a bit too distracting. All in all this is a darn cool addition to the collection and the McQuarrie sub-theme of it! I’d be remiss to note, too, that I ended up with Bust number 1127 – had I but only waited eleven more people…!
Hasbro – Star Wars: Carbonite Chamber
B-b-b-buyers remorse! This awful thing is a ridiculously huge package that houses a set of figures in their “variant” form of alternate Kenner card-art plus an exclusive Jar Jar in Carbonite on a Vintage card. This set cost $80!!! Vintage runs $10 a piece so that’s $20 for one of the most awful bits of space consuming/wasting packages and a solid hunk of plastic. To make matters worse, not only was this line and this boring style of cardback more than readily available in store, it was one sale for “Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off” less than a month after the con, meaning I could have only gotten the figures I wanted and at a remarkable savings. But oooh nooo – I HAD to have Carbonite Jar Jar… grumble grumble grumble. The series and box contains one figure from each film – what fun! TPM – Jar Jar Binks is about as “perfect” a Jar Jar as we could ever hope to get, so let’s put the proverbial fork in that character and never revisit. The AOTC – Clone Trooper Lieutenant and ROTS – Shock Trooper are just your standard super articulated upgrades, each has a removable helmet, blaster and rifle with the latter two featuring more little paint details than I’d expected. The ANH – Sandtrooper is much like the other two troopers and features a welcome return of the orange pauldron plus the dumb little hover-bot from the Special Editions. ESB – Bespin Leia is a good upgrade to an outfit we got twice before before and while this one too suffers an abundance of softgoods she’s good enough that we can officially check this costume off the list. ROTJ – Darth Vader gets a bunch of electro-hooey from when he assaults his boss, plus a light saber and alternate severed-hand stump and really cool fist right hands, but it’s the translucent helmet with the skull inside that’s really cool. Finally we get to the only reason to own this nightmare and I’m too “scared” to open him since he’s “so rare” – Jar Jar Binks (in carbonite) is a hefty hunk of plastic that appears to be a wholly unique sculpt and lack much other than sheer novelty.