Okay, so I ended up buying just a guldurnned ridiculous volume of stuff the week after Comic-Con so we’re just going to skip one week ahead for a bit so I can have some time to catch up on that insane haul (though I imagine the chronology of these posts are of little consequence to those on the other side of the screen). This was a nice week, with some fun finds, welcome hole-fillers, and new releases!
Funko – The Fifth Element: Korben Dallas
The Fifth Element is one of my most beloved movies and in no small part is that due to how toyetic it is, so I am thrilled that FINALLY, after 18 years, we are getting toys! This figure is built of the proportionally awkward base body used for most of ReAction but he has much stronger sculptural details than previous releases which help take the edge off of the elongated, flattened, triangular torso. The likeness is pretty good given the style of the line, but the fleshtone plastic renders it tough to clearly make out, having a disappointing translucency as it does. Korben comes with his signature handgun from the movie, sculpted very well and painted all silver, plus the “Earth” Element Stone! That’s pretty cool! He even has a little clip on the back of his belt which acts as a holster for the gun! This is really a nice figure, all things considered, and I hope it does well enough for them to do more figures; and Legacy ones, to boot!
Funko – Star Trek ReAction: Kirk
By all accounts he’s identical to all the guys from the neck down, which makes sense. Last week, a reader pointed out that these figures have V-neck collars, which is correct for the colored portion but indeed the black collar was a simple circle. Ultimately, given how stylized the figures are it doesn’t bother me too much but it is weird and is the simple but obvious kind of detail that makes it seem like someone in design or approvals is asleep at the wheel. Kirk comes with the same phaser as Sulu, which makes sense, though it would have been nice to see things get mixed up a bit more with the rifle or something.
Hasbro – Marvel Legends: Toxin
Whew! I was eyeing this figure REALLY HARD last fall, but I have a general distaste for the non-classic Venom and Carnage symbiotes and this guy is fairly bland so I passed on him. But after Toy Fair I’ve just fallen head over heels for Marvel Legends and really wanted to snag this guy both cause I dig him and for the impending collection’o’symbiotes! He uses the big, bulky body and it suits him well but he’s cast entirely in maroon plastic and has no real costume details so, like I said, he ends up fairly bland. However, the glossy red spray on his heads, shoulders and torso creates a shockingly cool look and there is something neat about his head. He and Anti-Venom share the same spiky forearms and clawed hands, and Toxin gets a similar but smaller “tendril” back piece to Carnage’s. I like the figure and seeing that Hasbro is pretty much just making everybody at this point I am weirdly, and increasingly excited about having a full display of Symbiotes! Here’s hoping we get a Lady Venom and/or even a “Madness” Venom BAF in a future
Mattel – Batman ’66: Batman and Batcave
It’s fun to get the big, hokey bat computer and some accessories but I gotta say that, despite some nice surprises, once open this was pretty underwhelming. It’s just another Batman, but at least he comes with an Adam West head. While he comes with a bunch of accessories half of them are boring and seem like filler – there are three batarangs and (annoyingly) four cans that all say “BATMAN SPRAY REPELLENT”… what the hell? The other accessories are pretty nice, though. He gets a giant bazooka, a Bat-bullhorn, a Bat-communicator (REALLY!? Four cans of the same spray but only ONE walkie-talkie!?! Come the hell on, Mattel!), the Bat-phone and best of all – the Shakespeare bust, WHICH ACTUALLY OPENS to reveal the buttons to open the secret entrance! The Adam West head is all right but not especially great and all four of the ones I saw had bad paint to varying degrees (I went for off-eyebrows, hoping it’d play as arched). Surprisingly he comes with a generic base like the rest of the line with a Batcave graphic on one side and a Library graphic on the other. The Batcomputer is novel but the control panels are just stickers rather than sculpted knobs, and that certainly deflated my enthusiasm a bit (it still works given the cheap nature of the show). The backside of it is sculpted to look like wood panels and has an attachable shelf to be a Library display. It’s nice, and certainly better than nothing, but I find it a little annoying that one has to choose between which side to display.
Mattel – Imaginext, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Red Ranger & Yellow Ranger
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers came out a couple after I left the target age range so it never connected with me, but I do have a loose, passing interest in it just because it was such a big part of ’90s Pop Culture. As you know, I love Imaginext and was tickled by them picking up the license but was content to sit it out since I don’t want any of the Zords. But, when I found the core team packed as 2-packs at the store – yep, that’s doing it right! Here we get the Red and Yellow rangers in a visually nice pairing of well sculpted figures. I recall the Yellow Ranger’s weapons being smaller, closer to Sai-size but here they’re bigger than Red’s sword. Buuuut, it’s Imaginext and I’m not really a fan of the show, so I’ll go with it.
Mattel – Imaginext, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Blue Ranger & Black Ranger
The dark colors here make this the least appealing of the two-packs, I feel, but it’s still an essential addition to complete the team. This also a novel pairing because it fully represents the bizarrely blatant racism and sexism that was obvious even to us in our early teens. The black ranger is a black guy, the yellow ranger is Asian, then a boy is in blue and a girl is in pink – I mean… you’d really stir up a storm by doing that today, and it’ll be interesting how they handle that in the inevitable movie and/or reboot, but it was and is such a weirdly conspicuous thing that I’ve always felt bad for the actors (at the least). The guys in the line all share the same sculpt form the neck-down, which is fine (only the skirt on Pink differentiates her costume from the Yellow ranger) and based on the somewhat intricate details on the costumes I take it these are the movie costumes. That’s a fine/fun choice but it does make the absence of Ivan Ooze a bit of a glaring omission.
Mattel – Imaginext, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Green Ranger & Pink Ranger
Green really seemed to fill-in and complete the color spectrum of the team very well so I was pretty surprised and disappointed when they got rid of him really quickly on the show and replaced his outfit with the weird, totally different White Ranger one. It is especially odd since the White Ranger was in the movie so the Green shouldn’t be in this style of costume, but you know what… I don’t care – I just dig these figures! He comes with his little little flute dagger and the Pink, fully en-skirt-ened Pink Ranger (did you know she was a girl?) comes with a gigantic bow and arrow she can’t hold naturally. Thanks to the back of the packaging, though, I learned that the Red, Blue, Black and Yellow Rangers’ weapons can connect to the bow forming some sort of ultimate rainbow assault device. There are clips for the Blue and Yellow weapons but it took some trial and error to figure out the block at the end of the Black axe’s hilt slides into a clip under the arrow head then the sort of clips in place at the end of the arrow, and the Red sword fits into a clip on the back of the axe’s head. I’m sure it’s all too obvious to fans of the show but a little bit of guidance would have been appreciated by this novice.
Mattel – Imaginext, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Putty Patrol Pack
How badass is this!? A bad-guy THREE-pack!? I love it!!! I’m soooo glad I’m not into MMPR becuase if I were, this release would be the end of me – I’d get so many!!! The Putties all share the same sculpt, which is nicely smooth save but for a sculpted belt buckle and detailed head. The only difference to regular Imaginext figures is the lack of wrist articulation, but that’s fine considering you’re getting 3 full figure for the price of 2! The smoothness does make me want a set of Rangers in the spandex TV versions of their costumes, and they could even reuse these bodies if not for the unique belt buckles. This is just a great, great, great armybuilder set and despite all my “I don’t like Power Rangers“-ness I’ll likely be getting at least one more of these sets. Now bring on the bad guys, Mattel!
McFarlane – Assassin’s Creed: Black Bart
The only McFarlane stuff I’ve gotten in the last decade has been consistently annoying and frustrating Halo figures so I was expecting that kind of thing but this guy can stand well on his and is nicely articulated so as good of posing as possible with that bulky coat. The only weird thing about him are the balljointed hips which plug straight up into his waist rather than sit to the sides like all other figures. The only complaint that I have is that, despite having two guns, he has no trigger finger so he can’t really hold either, plus the pistol’s handle is too fat and the rifle’s grip is too short for either to fit in either of his hands. But he’s a pirate, dammit, so all that matters is that he can successfully wield his sword – and he can, and he does! Sculpting is up to the old, high quality McFarlane was known for and the paint is equally good. Guys – I really, really dig this figure. It has brought me back into the McFarlance fold. I want to track down the other pirates now, too!
NECA – Godzilla: 8-bit Godzilla
After some middling releases the fun is back in a big way with this 8-bit/videogame style Godzilla figure! The colors here are really nice and the painted pixelation is just fun as hell! Sculpturally, he’s the same figure as Godzilla ’85 but now with bigger, crazier back fins! It’s so nice to get a Godzilla figure that actually has some color to him too, after so many off-black variations on the design.
NECA – Planet of teh Apes: “Mego” Astronaut Taylor
Taylor is the gigantic hole in NECA’s Planet of the Apes line, and I really dislike “Mego” figures but after finally opening and being pleasantly impressed with Super Freddy (and seeing/reading poorly PotA moved at SDCC really drove home the line’s demise decreasing any chance of a proper Taylor) I decided I needed to finally pick this guy up. Given the lamentable nature of this format you’re just just buying these for the head, and thankfully Taylor’s topnotch! It’s a fantastic Charleton Heston likeness, and exactly the caliber of great work we’ve come to expect from NECA. He also comes with uniquely sculpted calved and feet recreating his boots. The body does seem to have the standard style of articulation but between the larger size and ability to hide joints under cloth the lack of bicep swivel (especially) and double-jointed elbows is really, really frustrating and limiting when it comes to posing. The figure comes with an “emergency kit” backpack which is a fully sculpted and painted survival kit with all of kinds of neat goodies. There is one, huge flaw with this figure, though, and it’s his jumpsuit. It is exactly why people hate softgoods and one of the big reasons that kept me from getting this figure sooner – it’s made out of an awful, awful fabric that is more like a translucent bathrobe than a flight suit. I can only hope NECA got swindled by their supplier during production because I can’t imagine anyone would choose this fabric. I had kind of hoped that this figure would somehow be able to work with the regular line, but at 8″ Taylor towers over the 7″ figures. It’s really, truly, utterly a shame we won’t get a 7″ Taylor, but my understanding is that the Heston estate is a nightmare (in costs) to work with so I suppose, if they could only do one this format makes sense – we get Astronaut Taylor and then someone could strip him, sew a loin cloth and add bare legs/feet for a Slave Taylor.