Helm to 108. Yes, sir - HELM! 108! Helm to 108. Okay, so that's been a full calendar month of my SDCC haulage (shameless plug - Haul pt. 1, Haul pt. 2, Exclusives pt. 1, Exclusives pt. 2) and hoo boy, don't you worry there's yet another two or three to go, but lets us take a sweet and merciful break to peruse what I've been up to in the meantime. This Spoils technically covers a year since there are a couple figures yo picked up for me last summer which I've just gotten around to, but everything is still effectively "new to me" in the last week/s. So... let's have us a look, eh?
Hasbro - The Avengers: Captain America
FINALLY, I have my 6" version of Avengers Cap! This, awfully, was a Walmart exclusive making him very hard for me to find (so thanks go to yo!) which is a true shame since it turned out pretty good. I more-or-less hate the costume as it appears in the movie but through the 4" and 18" versions it's really grown on me, and the different shades of blues add a lot to the otherwise ho-hum design. The figure is, of course, loaded with articulation though it sadly and oddly lacks wrist joints. Most of the coloring is through plastic rather than paint, but it gives a bright, vivid hue which also helps the costume "come to life." The shield is an interesting new approach which uses adjustable rubber straps for handles. This lets him wear it as a backpack in a very effective way; but it does render it a floppy hold when in "forearm" mode. Overall I really dig this figure, and I would absolutely be into its re-release, perhaps with un-helmeted and/or new, articulated wrists maybe even with shield-throwing hands. It's a darn good toy and it deserves people having better access to it.
Hasbro - The Avengers: Hawkeye
I have no affinity for Jeremy Renner whatsoever and the character is really... he's very "comicbook." Despite the controversy after-the-fact I like how they handled the him in the movie, though I agree he could have used better development or team-bonding in the third act. This is, like Cap, an awesome figure - way better than I expected or than the character deserves. The only two downsides are the simple and confusing quiver (which way is up?) and the lack of any arrows. Outside of those there is nothing wrong with him - this is essentially a perfect toy. First, the likeness is darn good, possibly the best Hasbro's ever done and that even with the glasses sculpted on! Next is the excellent, detailed sculpt that has amazing articulation! He even gets balljointed wrists that, when mixed with the double-hinged elbows easily make this the greatest archer toy ever released. His bow is great too, and has enough give to it that he can pull the "string" back reasonably. Like I said, had he only an arrow to string then this well could have been the Toy of the Year. I had wanted to pass on this figure but I'm VERY happy to have it now that I've played with it!
Mattel - DC Signature Collection: Fire
Ugh. I'm sure there's people out there that are thrilled to have this figure, but I am not one of them. My awareness of this character only began with the JLU figure, and I think she was on the show and that DCD made a toy of her too. She just doesn't do anything for me. At least she's a new character and gets some new pieces and even an accessory. The sculpting is quite good and the paint isn't too bad. I just have nothing for this character, as I said, so really I just see her as one of those "we could have gotten _____ instead" figures, but I'm sure it's a big deal for some folks, and for them I guess I'm happy. For me, it just means I'm now going to be forced to pay a premium to get Ice so I can "complete the team."
Mattel - DC Signature Collection: Freddy Freeman
Well, at least he's visually interesting. Like Fire this feels like bottom scrapping to a more casual fan such as myself. At least he goes with an established team/family, but it takes all of my effort to roll with Shazam as is, but then to throw in teenage equivalents of him is just... that's why DC has never really been the market leader. All bitching aside, though, he is a neat looking toy at least and the combination of the primary colors is pretty good and ensures he'll stand out on the shelf. I'm not as bummed by him as with others in the line this year, but I still can't get myself excited for him.
Mattel - Imaginext, DC: Superman & Darkseid
I didn't realize Mattel was doing a big relaunch of their DC Imaginext line until I found it all at Target the other day. There was some appealing items (Gorilla Grodd) but ultimately I only got this set because of my undying fascination with Darkseid. I think I regret the purchase though, as it's both characters in their New 52 costumes, neither of which are that good or interesting. Superman feels like a repaint but I think his torso is new but either way he's good enough. Darkseid gets an all-new sculpt and is so-detailed he doesn't fit in with the line AT ALL. Plus, despite being slightly taller than Supes his proportions make him feel very undersized. His cowl and shoulder armor are a separate, rubber piece but it's glued on to his back, alas. I really, really hate the New 52 Darkseid design, it's just awful. This is a decent replication of the look, though, but it's just doesn't fit with the toyline it's from at all.
Mattel - Imaginext, Blind Bags: Diver
Just like the new DC Imaginext stuff I was surprised to see this brand has jumped on the blind bag bandwagon as well. A quick look at the package showed a couple characters that, for $2.99, I'd be into so a quick google search found me the code list for the line and I was able to score these too. First up - the Diver, and who doesn't like the old diving bell helmets? The helmet is a nice sculpt and cast in a rich brown. The Diver's body suit is a surprising neon orange, which I hated at first but is growing on me. Especially with the helmet on there is, in fact, something nice about the orange/brown/teal color combination. His accessory is a purple Manta Ray, which is neat but feels out of place since every other figure gets a weapon or tool. I like, too, that they've incorporated the brand's "i" logo into the suit and helmet. This is just a pretty fun little toy and I do say I may well be hooked on this line as a result.
Mattel - Imaginext, Blind Bags: Mummy
And there truly can't be a single person out there that doesn't like mummies! Especially when they get Anubis heads! The mask is big and cartoony, but by gum it's Anubis so it's cool by default. He gets a big hook/ankh/cobra staff that's pretty neat too, though he can only hold it in one place. The figure is well sculpted, with plenty of tasteful adornment over the properly bandaged body. His face is pale green and he has red eyes indicating EVIL FROM BEYOND THE TOMB! There are six points of articulation - swivel wrists and head, balljointed shoulders and hinge hips (the legs only move in unison). The on-shelf figure display showed a different Mummy from the proper sets with tan skin and a phenomenal wash on the bandages, so there is at least one more cool Mummy to come!
Mattel - Masters of the Universe Classics: Clamp Champ
Hey, look at that, a MotU character I'm vaguely familiar with - huzzah! He turned out pretty good and is MotUC at its finest - well-sculpted and painted, a very nice final product. I was surprised by his giant pincer thing. The pincers are hinged and swing entirely back into the body of the "weapon" but when they're out I dig the look so this may not be the drawer-fodder I expected it to be. I really like his chest armor - great details and very cool metallic blues - but it's also my only complaint with the figure. Why, oh why, does he have a bare midriff? It just shortchanges his coolness and makes him a bit too "fashionable teen." Had only the armor come all the way down to his belt this would be a perfect MotUC figure for me. As is, he's still one of the best this year, still.
Mattel - Masters of the Universe Classics: New Adventures He-Man
Aaaaaand FINALLY - one of the anchors for our New Adventures collection has arrived. This is not that exciting of a design but NA didn't really have many exciting or interesting designs. However, this guy manages perfection in execution! Indeed, I appreciate and dig both looks enough that I almost wish I had two of him to have both versions on display. He gets interchangeable helmeted and ponytail-ed heads and chest armor plus a shield and power sword, the latter of which can fit into slips on the back of both armors. I'm not sure who'll be doing that because THIS GUY gets balljointed wrists! This means he's the first figure of He-Man EVER than can hold his sword in the proper "I have the Power" pose! The right hand swivels horizontally to the palm while the left goes vertically. What's more, the joints are so perfect and seamless it begs the question of why they weren't there since the beginning? Now, we'll all "have to" begrudgingly buy yet another basic He-Man when he gets re-released with those joints in order to do the signature pose.
Mattel - The Dark Knight Rises: Commissioner Gordon
Yet another miserable Walmart exclusive, this guy comes with not one (or none, like the other figures) but THREE accessories plus a unique piece of the Bat Signal! This is just a straight repaint of the Batman Begins figure from the two-packs but now in The Dark Knight colors. He gets the same, weirdly oversized handgun again (which means I can now arm Two-Face) and a pretty nice fireman's axe. He gets the front of the Bat Signal, now with its lens smashed out and a separated piece of cracked glass and the Bat symbol. This is what I expect from all Movie Masters figures but so rarely get, likewise it is a perfect exclusive. He won't really be a hole in your collection (if you have the first Gordon), but he fits in nicely and even "tells his own story" with the accessories and Signal. It's almost cool enough that I wish I could build a second signal to have this lens/diorama set-up too. The only downside to this guy (other than being an impossible to find exclusive) is that the Bat signal doesn't "clip" in or on to the smashed lens, so it's destined to always be on the floor.
Mattel - Watchmen: Nite Owl
Well, this is a pleasant return to "not disappointing." I suppose the cape could be more flexible and the black streaks could be sculpted in but "as-is" is what I was expecting and I'm pleased enough with it. The paint is nice and the use of gold helps make him look more dynamic. The sculpt is pretty solid, and I think he even has a new upper torso (which, if true, makes no sense). The grapple gun is pretty darn good but the not-batarangs are tiny and can only barely be held between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand. I suppose we should be happy that he comes with comparably so much, but really this is all just a reminder of how disappointing the line overall has been. I would really have had them spend this tooling money on a Dr. Manhattan that didn't suck or a properly scaled Rorshach. Still though, this is the second strongest entry in the line, which is nice since he marks the 2/3 point.
NECA - Hellraiser: Julia
I scored this several weeks ago at a killer comic/toy shop that Monkey Boy took me to. I'd been wanting a second Julia ever since she was unveiled so at $20 I was very pleased to realize that dream exactly one decade after her original release. She comes with the top of the Pillar of Sorrow (or something), interchangeable bandaged and skinned arms and removable dress and head bandages. In essence, she is the R-rated Bride of Frankenstein! The bandaged look is good, but who are we kidding - the reason this figure is in the collection is because it's a skinned woman. The sculpt and paint are gorgeous to behold. No company could get a figure this gruesome out now, but 10 years ago... yeah, this certainly tops anything in Tortured Souls. Sadly, this is from NECA's "dark period," so articulation is very limited - balljoint at the head, swivel shoulders and swivel wrists (which are stuck solid on mine). Julia is also sculpted in such a specific and extreme pose it's difficult to get her to stand, but there is, at least, a peghole in her heel and a peg on the underside of the pillar piece she comes with - very nice touch. It's dark, it's gory, but it's just such an incredible piece that I can't take my eyes off of it.
NECA - Predators: Skulls Pack
As soon as talk about a Predators 2 Trophy Wall started picking up steam last year I knew this (like the sound of Mr. Anderson's death) would be an inevitability, and though I have purchased all of the figures (except Water Emergence Jungle Hunter) that came with these skulls, I'm happy to double dip because it allows me to sell off the utterly pointless Cloaked City Hunter from last year's SDCC and, more importantly, there isn't a skull in here that's not worth having doubles of and as such several are VERY welcome additions to the collection. I do wish they'd left out the Predator and Super-Predator skulls since they're not from the Trophy Wall and would retain SOME exclusivity to the sets folks like me had bought way back when, but hey... what are you gonna do? All of the skulls turned out great, so now all I have to do and scrounge together the cash to get the damn wall!