All right, kids, we're getting close - so very close! All of these were picked up within the last month or so which means I'm almost caught up on my backlog of compulsive materialism! Best of all, I have two complete sets worth of figures here. One, Imaginext series 4, I found all in one go while the other, Marvel Legends took me a couple stores and a couple of states to complete. But enough jibble jabble - on to the toys!
DST - Valiant Comics Minimates: Bloodshot & X-O Manowar
This was kind of a fun surprise to stumble at Toys R Us. X-O Manowar is a name that sounds familiar but I don't think I've ever heard of Bloodshot; my presumption was that this was just some new Indie comic that some how managed to afford to get DST to make Minimates and then they somehow tricked TRU into carrying them, but based on our Mini-Review I guess these were only semi-relevant characters 20 years ago. They turned out really well for my lack-of-knowledge of the source material and for my tastes in 'mates. I like X-O with the helmeted head and Bloodshot (woof... what a name...) in both shirt on and off configurations. I ended up getting two of this set mainly because both characters came with notable alt-look parts, but also to support Minimates and specifically Minimates at TRU. From what I've seen this set isn't selling at all so once it hits clearance those alt parts will help them move pretty fast, I think, but at full price... for something no one's familiar with I fret its peg-warm-ery will only hurt TRU's shrinking relationship with Minimates, alas.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Fantomex
Weirdly, a store I visited in the midwest still had this SOB on the shelf so... being the slut I am, I got him. Aside from the Legends-high I'm on right now the main, nay ONLY reason to get this guy is the Zola arm, which gets me just a head away from completing the ol' robo boy. I suppose it may not be clear already but I kind of hate Fantomex. Granted, I know next to nothing about him but this costume is just sooooooooo UGH. So un-cool. He comes with two new handguns that fit in his holsters, though the trenchcoat doesn't quite fit them. Other than The Right Arm of Zola (which sounds like an awesome, Pulp-y miniseries) this is just a sad reminder of the sorry state of '00s comics.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Captain Marvel
I also know next to nothing about this chick (isn't it Carol Danvers, or someone?) but that is a really cool looking toy. I was never much of a fan of Captain Marvel (though I love the Peter David god-like run of Mar-Vell in that cool Alex Ross costume) but they really tweaked the costume well for her and this incarnation looks pretty cool - plus she gets alternate heads! My perception is that the character is unmasked, and while the mohawk was a bit "too much" at first for me, the armor-ish mask she's wearing is pretty cool. She also sports a little belt/sash and has a neat energy-glob that fits over her fist (what, only one?). Her BAF part is "Old Thor's" head, cape and axe - all cool pieces and a fun why to up-sell on BAFs but frankly it's really damn annoying that this is her piece. She 100% should have come with Odin's torso because, since there are alternate heads and arms for the BAF, that's the one piece I'd want two of and one would really like to get two of this figure because of the alternate heads! Were that the case, then it would be much easier to up-sell me on doubles of the guys with the legs to complete the set, but as is, I will sit out on a second Cap'n and thus the others too.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Hawkeye
The only cool thing about Hawkeye is his costume and this is a pretty fun update of it. I particularly like the pearlescent purple for his left arm, a sculpt reused from the Cap 2 Winter Soldier from the shoulder down. It really would have been better to use WS's shoulder too but I imagine it has something to do with it not seat-ing properly in the generi-torso here. Hawk-y also gets a slip-on piece for his pec armor, suspenders, belt and loin cloth. There is a pretty quiver full of arrows too, but my god it falls out at the slightest inspiration - so annoying! He's a neat looking figure thanks to the superheroically uncommon purple and the metallic hues, though he's the one figure in the line I'd like a second of least, so it's annoying he comes with Odin's torso. Since the skirt holds the torso up very well it'd be a the perfect piece for semi-completeing "Old Thor" since it doesn't need legs to remain upright. From what I've seen this is the slow mover of the series, so hopefully I'll be able to snag another on clearance down the road for just that purpose.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Iron Fist
Hey, hey - I also kind of hate Iron Fist! (Yeah, yeah - lather on the butthurt, nerdos!) And what tolerance I have for the boring character (he's just a karate dude?) is totally lost by him wearing a whi-YAWN... sorry, a whit-YAAAAWN, sheesh it's such a boring costume I can barely even describe it without falling asleep. At least the traditionally yellow parts are a very appealing pearelscent gold plastic. As much of a "hater" as I am, I really have to commend this figure - the alternate hands make him pretty darn fun, actually! With a total of 4 different pairs of hands the karate posing options are quite numerous and very enjoyable to concoct! I do wish this would have been his more iconic green costume but, frankly, I'm enjoying the posing so much I won't mind getting a second with that inevitable repaint in a future series.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Machine Man
Sorry, guys - this is another character I know nothing about. What little I do essentially begins with the "Earth X" cover art and ends with the Bowen Designs bust. But, though I'm ignorant to him, I know and appreciate the significance of such a low-tier character's release. I equally appreciate how well he turned out. Clearly I'm a sucker for metallic colors so this guy is a favorite for that alone - just one, big, metallic-ly colored figure! He, and his generi-body, are sculpted remarkably well and he looks pretty great in varied "waiting for the bus"/"power stance" poses (no sarcasm here, I really dig the quiet dignity and weighty power conveyed in the pose photographed, for instance). The extend-o bendy arms are a fun inclusion and though quite relevant to the character (I'm given to understand) they don't quite mesh properly for me. It does afford him a second pair of hands, though, and both pairs are interchangeable between the wrists and the extend-o tubes. He also get's "Old Thor's" arms, denoted by an armored left one, though the right is identical to his pappy's.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Scarlet Witch
A very welcome addition! The ToyBiz version was pretty wonky so this is a definite improvement, even if it is in the "just different enough" modern costume. I quite like the headsculpt, and the thick wrap-around of the cape looks very cool though it does, stylistically, seem "off" as compared to the more Silver Age-y rest of the outfit and renders her awfully back-heavy meaning it's really hard (impossible?) to get Wanda to stand in a non-tripod configuration. She also comes with two "magic bursts" - a very fun idea but ultimately they're kinda tough to get on her. There are two different "wrist clips" and one is too wide while the other is too narrow - damn her Goldilocksian wrists! Finally, she get's Odin's head, staff and cape - nice!
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Sentry
This is a remarkably neat figure for such a remarkably pointless character. This new, bigger body type really seems to capture the intent of the character far better than any other toy so far. The "S" belt looks spot-on and the head is full of character, though the hard plastic used for the hair severely limits his noggin's poseability. Since I never got the old Walmart exclusive version/s I don't really mind adding this guy to the collection. He comes with Odin's arms. Odin's beautiful, wondrous, muscle-bound arms of Nordic glory. Behold their might. Behold their power. And do so bifocally, since their proprietor can not.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Thor
Not unlike many of the figures in this "better than it should be" series, this is another "just different enough" version of Thor. He's not as visually interesting or appealing as the "armored" Thor but his sheer bulk makes him an enjoyable toy. In addition to Daddy's right leg, he gets Mjolnir and a big, neat sword. I don't get it, but I like it. And that pretty much sums up this entire series. I'm most happy to get an Odin figure and while on paper I have little to no interest in any of the characters the figures all turned out remarkably well, all things considered. It's a pleasant change-up from the typical state of affairs these days and makes me hopeful for the bountiful year planned out for Marvel Legends in 2015.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Infinite Series: B.A.F. Odin
I totally understand why the costume choices tend to lean to current/modern but I would prefer more classic or iconic outfits on the toys. That said, I don't know the Thor mythos well enough to have a recognizable look for the Old Man in mind so this figure works well enough. The armor has a nice, stately though badass vibe to it and I like the colors at play here. There is something divergent about Odin's head, though; something "toy-ish" about it. Maybe it's the gold plastic on the helm, I'm not entirely sure. While I prefer "Old Thor's" armored arm I'm enough of a purest not to mix'n'match, so I'll hold out hope for clearanced Hawkeyes in the future to get a second torso in order to display Thor's bid'ness. This is certainly a cool figure, and a very welcome addition of the pantheon and collection, but it does sort of remind me of the good old days when BAFs were big. As is, I think the Thor in this series is bigger than Odin here.
Hasbro - Marvel Universe: Beast
The '90s/Jim Lee X-Men is my X-Men so I'll buy just about anything that helps me build up that roster so this figure has been much anticipated by yours truly. And he's beautiful! The sculpt is utter perfection! The paint is simple but effective and the articulation is good though limited in comparison to the rest of M.U. (but that's understandable/a reasonable trade-off considering this is a 100% new sculpt with minimal reuse possibilities). The only real flaw with this guy is that I found him at a Target which means he cost $16... SIXTEEN DOLLARS!!!! I passed up a couple other figures I wanted, like Sandman, because that price is OUTRAGEOUS for a 4" toy, but like I said... I love this Beast and couldn't risk not having him.
Hasbro - Star Wars: Jabba's Skiff Guard
This is a tough one - it's nice that it's an all-new-to-toys character, but the design isn't that exciting and all I can think of are all the other Jabba Denizens more worthy of a figure (Ishi f**kin' Tibb) or a re-do (Yak-muthaf***in'-face). It was also a bit of insult-to-injury that I found him at a grocery store so I had to pay $12 for him. He's so simple in design that really he would have been perfect for the 5-PoA line, but then you get into the whole "well, if we're only ever going to get one figure of him it should be as good as possible" debate. I do like that they painted his neck "caucasian" to really sell home the "dude in a mask" nature of the character. But when a Star Wars character is too obscure to even get a proper name, you know you're in trouble.
Lego - City: Garbage Truck
Another simple but fun polybag. The green used for the Lego garbage vehicles still immediately makes me think they're Recycle, not trash - but at least this set doesn't have the recycle icon on it to further mix its messages. It's a nice build, and even includes a couple 1x1 rounds for the guy to sweep up and transport, but it's nothing all that exciting or memorable.
Lego - Creator: Tiger
This was a surprise of a find and a darn novel one to boot! It's been a long time since they've done animal polys so it's quite fun to see their return. The bright orange color really pops and looks wonderful. The use of Mixels parts really help make him a fun build too. He, obviously, gets the printed eyes on flat, round 1x1s but he also has a ball-in-socket joint at the head and tail, in addition to swivel legs, which actually affords him some poseability. He's not the greatest thing ever but he's fun and cute, which ain't too bad!
Lego - Friends: Fountain
I gotta say, I really like this Poly - in fact I'll go so far as to say it's the best Friends polybag yet! It's a fun design that actually pretty neat looking AND it's a perfect "add-on" to any Friends display. It makes sense along the commerce laden streets of Heartlake City and/or as the centerpiece of the city's park (for which many of the other polybags apply). And, moreover, it comes with (new?) silver flat, round 1x1s with coin prints! And that is damn cool, sir! The girl comes with a novel visor-hair, plus an always-welcome camera and removable roller skates. All around just a fun set!
Lego - Friends: Smoothie Cart
I don't really know who'd buy a smoothie from a push cart, but who am I to judge (actually now that I think of it I think I've seen several smoothie carts around Mexico City, so I guess I'm just being a jerk, germophobe-y American). The build is nothing all that special though the final product is more interesting to look at than I expected. The blender build is, in particular, a pretty neat, clever design, though the en-smoothied cup is empty aside from it's foamy top (they really need to design a cup-fill piece (or not cast the cups in clear). Plus we get an apple, a banana and some printed cash - all welcome pieces.
Mattel - Hot Wheels: Fig Rig (Orange)
I haven't substantively hit the Hot Wheels section in many months but on a whim (read: time-killing boredom) I decided to give it a thorough dive and was rewarded with a newly repainted Fig Rig for my troubles! It's bright orange-ness is certainly new and different but is a bit gaudy and the different colored wheels are really just tacky as hell. Still though, I welcome him into the Fig Rig Armada and continue to look forward to more repaints.
Mattel - Imaginext: Mermaidman & Barnacleboy
I have zero interest in or love for Spongebob Squarepants but I will concede the bright, colorful designs often beget cool looking toys. Recently Toys R Us had a "% off" sale on Imaginext so I took the opportunity to pick up a couple of sets, including this one specifically because of the obvious Aquaman/Aqualad allusions. There is something very Popeye-universe about Barnacleboy's design, and what is his accessory? He throws water splooshes underwater? Mermaidman is a pretty fun name but the design is a little too "obvious"-goofy for me, but it is kind of noteworthy that he has inset legs rather than the normal T-crotch for the line.
Mattel - Imaginext: Patrick & The Flying Dutchman
I love ghosts and I love translucent plastics so... here we are! I quite dug the Flying Dutchman set that Lego did so this seems like a fun follow up for my collection. Patrick is just Patrick; novelly with V-crotch and a sword with a translucent green hilt. The Flying Dutchman ghost, himself, is just darn awesome and so fun looking! It's interesting that his "tail" is almost identical to the Lego version, so I wonder if they based the sculpt on that. Now I kinda need to track down the ship, that came with Pirate Spongebob, to "complete" this mini-collection.
Mattel - Imaginext: Alpha Blade
Well, I got the aliens so I might as well get the humans. I've had my eye on this set for quite a while, mainly thinking it could be a fun Out Space Men vehicle (but they're packed away at the moment so I can't confirm the scale, etc). The ship is a fun, hovercraft design with two wheels underneath that spin the blue "blade" as you roll it along. The downside of that, though, is that the ship can't sit flat and, thanks to being a bit back-heavy, just leans backwards. The figure is neat though the big, tall scope/laser/sensor/thing on his helmet is odd. He comes with a giant silver ray gun which can also plug into the ship; a very nice touch. All around it's a fun toy, but there's something unexciting about it... maybe the coloring?
Mattel - Imaginext: Alpha Pod
Awhoa, brah - what ludicrous douche-hair you have! I guess it's bound to happen when the Space-Frat has constant all-nighter Mario Kart keggers. Aside from his ridiculous hair and weird hunchback the figure is interesting in that he has the same style of spacesuit as his Wave 1 brother above though here is a 100% new sculpt. I really like the look of this ship (though it is a little too blue, I must confess), it has a really fun shape to it, kind of like a Spinner from Blade Runner or Lex's ship from Super Powers. The orange pincer is a fun idea, as it can "grab" an Imaginext figure, but it's non-articulated and non-removable... so... it's just always there. The right side "wing" has a missile launcher and the left side has a peg-hole to plug in the guy's gun to give the ship a sense of visual, missile balance - I really like that the guns on these ships work with the ships and the figures. I quite dig this set overall (the helmet looks neat and hides the guy's hair well enough) plus it only cost me $2.00 at Walmart!
NECA - Simpsons: Weird Al Yankovic
Aaaaand I'm done with this line! (Well, not quite, I'll get Series 5's Matt Groenig) Not having collected World of Springfield and only having a passing/classic interest in Simpsons of late this line has just been a novel way to get figures of people we likely wouldn't get figures of otherwise - but that does beg the question: how are there no Weird Al figures!?!? I guess his popularity was on the wane during the music figure "boom" of the early '00s but he seems like a perfect sort of license for someone like Funko to pick up and run with. This figure is decent-to-good but not especially great. He's not immediately recognizable as Yankovic, at least facially, but maybe that's just a result of the show's design. The paint is nice and clean and his accordion fits in and is held well by his grip. Once again he only gets 4 points of articulation and, also once again, his legs are warped and he can not remain upright on his own (he's balanced on a staple in the photo)! Come-the-eff-on, NECA! And there are no pegholes in the feet either, just so just "f**k you" I guess. This line only goes so far as its novelty, but this is now two out of five figures I've gotten from it that can not stand and that is not novel or fun.