This week we have a bit of mix - some stuff I found at retail and some stuff I ordered from Amazon. I've never been a fan of online shopping (these things are expensive enough without shipping charges, plus then you can't compare paint jobs) but Amazon is really make it a much more viable option these days. And, when I saw the final series of Rogue One 4" figures for about $10 each (except Bodhi, who I "need" but not for $30+) plus the last Star Wars Black before the new Last Jedi stuff was up there for retail price I went ahead and pulled the trigger because who knows if that stuff will actually see release now that the annual juggernaut is in play.
DST - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: Lesaro & Ghost Shark
The sculpt is solid and feels fairly well stylized to fit in the Minimate aesthetic. It is relatively small, though, and only has one point of articulation, a swivel neck (despite being a ball and socket joint). Surprisingly/annoyingly they didn't use a standard Minimate joint (it's much larger) which seems to be pretty "off brand" for the "Mix'n'Match" messaging on the cardbacks. The shark is cast in translucent plastic which is a nice touch, but then gets a thick swab of tan paint on the underside which isn't that great (it's too precise to match the zombified sculpt and counteracts the translucent plastic). It does, though, come with an all-new stand! Rather than the soft plastic "hover" stand that first came out oh so long ago with Slimer this is new mold that follows the same shape and size but uses a hard acrylic plastic. It supports the shark quite well, those is once again just slightly too narrow to fit a Minimate foot peghole. It can support Lesario (mainly thanks to the more rigid plastic and un-slanted post) but he does wobble about on it. And speaking of Lesario, he's also a welcome addition as it's the peripheral character than I enjoy most in my collection and for which Minimates is a great fit for! By nature of design, though, he's not that exciting of a figure. In a perfect world they would have included a printed shirt design on his torso and an alternate head so that if one got a second set they could have 2 sharks and 2 different ghostly crewmen, but what're'ya'gunna'dew.
Funko - 9POA Batman Classic TV Series: Batmobile with Batman & Robin
Those Twin Peaks figures made me an instant and big fan of Funko's new 9POA line and while the deluge of product all at once from the '69 series really burnt me out on it, the fact the Funko opened with mostly second and third tier villains and an affordable Batmobile meant I was all over this line. I'm still waiting to find the figures at retail but Amazon had this set on sale for about $30 so how I could delay the inevitable any longer!? The Batmobile is a really nice piece! A solid sculpt and painted reasonably well; it's probably a cheated size and inaccurately short but it looks good and fits the sorta toy-ish aesthetic of 9POA quite well. It doesn't have any functions or features other than "working" wheels, but it doesn't really need more than that. The figures are quite nice and feature hinged knees and elbows, T-Crotch, swivel/hinge shoulders and barbell-necks - nine points of articulation allowing for a good amount of posing (the necks, especially with Robin, are particularly nice). Both have rubber capes which do get in the way of getting the boys properly seated, especially with Batman, in the car... but really, since this is the only way to get Robin, I'm not going to be keeping these guys hidden in the car at all. This quite a nice set and a good entry into the line for me - I definitely have to track down the carded figures now, and I really hope it runs for several more series to keep getting all those wacky villains out!
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Invisible Woman
Celestials bless Steve Anne! He's possibly the best thing to happen to mainstream toys in a long time, by opening up Walgreens as both a toy/collectible destination and especially for bringing in exclusives. Without him, my beloved Fantastic Four would still be languishing away in Marvel's "we're not allowed to talk about that" bin. And the only thing better than getting F4 toys? Sue is a great figure, to boot! It's a basic female body but the paint is tight and color choices are gorgeous! And the new head/hair sculpt is fantastic - just a perfect balance of 60s cheesecake and 90s mom! My only complaint is that her right is "phasing" and while that's better than being clear I, by far, would have preferred it be painted solid. She comes with an alternate left hand that is "phasing", so I think that would have been a better route for both hands, but... well, at least its not totally clear. She also, incredibly, comes with a big ass HERBIE! He's a great, fun sculpt - complete with AC outlet on his back! His head is on a ball-in-socket joint that works really well and he comes with a stands that can aggravatingly only barely plug into a small hole on his undercarriage. Still, though, you're buying this for Sue and she is, BY FAR, the best Sue Storm/Invisible Woman figure ever released!
Hasbro - Rogue One: Admiral Raddus
Talk about stealing scenes! I remember being introduced to this character through (leaked?) pictures of the toy, and a blue Mon Cal guy seemed kinda ingenious and he looked like such a cranky buggar, too! And my (admittedly faded-by-time) memory is that he was one of the more fun new characters in the movie, too! So I definitely wanted to added this guy to my collection! The figure looks quite good, though I do wish his costume was warmer colors to better contrast his skintone (but, hey, it's not like the designers on these new Star Wars films are all that exceptional [or maybe to be fair it's the people approving the designs]). Much like the Force Awakens Ackbar, Raddus has a fun articulated fun feature! And it actually improves a bit on Ackbar's - pull back on Raddus' head and not only does it tip back but the lower jaw drops too! It's subtle but it is a clever piece of engineering and much appreciated touch and really helps sell this sourpuss' grumpiness. He comes with a blaster rifle and a big goofy missile launcher but really all he needs is a chair and a lifetime of regret. This guy is exactly why we love buying Star Wars toys!
Hasbro - Rogue One: Galen Erso
He's the macguffin of the film so I honestly did "have" to have him. Plus, it's Mads Mikelsen, and who doesn't want a toy of him? The likeness is pretty weak. He comes in his "I'm too important to be in a stock costume" Imperial outfit. It's fine, and kinda fits the Original Trilogy well enough, but (like SO MUCH of the movie) it does kind of bug me that we see it before A New Hope and then NEVER again. But I'm sure it's explained in a book, or some such fanboy nonsense. Galen comes with a little blaster and a mouse droid, plus a re-released zipline thingy. The mouse droid is a novel inclusion and interestingly/bizarrely the textured panels on its sides are separate pieces that connect via rectangular plugs. Jigga-whaaaaa? Also, while it is hollow inside like previous releases, the wheels are separate and on axles so they actually turn. They're so small they still don't really roll, but it really is the thought that counts. I can't imagine Hasbro ever releasing "new" Rogue One figures ever again seeing how impressively dead they are at retail (and yet they are dumping an insane amount of tooling money into a new not-hover tank vehicle, plus putting articulated 4" figures out on vintage cards) but it'd be a pretty novel and easy to reissues this figure in translucent blue as a hologram.
Hasbro - Rogue One: Lieutenant Sefla
Who? It's definitely nice to see supporting characters get figures, but... who is this guy? I have a feeling that I remembered who he was when he was announced and odds are Hasbro got screwed yet again by heavy reshoots/re-editing and/or poor communication from Lucasfilm (seriously LFL - get your shit together) but here, nine months after the movie was out I just don't recall this tubby goofball. But isn't that just Rogue One in a nutshell. Aaaaaanyways - Sefla is a nice sculpt, not the coolest looking trooper but busy enough design-wise to make a decent figure. He comes with a removable (not-Endor) helmet and a blaster, plus a big giant missile launcher. At least the missile is painted on the translucent red projectile so it helps sell the effect, and over all this is better than (both in terms of relevance to the character/scene/movie and as a toy) than those awful build-a-bullshit things from Force Awakens, but I still just look at this thing as an unnecessary extra dollar or two on the price. Sefla is a decent figure - unless you're a hardcore Rogue One fan he definitely won't be a hole in your collection but he is a nice addition to the display (for a reasonable price).
Hasbro - Spider-man Homecoming: Marvel's Shocker
This is a pretty neat figure. Sure, it's not movie-accurate, but it's fairly close to some early set-photos that came out, so I won't really fault Hasbro here; especially since it does make for a neat looking toy! The bright yellow with the light brown vest and silver tech/mech pieces... it's just a hell of a cool looking toy! He doesn't do much, but that's fine. Balljointed head, hinge/swivel shoulders, hinged elbows and T-crotch is what he does have. I really like the idea of putting in more characters to the kid/low-price targeted side lines and that was a major factor in me getting this guy. However... the scale is annoyingly off. It's close enough but this guy stands 5¾" tall. Because, what, that extra quarter-inch would have just killed the whole thing? I really just want to focus on the positive here, so I'll stick with "he looks cool and is close enough in size" (but really... why the hell is this line a quarter inch smaller than Marvel Legends!?).
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: Lando Calrissian
I generally hate soft-goods on toys, but even I'll admit that going sculpted for Lando's cape is both bizarre and confusing. In a world where Hasbro gave "farm boy" Luke a cloth shirt (again, WTF?) sculpting Lando's cape makes NO sense! At SDCC last year one of the guys was all proud of himself because this meant the pattern on the inside of the cape was 100% accurate to the costume material... but who really gives a damn. I'm more concerned with the interior color being accurate than the pattern, and it's not - the fabric was orange with gold highlights while here it's just painted gold. While soft-goods are usually a very bad choice for toys, there but for the grace of Jedi cloaks goes Lando's cape in the world of Star Wars for instances where it does make sense. Look - having the cape be sculpted isn't the end of the world or even a big problem (it's just easier and more fun to write negatively than positively - this is the internet after all!), it's just a VERY CONFUSING choice in a line that has favored soft-goods more than it should have. It just "breaks" a sense of continuity in the line and is almost as annoying as Leia's constantly changing size/scale. The cape is fine, though it does notably limit pose options, particularly with the left arm. Cloth with a plastic collar and wire along the edges would have easily made this the best Lando figure yet. The likeness is good enough, as is the rest of the sculpt. He comes with a rebel blaster and, kind of impressively, his little communicator thing - a very welcome touch!
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: Qui-Gon Jin
Even though I have a general "no prequels" rule for the 6" Star Wars figures, I still ended up getting Qui-Gon mainly because, well, if I'm being honest, he's "new" and "rare." But I'm telling myself it's because he will go with Darth Maul from series 1, so he sort of justifies that purchase too. He's a good figure for the line and decent likeness. Hasbro tried something new here, and made his eyes a separate piece that glue in to the inside of the face. I guess I applaud them trying new things, but I'm not really sure why they thought this would be any kind of improvement... The result is mainly that the black paint on this is too heavy and the seams give the figure a subtle sense of wearing a mask or a human suit. It's weird. Not "bad," but certainly odd. Q-G comes with his lightsaber, complete with removable blade, and an alternate "jedi mind trick" hand. I dig that hand, but weirdly it makes me wish there was a Watto for him to fail with. I can't really think of any other Episode I figures I'd buy in this scale... (MAYBE Amidala in that light-up dress?), and while there's certainly things that could have been included here to beef up Jin's appeal, given what the Black series has become, this is a solid figure and worth getting if you have Darth Maul.
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: Tusken Raider
Up above I ranted against soft-goods, and it's something I generally hate and has made a mess of Tusken Raiders in the past, but I really must confess... it worked well here. The whole figure is sculpted with the outer most robe/cloak as fabric and it's thin with slightly frayed edges and a nice pleated effect that really does work well at this scale. It complements the sculpt without hindering any of the articulation or giving away the scale. Also impressively, we're back to actually getting accessories with Black figures again! Really all we want from a Sandperson is a gadffi stick, and not only does this guy get one - he comes with three alternate club-heads to swap between! That's a shocking and awesome attention to detail! Plus, he gets the big giant Tattooine rifle, too! All around this is one of the best Star Wars Black releases in a very long while (the only thing we'd really change is giving him double-hinged elbows rather than the balljointed ones) and I definitely will be buying more if I ever find some!
Lego - Collectible Mini-Figures: The Ninjago Movie
I'm trying to spend less these days and as a result I'm trying to cut out Lego collecting (cause DAMN that stuff gets expensive real fast!) but when I saw a "2 for $5" sale at Toys R Us I couldn't help myself and picked up the ones that were most appealing to me from the new Ninjago movie. Both Garmadons, in 70s business outfit and pajamas respectively, were just too novel to pass up. Same with the kawaii/J-Pop girl, and her Unikitty shirt is super novel too. Similarly, I had to get the lab coat lady since she has a Batman shirt; it just seems like that could be fun for MOCs or something. Stupid Lloyd I only got because he has a great Asian styled bowl, but man I dislike that "emo" hood-up look here. I wanted the kendo guy to guy with the kendo fighter from a previous series, but I guess this one is a significant character since it also comes with anime hair. I really like the ocean-themed bad guys so I had to get that sea queen lady (plus, a new ice cup design!), Angler Fish headed guy and that evil/burning Shark head guy! There's also an Octopus head guy I still want to track down. But the real highlight for me here is the sushi guy who is a none-too-subtle reference to the phenomenal Hattori Hanzo character in Kill Bill - too cool!
Spin Master - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: Ghost Shark Attack
Boy howdy was Pirates 5 a dud! At least it wasn't as offensively bad as Pirates 4, but the new once was still forced, continuity laden and just... continues to further ignore what makes Jack Sparrow so great in the first one (he's trickster, not a drunk!). Buuuut, I've been a sucker for Pirates of the Caribbean toys since they started making them. I'd picked up the figure 2-packs a while back, but still haven't opened them, but still needed this one since it's the only way to get Henry. Plus, the boat should be a decent display piece for the collection if I ever get around to opening it. Henry, himself, is a good enough figure. I'm not crazy about the cartoonized look, but this is fine enough. What is odd is his articulation - three points with hinged waist (legs move in unison), swivel left should and balljoint right shoulder. Given the sales history of PotC toys I suppose I can't really blame Spin Master for spending minimal amounts of money, but it's kind of a bummer to only have ONE balljointed shoulder and no head swivel. Henry comes with a big boat. It's stylized and neat enough (I dig the barnacles sculpted on it) and I appreciate the swivel-able rudder and foot pegs on the deck. The big gun is a bit too goofy and "not right" for the PotC'iverse, but... it's just a toy. I do wish it was removable though. The cannon fires, surprisingly well, a harpoon that actually can lodge in to a hole on the shark's back. The shark is a pretty fun piece, cast in translucent blue plastic here (though in the movie they were definitely more "zombies" than "ghosts"). The tail has a hinge joint so it can pivot side-to-side and the jaw is hinged too, but doesn't open very wide. There is a wheel on the underside of the shark, between its fins, so it can roll along without scraping the toy up (I suppose). I wonder if originally there would have been a gear-works to make the wheel wag the tale as it spins - that actually would have been really cool. Also, given that the shark is bulky and hollow it would have been nice is the mouth had been open so he could "swallow" figures. But... such is Mango. Overall, it's a neat set. You're not missing anything without, but I was pleasantly surprised by it given that I bought it more as an obligation than as an interest.