I don't know, man... let's just talk about some toys!
Funko - Stranger Things: 9POA Eleven, Lucas, Mike
I've been pretty impressed by and enamored of Funko's new 9POA line so far, with the stellar Twin Peaks set and '66 Batmobile set, but I've been dragging my feet on these because I was fairly "over" Stranger Things once the toys hit and, moreover, the QC has been a mess from what I've seen on pegs. But Amazon had all three sets on sale so I finally bought in to open while watching the new season. Here we get to two leads of Season 1; and Mike. Eleven is a really nice sculpt with fairly clean paint fortunately and she even gets swivel wrists for better "Force" posing! She comes with an Eggo waffle and a box of them, which impressively comes with actual, branded graphics! Man, this show must be making Kellogg's a small fortune just from licensing alone! Lucas and Mike are also good sculpts, with Mike having a pretty good Finn Wolfhard likeness and I lucked out with really nice paint on both. Each comes with a removable backpack and Mike gets his slingshot and binoculars too. The joints are a little weak on these, particularly the boys, so it's kinda tough getting them to stand. Otherwise these are really good little figures!
Funko - Stranger Things: 9POA Will, Dustin, Demogorgon
The MacGuffin-lead of series, Will, gets remarkably complex plaid style paint which turned out good here but I've seen some not as good in stores. It's really the faces the manufacturer has had trouble with as I've seen countless misplaced eyes and even some weird warping on the plastic - which is then the downside of a multipack, because you don't want two good figures if one is quite "derpy" (as the kids say)... Dustin is a breakaway favorite for me mainly due to Gaten Matarazzo's unstoppable charm and charisma, so I'm jazzed to have a figure of him! He comes with a can of chocolate pudding and both he and Will get removable backpacks. Remarkably, all four backpacks aren't only uniquely painted, they are different sculpts too! Wow, that's cool! The Demogorgon is the one flop in the series for me. He seems a little under-scaled though he IS bigger than the other figures. In addition to the standard articulation he gets hinge joints at the wrists and ankles (so he's really 13POA) but the ankle joints are super weak and I can only keep standing for a couple seconds on his own. Plus, the way the hips are engineered allows the legs to pop off easily. They plug back on easily too, though, but still...
Funko - Stranger Things: 9POA Eleven (Wig), Will (Upside Down), Demogorgon (Closed Mouth)
This was an "exclusive" to NYCC this fall but fortunately Amazon is carrying it too. It has the two obvious "version 2's" of the figures in the previous sets and a reasonable repaint. Eleven is totally identical to the regular release but now with her blonde wig (she even gets the Eggo waffle and box again here). The Demogorgon gets a closed-mouth head and actually has looser joints than the regular release, and since it's the ankles that are the problem, not even plugging his feet on to a base would help. Will gets painted in dark greens to represent his time spent in the Upside Down. It's not necessary for the collection, but is a solid third figure for this set of variants. While these offer up a pretty complete collection I do hope there is a second series - I'd really like a Joyce/Hooper/Mathew Modine set. I suppose, too, a set of the teenage love triangle is inevitable, but that's the weakest part of the show for me so I'm okay without them.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Blade
Blade was the first figure I found from this series, but didn't want to JUST buy Blade so I passed... only for him to be the one figure I could never find again! Well, finally that's been rectified! Sadly, though, he's not that great of a figure. Weirdly he seems to be all new tooling but the hips seem to be too shallow for him so he naturally looks like he's leaning forward, so then you try to compensate with the mid-torso joint and he just looks like Mick Jagger duck walking and some such nonsense. Plus, his dumb wrists have back-and-forth hinges when he NEEDS up-and-down hinges in order to double-fist his sword! Also, there is a peg hole in his left thigh that just has a plug glued in it, which seems like an insane choice because the spear belt on his thigh is free floating and really could have used a peg to plug in there to stay in place... bizarre. He comes with a nice katana sword and an alternate head that is identical save for the hair... just... weird. They could have at least made one snarling with bared fangs or SOMETHING. But he comes with Man-Thing's build-a-leg, so you gotta get this bizarrity.
Lego - Ninjago: Stealthy Swamp Airboat Polybag
This was a surprise find at Walmart recently, and especially so since its branded for the default Ninjago theme and not the movie. It's not a very exciting set and I got it out of loyalty to the polybag format and "excitement" of finding something new. It's a decent build and one of the better, if not best, airboats they've done in polybags but it's still a visually back heavy design that's not too appealing. Fortunately, there are plenty of little bricks in the build to help improve the look. The figure is also unremarkable. He has a kind of neat looking green scar (or tattoo?) over his left eye but it's nearly entirely covered by his hair.
Lego - Ninjago Movie: Quake Mech Polybag
WOW - this set is wicked cool! I was skeptical when I first saw it as it seemed like a clunky micro-ization of one of the full-sized sets from The Ninjago Movie which didn't really lend itself to this scale, but it's actually a really fun build with some clever techniques and fun bricks! The shoulders in particular are very clever as they use a new (at least to me) balljoint brick that connects to one of ball-sockets from the Mixo line but it's a simple rod on the ball rather than studs or bricks, SO that effectively gives this sucker balljointed shoulders. The final build looks really neat too, I must say. Unlike the previous polybag from The Ninjago Movie this is more of display piece than a toy but it does look great.
Mattel - Hot Wheels: The Milano
Whoa! When did this licensing happen!? AND I've been able to find it at retail!? YES, PLEASE!! This is a remarkably good mini ship with plenty of sculptural and paint details. It even comes with a little flight stand, and I've now seen two versions of it: clear (as seen here) and translucent blue. This is just a fantastic ship and at $1.00 USD it simply can't be beat! I really hope they do more Marvel ships because there are some great designs in the MCU (Helicarriers! Ego's egg ship! Grand Master's pleasure cruiser! Ronan's ship! Knowhere base!) that I desperately want toys of!
Moose Toys - Grossery Gang: Blow Fly
Yes - finally found the three figures from the second wave of Series 1 which means my collection is now complete! This guy is probably my least favorite figure in the line - design wise it's just not that compelling, and frankly looks WAY more like a pug than a fly. The blue coloring is also kind of a weird choice too. He has the standard swivel/hinge hips and shoulders and also gets wings on his back on swivel joints. Both the wings and antennae are cast in translucent light blue, which is kind of neat. All in all, the figure is only okay but feels ripe for a cool repaint. He comes with a little rubber buddy and a fly swatter; the swatter even has a buggy peg in it to hold the rubber guy kind of like the Putrid Pizza's spatula.
Moose Toys - Grossery Gang: Fungus Fries
This is kinda fun and a nice big, bulky sculpt. He follows the standard articulation and sculpt style of the line and has nice bright colors too (with the red carton clearly referencing ye olde Golden Arches). He comes with a little rubber mini fig of "gross" fries and they fit perfectly in his frying-basket accessory. This guy is probably my favorite of these last three (though I prefer the figures from the initial wave overall more) and seems like he'd make a great novelty gift for french-fry loving friends and coworkers.
Moose Toys - Grossery Gang: Squished Banana
Our final gang member is this groovy banana guy. They sculpt is really fun and cool, but I do wish there was more interesting paint for him that help play of the "gross" angle; like bruises or something. As is, he just looks like an unfinished banana rather than something "gross." Still, though, I dig him a lot. He comes with a little banana guy and a surprisingly dildo-esque banana-baton weapon.