I've had kind of bizarrely good luck with Marvel Legends this year, first I completed the "Odin Series" in about 2 weeks, then a I got the "Hobgoblin Series" in one shot at the Long Beach Comic Con and now... not only did I find the "Thanos Series" all at once, but they were at a Target having a "buy 1 get 1 50% off" sale!!! That sale actually covered all Marvel toys so I snagged some other great stuff in the same sale! I've been spending 2015, so far, playing catch-up but we're going to skip ahead by a couple Spoils' here to a batch I just freshly scored while in Columbus, Ohio, because, frankly, I'm just so jazzed by the luck!
Bandai - Big Hero 6: Baymax
I had a fun time with Big Hero 6 but didn't find it anything particularly great, though I did go out immediately after seeing it to buy the toys, but couldn't find them. Baymax is easily the best thing about the movie and this un-armored version was too cute to pass up, especially since he comes with the cat! The sculpt is remarkably good for my expectations of Bandai and they even painted in the sculpted circles on him a slightly different shade of white than the plastic which really makes the figure seem a shocking amount more cool (see manufacturers? paint matters!). The articulation is pretty good too, at least for my expectations, with a swivel head, effectively V-Crotch hips and ball-jointed shoulders. Sadly there are no pegholes in the feet and while I would have enjoyed wrist swivels, that wouldn't have really worked with the design. Mochi, the cat, is just a chubby little bit of tubby unarticulated kitty cuteness.
Hasbro - Amazing Spider-Man 2, Spider Strike: Blitz Board Spider-Man
I can't help but stop by any FiveBelow I spot since they've been so good to me in the past and while there was nothing terribly exciting there this time I did decide to get a couple ASM2 4" figures to build out my movie collection in that scale. I really - actually really, really like this figure. The sculpt is super tight and the colors are vivid as heck with pretty clean paint lines! He's got a swivel head, T-Crotch and balljointed shoulders which is pretty nice. His dumb accessory is a techno-surfboard of sorts with two big yellow grabby prongs. They're on spring-loaded swivels, so you pull them back, then swipe Spidey's right foot, which has a metal tab in it it, over a magnetic button - FWOOSH, out they swing. What terrible fun...
Hasbro - Amazing Spider-Man 2, Spider Strike: Power Charged Electro
This is actually my favorite of the three toys of Movie Electro that I have, chiefly of the nice sculpt with good proportions and the translucent blue head and torso which allow the "play feature." His accessory is a clip-on backpack with a long blue peg in it that inserts into his torso - push the peg in and it triggers the blue LED in him to illuminate to delightful results. I've found with with a little wiggling and a little waggling, and just a little bit of woggling, getting the backpack plugged in about half way (or UNplugged about half way, for you pessimists in the audience) will effectively "lock" the peg and light into a permanent "on" configuration which is much appreciated. The sculpt seems solid, minimal but fine, and the articulation the same as Spidey above.
Hasbro - Avengers, Age of Ultron All-Stars: Captain America
I'm not really a big fan of the 5-POA figures, beyond the better looking Star Wars ones, but, eff it, I have an established collection for the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" in this scale - so here we are. I wasn't crazy about this costume when it was first revealed but it's certainly growing on me. I like the coloring here on the toy, as opposed to the dark blue in the film. His shield is the standard 4" scale one with a hinged clip inside so it can fit on his hinge or plug into a peghole, which he sadly lacks on his back.
Hasbro - Avengers, Age of Ultron All-Stars: Hulk
He does the trick for a Hulk in this scale. I'm not crazy about his elasti-pants. I wish they would have just made them purple rather than this crummy purplish gray. His legs and feet are sculpted to be slightly one-before-the-other, but its kind of subtle so it makes balancing him annoying. Not much you can really do with this fella but his job is to just stand there and be in 4" scale - and he certainly can do that.
Hasbro - Avengers, Age of Ultron All-Stars: Thor
This guy is probably the most "exciting" of this first series just because he's got a hammer and a cape. The sculpt is pretty darn good, the paint... not so much. The cape is a smidgen too long but he still manages to stand fine. This is one of those rare instances where I do think a cloth cape would have been better, but then that does beg the question - what are these figures? Toys for kids or desk decor for adults? The truth is probably somewhere in between. If the latter, I'd expect better paint. If the former, I'd expect vehicles or playsets... anything to encourage or indicate fun with this scale. That's just more of the problem with the 2.5" scale junk (they "stole" the fun stuff from the 4" line) and Hasbro's constant "and the kitchen sink" approach to diversifying licenses.
Hasbro - Avengers, Age of Ultron: Hulk & Hulkbuster Iron Man
I mean, come on - who doesn't love Hulkbuster!? Even though I hate this dumb 2.5" format I couldn't pass-up this smart pairing. Hulk is a nice sculpt, and surprisingly different that the 4" version as evidenced by his wider gait. Hulkbuster is "good enough" though clearly done on the cheap as paint is quite minimal. While Hulk gets the standard five points of articulation Hulkbuster only gets swivels at the shoulders and then there are hinges on the shoulders to flip up the chest part to fit in an Iron Man figure. That's a pretty neat feature though I hear the fit is a tough one at best. These aren't great toys but they are most likely the closest to in-scale versions of the characters I'll be able to afford. Or at least they seem like they're closer in accurate scale to each other than the Legends versions will be.
Hasbro - Avengers Legends: Agent Coulson, Nick Fury, Maria Hill
I've never been a fan of Coulson in the least and do not understand the fandom around that character, Maria Hill just hasn't done anything really and I'm so effing tired of this Nick Fury figure. This is the third use of this exact figure for Fury. It's nice for those who missed out previously but it's boring as hell for me, especially since this coat and turtleneck are pretty dissimilar to Jackson on screen. At least his head seems pretty spot-on for the likeness. The set comes with two small handguns with blue lines painted on them, presumably one for Fury and one for Hill but who are we kidding - both are going to Black Widow. Finally we get to the set's main selling point - Coulson. He's a pretty great figure and is very exciting because he introduces a super-articulated business suit into the tooling mix! He comes with two heads which is equally cool and annoying because if you want to display both you'll have to drop another $55 and get saddled with duplicate Fury and Hills. Both Coulson heads are good but the glasses-on version looks like a better likeness to me. And then comes with the "I don't know what it does" gun from Avengers 1 which turned out super cool. All in all it's a solid set, but it's a bit of a QC nightmare when it comes to Coulson and Maria's eyes, his hairline and her Bluetooth. I went through ~10 of these at the TRU I was at and not only was this the best, some were outright awful (and one didn't even have Fury's eye patch painted!).
Hasbro - Avengers 2 Marvel Legends: Captain America
I've been wondering for quite awhile if Marvel did an amazingly kind thing for their licensees and basically made all the costumes just "repaints" of the heroes' previous outfits. I don't have my Cap 2 figures handy but it certainly seems as though this guy re-uses most of that figure but with a new torso. I really dug that figure so, of course, I dig this one. It would have been nice if they'd gotten Chris Evans likeness rights this time rather than dumping the same generi-heads again, and new hands would have also been appreciated. But the only real problem with this guy is that he's packed shield-on-wrist with the shield blocking his body so I had no idea his paint was so bad until the figure was open and in hand.
Hasbro - Avengers 2 Marvel Legends: Hulk
This is weirdly an almost all-new figure. It's weird since they changed things they didn't necessarily need to be or, alternatively, reused parts rather than making new ones. The result is a smooth torso and textured limbs. The torso and limbs are also slightly different shades of green (they look far worse/differing in the photo than in person, though). As I mentioned above I'm not super crazy about these elasti-pants, but what are ya gonna do? I'm just happy to have a movie Hulk finally in this scale, since the original was so stupidly hard to get.
Hasbro - Avengers 2 Marvel Legends: Iron Man Mark 43
I'm pretty sure this is just a straight repaint of Mark 42, which I'm okay with. As such, it highlights how much better Red & Gold looks as opposed to Gold & Red. He comes with one fun new piece - an open mask with R.D.J. likeness! There's just one little but major problem with the open-mask head... the faceplate is seated too low so, insanely, the "chin bits" are directly in front of Tony's eyes. It looks pretty bad and is noticeably uncomfortable. Just poor design. One or two millimeters more and it'd be awesome (so much so it'd almost be worth it to buy a second just to put the head on previous armors), but alas... no such luck. My figure's hips are also notably wobbly/loose, but with some work he stands fine.
Hasbro - Avengers 2 Marvel Legends: Batroc
Batroc? I mean, what the hell did we do deserve a figure of this guy? I guess loosely inspiring a throwaway stuntman in a Marvel Movie is all it takes these days. The figure turned out pretty solid for what it is though, and I've certainly got to give props to anyone who wanted this character - he's like an impossible dream of a toy! The head is a decent sculpt muddied a bit by Hasbro's "good enough" paint but the costume's what really kind of holds the figure back for me. All the painted line work just screams "these should have been sculpted but we're saving money," however the only way this character would ever get released is as cheaply as possible, so... it's a bit of a Catch-22. In fact, this series is so heavily based on repaints that I have to be kind of atypically optimistic about it and assume it was slipped in through a tight budget just to get more product out - I mean, come one... we've already gotten three Marvel Legends series this year in the first quarter alone! That's unheard of!
Hasbro - Avengers 2 Marvel Legends: Hellcat/Spider-Woman
I have only the foggiest of vague recollections of Hellcat's costume, which is so terribly bland I'd be shocked it was even under consideration for a toy were not so cheap to produce. It's also kind of a bummer that her big hair is cast in hard plastic as they restricts the head poses. I didn't realize she just came with the same BAF parts as Spider-Woman, either, until I got back to the hotel and really looked at them. That's a big bummer after the coolness of Odin/Old Thor. You'd think they could have done an alternate Thanos head with a grimace and an alternate arm with the Infinity Gauntlet, but I just have to assume that this was done on the cheap just to get it made. Spider-Woman seems like another footnote of a character but she's a welcome addition since I did grow up with this costume bestowing upon me something not totally unlike, as you call it, "nostalgia" for this look. Plus the ToyBiz version was quite bad. And the recent black-suit Spider-Girl made me a bit long-some for this'un. The paint is pretty good and the new head too, though again the hair is a hard plastic. She actually gets accessories in the form of interchangeable open and collapsed wings. It's a novel approach to that bit of costuming and I dig them (there is a hint of pearlescent sheen to them which is a great touch) but I find it remarkably hard to plug them into her biceps, unfortunately.
Hasbro - Avengers 2 Marvel Legends: Thanos (B.A.F.)
It's kind of weird to have a comic BAF with this series, but things are a bit schizophrenic with Marvel Legends this year, and when it comes down it I'd really just have the figures as opposed to a "logical" series. For some reason, I'm not crazy about Thano's new armor. It's the good kind of redesign but it just feels wonky to me somehow. Still though, it'd nice to get him in the line finally. Assembly and articulation is fine, but I do miss the double-hinged elbows - particularly on this character, who is generally want for "iron fist" pose. It would have been nice if, like Odin, there were alternate bits for him, but such is life.
Hasbro - Marvel Infinite Series: Bishop
Much like the Jim Lee Beast this is a must-have figure for me because he comes from that era and we haven't gotten a proper figure of him since ML12. The body is a nice sculpt and apparently new since it lacks waist or torso articulation. Also, the elbows and hips pop off with annoying, almost aggravating ease. His gloves are just painted on and he has a fist of a left hand, which is annoying because he can't double-gun wield now, which I feel is his trademark. If they couldn't give him an open hand at least they could have included some kind of translucent pink energy burst to infer his powers. Ultimately though, I'm just pleased to have found this figure and to have him in the collection. Even if his hair is a little too supermodel-y stylish.
Hasbro - Marvel Infinite Series: Black Cat
I didn't get the Legends version so I feel this is a fair consolation. She might actually be an entirely new sculpt as her forearms are unique sculpts (sans wrist articulation) as his her torso (which does has a joint at the ribcage). Her lip paint was smeared all over her chin but some mild scraping has gotten most of it off. She's a fine figure, but I am reminded that I just have no attachment to, and therefore no real affinity for, the character.
Hasbro - Marvel Infinite Series: Sandman
This guy certainly does have an iconic look to him and this figure captures it the best yet, I think. Plus, the sand-hands are pretty fun/neat! He's a mix of old and all-new sculpt, but it's surprising he's got a sculpted on belt and buckle as that seems to have little re-use potential (and since Beast's belt is just paint). Other than this dude's hairline the paint turned our pretty well, I just really dig the two-tone green prison shirt, and the wash on the sand-hands is an excellent touch.
Hasbro - Super Hero Mashers: Ghost Rider
I needed another $10 figure to balance out the Hulk/Hulkbuster set above and I'd sort of had my eye on this guy for awhile. I pretty much hated the one Masher I had, Dr. Doom, but I'll admit this guy ain't too bad. The stylized sculpt is nice, and that aesthetic does help pull off the infamously tricky "flaming skull head" (though it does seem a bit under scaled). Plus, I'm just a sucker for Danny Ketch Ghost Rider, i.e. the only cool-looking version of Ghost Rider (screw you Johnny "The Bore" Blaze). He comes with his chain as an accessory which is neat though it's thick and heavy, and in a kind of weird pose though the arrowhead tip is a separate dangling piece. I dig the figure, but I'm still not totally sold on the line as a whole (especially since paint QC is pretty rough).
Hasbro - Star Wars: Hoth Luke & Hoth Han
It feels like I just got this Luke... because I did. I don't really get this sort of antagonistic relationship between the "super articulated" line and this "5 POA" line - why this very specific, scarred Luke? Especially since the sculpting on this line is so good he could comfortably mesh with the other, double-especially if the paint remains as strong as it is with these two figures. Han is another very familiar figure but it's been long enough since we got the articulated version of this outfit so he feels kind of fresh. Still though, I look at this set and just wonder "what am I doing here?" I already have both these figures and they're not major costumes for him or even vastly improved figures. That said though, I do think these are the best in the entire 5 POA Star Wars line yet; in both sculpt and paint they look they could will comfortably fit in with the "premium" figures.
Hasbro - Star Wars: R2-D2 & Yoda
Oh... oh, god... ... this Yoda is so infinitely better than the recent "premium" version that cost twice as much it has actually made me physically sick. The sculpt is good, the paint is reasonable and he even comes with proper ESB accessories! Hell, this 2-pack cost as much as that awful Yoda figure so in effect you could just consider this as the same thing with an R2 accessory! And that R2 is the best one yet because, what!?, he does something? His front, left panels flip open and a grip (or cattle prod?) arm can be raised up! It is a bummer that it's white and not silver or gray and that the pincer is too narrow to even hold the lamplight but still, it's the thought that counts! This is a tough sell since it's two small characters, but both are the best versions of each to come out in a long time (even though Yoda's separately cast hands are, yet again, glued in place rather than articulated).
Lego - Legends of Chima: Ice Bear Mech
This little bugger started off as a Toys R Us exclusive, but I ended up nabbing him at a Target, so make of that what ye shall. I really dig this little mech and the use of the Mixel balljoints for the feet is inspired. I'm probably going to end up building this out a bit more, giving him legs and such, since it's such a fun starting point for some Lego fun and creativity. The Minifig is neat, too, and has a translucent blue leg. It doesn't make much sense but it sure looks cool!
Lego - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Karai Bike Escape
TMNT Lego is dead so that sent me scrambling. One can only find the movie stuff and second series sets now, though, and I don't want variant Turtles. Leo is my guy so I had to be sure I got a figure of him, at least, and thus I got this. He's sort of battle-damaged but good enough for me. Karai is fine, but I have zero knowledge of or attachment to the character, so I couldn't care less. Her hair is fun, though - it's one piece but uses two different shades of rubber for the black and blonde portions. The motorcycle is effectively junk and the street stuff is just filler. It's a disappointing set.
Mattel - Hot Wheels: Batmobile (Brave & the Bold)
I got this almost just on principle, i.e. actually finding a Batmobile/licensed car at retail is practically unheard of! I don't believe I have any version of the Brave and the Bold version of the Batmobile so this certainly has a place in the collection for that alone. It's a repaint of a previous release and is a dark metallic blue with some lighter metallic blue patterns. It just looks cool! Plus, you simply can't go wrong with the 94¢ price tag!
Mattel - Imaginext: Pirate Ghost Ship
Sometimes you get bored and wander into a Kohl's, and some times you discover top-secret Imaginext toys there! This super-cool looking ship has a skull and skeletal hands cast in translucent green for ultimate ghostly coolness! There is a red "action disc" for the figure behind the wheel and when you turn it to the right the skeletal hands swing out and a green LEDs turn on near the wrists to illuminate them!!! How damn cool is that!? Turn the "action disc" to the left and a pronged missile fires from the bow. It's attached to a string, which runs through the ship and connects to a little anchor in the back! The figure is pretty darn cool looking! His head and torso are neon lime-green but his arms are translucent lime-green - it's definitely a fresh and cool coloring for Ghost Pirates! He comes with a phenomenal scimitar-ish sword and the crab from the Walker now cast in translucent lime-green, which actually works much better for it, especially since it doubles as an ethereal helmet for the Pirate.
NECA - Predators: Cracked Tusk
I'm not super crazy about this second series of Kenner Predators. They're all just repaints, and while that's true to the source a lot of the fun seems gone. That said, I love this guy. I really like the helmet (though I wish it'd more accurate to the figure [i.e. big tusks, and ideally a removable mask]) and the crescent wrist blade, and while they looked great on the Lava Predator they look infinitely cooler here, fully painted up. I really, really like the color choices on this figure - he just looks wonderful. That said, though, it's the first time that the net-ed torso has really bothered me. At this point it's pretty clear this line is a juggernaut so I really wish they'd spent the money to retool a generic body for the predators without the netting. It just... it looks bad. He comes with a fully extended spear and blade-disc (he can't really hold) which adds further frustration because that means there is no new tooling here - just 100% repaint. And though he looks great, it just feels cheap, or even lazy, for a line that's been so innovative in the past.