After a couple weeks of Halloween Ghostbuster-ey lets return to our regularly scheduled toy haulery. I've been subscribed to Eaglemoss' Star Trek Starship Collection for a couple years now (about 60-70 ships deep in to this line of over 100 ships) and, for whatever reason, I never think to include them in Spoils but that all changes this month (for no special reason). Plus, some hot, new NECA stuff! Seems like NECA is coming in waves these day. I won't see anything new for awhile then suddenly a bunch of new stuff at once.
DST - Thor Ragnarok: Gladiator Hulk & Valkyrie
After getting the almost-complete collection a couple weeks ago, I finally picked up the one set I was missing. Hulk turned out really nice with some nice sculpting and fairly clean paint. He comes with both his hammer and axe, nicely, as well as alternate helmet or shaggy hair pieces. Valkyrie is really nice, and definitely reads as Tessa Thompson. The paint is pretty clean and the sculpting minimal; she comes with her blue sword. I quite enjoyed Ranganrok, though quite not as much as most folks, it seems. Regardless, it is one of the most toyetic films in YEARS, so I really lament the death of full lines for these movies. Here's hoping the film's success allows for DST to get out one more series (at least as exclusives) - I'd really dig a finale/"sparkly" Thor, Valkyerie in her white armor, "Casual" Hulk, Surtur, Korg, and/or as many of those awesome Kirby-esque characters they can possible throw at me! I also wish they were still doing vehicles, because that ring-ship is sooooo cool!
Eaglemoss - Star Trek Starship Collection: Klingon Transport Shuttle (Enterprise)
Enterprise ship designs, man... sometimes they're cool as heck but other times they're just clear filler like this one. Not too interesting looking and too beholden to the Bird of Prey aesthetics versus the D7s of TOS. Also, this replica of it seems even blander than the images in the magazine, with the red torpedo Bay on the nose seeming flatter and less detailed than it should be. But it's an Enterprise ship, so it's just display filler anyway.
Eaglemoss - Star Trek Starship Collection: The Voth City Ship (Voyager)
This is another pretty bland Voyager ship. The designers were certainly hitting creative fatigue on this series as so many of the alien ships look more or less the same to me. What's crazier is that original concept art for this one, shown in its paired magazine, is SO MUCH more interesting and cool looking! But I imagine the early days of television CG required more smooth, curved shapes and less unique, detailed ones. Oh well. It's all part of the game when collecting Star Trek ships, and if buying this helps them justify all the amazing other stuff coming up (Ring-Ship from TMP! Captain Proton's Rocket Ship!) then I don't mind doing my part!
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: General Leia
Can't believe it took two years to get this figure but I'm glad she's finally here. I heard some gripes about this costume when Force Awakens was out but this is so much more "Leia" to me than that goofy blue gown at the end of the movie. The sculpt and paint are on par with what we've come to expect from the line, and she has a removable vest and little blaster as accessories. Aside from a 6" Bala Tik (grumble, grumble) this figure effectively completes my 6" Force Awakens collection, so let's focus on the other flicks now!
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: Maz Kanata
Maz is a character I really should hate - an obvious ripoff of popular Original Trilogy tropes, pointlessly CG / tiny, and nothing more than an exposition machine... BUT... Man, Lupita N'yongo really did utterly incredible work with her, and solely through her performance made this new addition to the saga one of my favorite things about the new film/franchise. As such, I have been eagerly awaiting a figure of her, and Hasbro really did hit this one out of the park. The sculpt is great and she's fully articulated and the joints all have really nice ranges of motion. The paint is also really clean and dynamic. Her goggle lenses are articulated and swing up and down - and amazingly they look perfect in both positions! That's same damn good engineering there! She comes with a rebel blaster for kicks, Luke's lightsaber because plot and the chest that conspicuously nonchalantly hid the lightsaber (but "that's a story for another time"... eyeroll). The chest is also quite well sculpted and even painted fairly well too. The lid and hinges are all one pieces of plastics, but they're soft enough that the hinges bend well and the clasp even fits over of the lock (ala peg-and-hole) to keep the lid closed. This is, all around, a remarkably good release of a surprisingly cool character - so, more of this, please!
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: Praetorian Guard
Nice!!! Didn't expect to find this guy so soon but am quite happy to have; particularly since, as previously mentioned, I have fallen for these ruddy bastards! And this guy has my favorite of the three helmets; and the most natural looking one of the three, too. He's got a really nice sculpt with plenty of detail and nice angles, and remarkably good articulation for what I've come to expect from the line. The only drawback is the predictably limited range of motion from the elbows due to the "looks cool but makes no practical sense for a fighter" pleated sleeves. His skirt is plastic, which definitely preferred to cloth, and has some pretty good flex to it for posing. He comes with the axe/staff thing, which turned out pretty cool and quite detailed. I definitely hope to score one more of these, as well as with the other helmet designs as well.
NECA - Aliens: Carter & Xenomorph Warrior (Concept)
Whoa!!! Carter Burke!? Man, NECA is genuinely amazing! Of course, to be safe they packed him with a Xenomorph since those sell way better than humans in this line, but boy is this one a pure "filler" option. Just the Alien head on the Aliens body - what a twist! It'll just go in the back of the display with the other "concept art" Xeno. We also get a "Hadley's Hope" sign, which is a nice accessory. I have only the vaguest recollection of it from the film but it seems "off" somehow... not sure. But the real reason anyone is getting this figure is for our first-ever sculpted Paul Reiser toy! It's a great figure that's all you'd expect from a modern NECA figure. His vest is removable, but don't do that because his shirt rides a bit high and the "tucked in" part looks weird. The only issue I have with the figure is his face - WHY the he'll did they give him an expression!? Every figure since the first series has had a neutral expression because it allows for more posing/diorama options. Plus, while kind of memorable this is in no way what I see in my head when I think of Burke - smug smirk, man. This would have been an awesome second head for him to be packed with, but as his only face - it's annoying. Still though, who'd ever thought we'd actually get a toy of this character? Totally worth it for that alone!
NECA - Gremlins 2: Mohawk Gremlin
Yes!!! Finally!!! The new and improved Mowhawk Gremlin is out after years and years of waiting! Aaaaand he's glorious - a MASSIVE improvement over the old, original Cult Classics one! This guy is essentially just a repainted of the Video Game version that came out a year or two ago, which in turn is a bit of a retool of the head, arms and torso of the the epic Spider-Gremlin. The Spider-Gremlin's torso connected to the body in a hinge joint, and on this one there is a slightly noticeable seam along the waist making me think it's the same tooling just plugged into a waist (diaper?) piece for the legs. The paint is impeccable and the articulation quite nice, the the legs are a hint wonky. He also comes with the Uzi that allegedly was part of the hold-up in getting studio approvals. So, so, so, so happy this out! And it breaks my heart that the line doesn't do gang busters because I really really really want a Greta Gremlin, Veggie Gremlin and an updated Brain Gremlin (plus those awesome Egg and Melting Gremlins shown at SDCC) to complete the collection! Also, I'd really really love a 7" scale multipack of the main Gremlins at around 3" or so to terrorize my other NECA figures!
NECA - Predator: 30th Anniversary Camouflaged Predator
Because I made the mistake of getting a couple LootCrates they keep sending me a gajillion emails, but one about a toy sale caught my eye which led to finding this dude for a mere $5!!! Well, for that price I was basically obligated on a moral level to buy one! He's the only new figure in NECA's 30th Anniversary line and he sure is a striking one. It's the same "super-articulated" figure from the first movie we've bought multiples off, but now cast in clear plastic with some jungle deco meant implies his uncloaking or being see-through, or what have you. It's not a terribly exciting figure, but it's a fun, fresh spin on the toy and unlike other Predators I have. From everything I could tell the only thing that made this a "LootCrate Exclusive" versus the one in the 30th line is a barely noticeable sticker on the box.
NECA - Valerian: K-TRON
I LOVE The Fifth Element and that affection but cemented my interest in Valerian... which is a very far cry from 5th. But, while these guys weren't too remarkable in the film, they are a solid toyetic design - so to try and support NECA (because boy are they going to lose money on this line!) I went ahead and got him. It's a pretty great sculpt and is loaded with articulation (double-joints at knees and elbows). The entire torso is a rubber piece over internal skeleton, no doubt to try and maintain the streamlined appearance in the movie. The rubber runs up along the head which generally results more in "bunny ears" than the smooth transition that's intended. And the head doesn't have nearly as much range of motion as I'd hoped or expected. The giant gun is well made and he holds it pretty securely with both hands though it's so big it's tough to find a good one-handed pose. He stands well enough considering the design but he's not as stable as a human figure. All in all, a pretty decent toy and I might get a second when they hit clearance.
Playmates – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: '80s Rocksteady
As ya'll know - I loooooove me Rocksteady, so I was super jazzed to see this repaint was coming out and very thrilled to find him! Even more amazingly, he's actually more than a repaint! They started off with the Rocksteady from the CG show, which is a pretty great sculpt saddled with pretty bad articulation, and did their best to match his '80s. Then they made a new helmet and boots for him! That's right - Playmates actually spent money on a figure! The new pieces are a soft rubber and fit really snugly on him - they're surprisingly good! He comes with the same hammer and sickle as before too. Now, I just gotta find the matching Bebop reissue too!
See, now Maz is the kind of figure that makes me love the 6" SWB range - well thought out, plenty of accessories. And the Praetorian is one that grates my carrot - hard enough to get hold of a basic one, forget the two variants that are already out. Seriously. Pack the three different heads in the box and I'll buy three. But no... let's keep rolling out tons of impossible to find exclusives (Admiral Akbar anyone? Good luck with that.). Grah!
The basic Pretorian has been in stock at MSRP on Amazon for about a month. Same with the Amazon exclusive version. Neither are hard to get.
The Game stop 4 pack Pretorian is harder to find, I suppose. He is going for around $30 on ebay, which isn't bad if you, like me, don't want the other 3 figures. He is the worst of the Praetorians though. His skirt wasn't done well.
The Akbar two-pack is pretty plentiful, too - my guess is the boring Imperial guy is dragging that one down. Anyway, I'm sure someone would be happy to middleman one for you. (Of course, then there's the question of international shipping fees...)
"Every figure since the first series has had a neutral expression because it allows for more posing/diorama options."
Wait, didn't the Aliens marines figures have dynamic expressions as well? Mr Bill Paxton I believe only came in "game over man!" and "come get some!!!" faces...
If he wasn't so dinky & unarticulated, I'd be all over the new Rocksteady too. “Wanted: Bebop & Rocksteady” was a great series finale to the best TMNT toon: https://mattthecatania.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/tales-of-gotham-tmnt/
Modern Bebop looks much better in the ’87 style outfit. Why doesn’t his latest toy have shell pauldrons for both shoulders?
Always like a good spoils! I've seen Rocksteady but no Beebop. If his face didn't have a big white paint streak on it, I'd probably have bought him.