Well, I heard Gamestop was both getting in the Batman vs TMNT sets AND was having one of those "buy a $5 shopping bag and get 25% off everything" sales and... well... I Rustin'ed out on some stuff I'd been dragging my feet. And while at the mall, I poked me ole head in to The Disney Store only to find all of their Star Wars Black figures clearance down to $10 each! And thus... we have us some genuine Spoils of the Week!
DC Collectibles - Batman vs. TMNT: Batman & Leonardo
I like both properties and love toys done in a heightened aesthetic so these are right up my alley! The sculpts are freakin' great and the paint is equally wonderful - I love the thick black lines implying a cell-shading effect! The articulation is super plentiful, and they all move well but the range isn't quite as great as I expected, to be honest. The really big shocker here are the unbelievable onslaught of accessories! Leo gets a slice of pizza, four extra/alternate hands, two katanas and a double-sheath - the sheath is really the only bummer in the entire set since it just sort of plugs into a hole on Leo's belt, but the peg is fairly shallow seems to barely go in and, thus, pop out much too easily. Bruce also gets an identical slice of pizza, SIX extra/alternate hands, a grapple shooter, two grapples, a batarang and a little bat-logo disc. I mean... come on! And as if that wasn't enough, Batman's cape is arguable the best cape the character has ever gotten on a toy - it's cloth and quite big, but it actually looks fine AND its cut allows it to look good/natural hung over the shoulders OR flowing behind him! I think it might be the same as the one of the SDCC Mikey, but it fits Batman here much better. The figures are good enough to sell the set but all these extras just kick it right over the goal post. Some of these seem a little too small, the disc and especially the grapples, but I ain't complaining. I am genuinely impressed by these! They are entirely worth the $50 pricetag (these are definitely worth $25/figure given the current market), and kind of a crazy steal for the marked down $38 I paid for these during the sale!
DC Collectibles - Batman vs. TMNT: Robin & Raphael
I had only planned on getting the Leo/Batman & Shredder/Ra's sets, but seeing as these were FRESH out and there was a sale on... I went ahead and got this set too. Much like the other set, the sculpts and paint are really, really nice here. Robin is a bit small but still manages to pack in the same 17 points of articulation as Batman; not to mention is can stand pretty well given his slender and stylized frame. Raph has the same 16 points as Leo, and likewise is a totally unique sculpt! I really dig the proportions, and quite like how blocky Raph is. Similarly, he's a more gray or olive shade of green than the others which is both nice and feels appropriate for his character. Insanely, this set manages to come with even more accessories than the previous! Raph gets his two signature sais and two alternate hands - but I gotta be honest, it's tough to get the sais in his gripping hands, and a real fight to get the sai up in the cutout for him to "middle finger" it. Robin comes with a Gotham City manhole cover, four extra/alternate hands, two batarangs, a grapple gun, two grapples, a bat logo disc, a short staff/rod and a log rod! The real kicker here, though, is that both figures come with alternate heads! Robin gets hood-up (it's glued on) and hood-down (with extra "laying down" hood piece) heads, and each have a slightly different expression. Raph gets an alternate yellin' head with a crazy cool biker helmet permanently attached - and I'd be a gul-durn liar if I told you I didn't seriously consider getting a second set to display both heads for these figures! I am genuinely impressed by these sets and it's going to be a real slippery slope collecting this line! I'm not entirely sure, though, if my budget will allow me to get the next two hero sets, but I really hope Gamestop can stay afloat long enough to release that Shredder/Ra's set!
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Retro: Dazzler
Crazily enough I still haven't opened my Disco Dazzler but I gotta get around to that now that I have Rocker Dazzler. I have virtually zero awareness of this character outside of both of these costumes featuring prominently in the Marvel trading cards of '90s, which hooked me but bad as a kid and informed a great deal of my marvel knowledge in life. This is quite a nice figure, and she looks remarkably unique, which is impressive since only her head is a unique sculpt to this release! Heck, her coat and belt (both from Rogue) are even shared with Boom-Boom who is on shelves at the same time, and they don't even seem similar!
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Retro: Iceman
It seemed a little too soon for another Iceman and not different enough than the one from the Juggernaut
wave series but looking at them together... yeah, we needed this one. It's a super simple release - just a standard body, and I'm not even entirely sure that's a new head, but it's cast in a perfect pearlescent white/clear plastic that seems pretty spot on for the character. I do wish there was a subtle wash or something, particularly for the head, to bring out the details as they get lost super easily in the plastic color. He gets a new rubber belt with the X logo printed on it and a new bit of ice for a base. The base is really disappointing - so small and he doesn't fit on it well. I suppose it's meant to homage the ice sled from the original Toybiz figure, but some ice effects for his hands and/or alternate head/s would have been MUCH more appreciated.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Retro: Silver Samurai
Well it's about damn time, Hasbro. This is a nice, welcome release but there is something off about the sculpt (which does appear to be totally new/unique), as though it were from an earlier aesthetic for the line or something. The starburst is very nice printed on his chest armor, but that's pretty much all the paint there is. There is some different hues to the silver plastic, which is a nice tough, but some kind of wash or something is desperately needed to take the edge off of how plastic-y this figure looks. He comes with two katanas, which fit really nicely into a double loop hanging off his belt.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Boom-Boom
This is another character I know mostly from the old trading cards, but it's ridiculous how much I like this figure! "On paper" I should kind of hate it, but the bright colors and extra little bits of costume really make this a super fun release! I LOVE that she's got the bubble gum effect on her alternate head - clearly reused from Jubliee, but amazingly the head is entirely new (I'd just assumed both were reused from Jubilee but the glasses, jigsaw-piece earrings and hair are part of the sculpts here)! She also gets a new fireball effect and an incredibly cool and fun new alternate hand with a fireball coming off of her fingers - I love it! If I had ANY attachment to the character, I'd likely get a second - this is Hasbro really knocking their format out of the park here!
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Cannonball
Aaaaaaand then there's this guy... You just can't not talk about the "elephant in the room" of his missing legs. Given the general model of the line, CLEARLY he was meant to come with swappable legs and energy blast (the proof being how easily his torso pops off the blast), but something changed too far down the line and they just scrapped the legs. If he was meant to come with just this blast effect, it should have been a bit more elaborate (taller AT LEAST, if not articulated in some way like the Star Wars Black Chopper blast effect). Really, this should have been the 7th figure in the assortment and come with the blast effect rather than a Wendigo piece, and it's super annoying that that's not the case. It's a perfect sort of "theory of toys" case - sure, likely we'd all chose to display him with the blast, but that's a cool bonus and he feels incomplete without his legs; had he both options, folks like me would have bought two, where as now I suspect a chunk of folks are just waiting for the inevitable multi-pack. Oh well... The new coat and head are nice sculpts - I especially dig the headgear and dangling straps. It, and the general color palette here, really remind me of the Ralph McQuarrie concept art and figure for Starkiller.
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Guardian
We've been waiting for this guy ever since they did Sasquatch, and now they are wisely are finishing off the Alpha Flight team in a one-off boxset, so this dude is sort of a must-have. He's a repaint of one of the core bodies in the line, and I think his head is unique - it's a nice sculpt, but very not-Batman, which is what I think is throwing me in terms of its new-ness. The paint is nice and tight on this one, but certainly I've seen instances of the maple leaf being more ghost-y along the edges. He comes with Wendigo's torso and tail, which is impressively large, but taken all together, just makes this release overwhelmingly white (and in need of more color).
Hasbro - Marvel Legends: Mr. Sinister
YEAH, BOOOOOOOYYYYY!!! And thus completes our major heavies of the 90s and early Toybiz days! The sculpt is fried gold and the colors are gorgeous! I think he shares a bunch of parts with the new Colossus, but who cares - the colors really make these feel quite different. His cape is remarkably well executed, and hefty, for such a ridiculous concept. I'm really pleased with this big mofo and he is worth the wait. I can't wait to assemble up the 90s baddies now on their own shelf - and of course turn my nerd-gaze on to who I can pine for next... (a new Blob and/or Toad would be great - and Pyro, Avalanche, etc!)
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: Yoda
I have a very tenuous relationship with SWBlack and when this sucker first came out it was effectively impossible for me to justify the price for such a tiny thing - especially one that looked so bad. But... now that Hasbro and Lucasfilm have effectively killed the brand at retail, finding an excuse to do some rereleases can only help the bottom line - especially since Hasbro is now much better at face paint, something Yoda here in particular benefits from! I mean, he actually does look like Yoda now. I'm not a fan of soft goods, and his burlap-y cloak only kind of works here. He comes with his little necklace, cane and a dumb snake that goes around his neck in a misbegotten reference to the old Kenner figure. He also comes with his stupid little prequel lightsaber. I really hate Yoda with a lightsaber, and honestly it would have been super easy for them to double-up on the body tooling by doing both an OT and PT release (I would have preferred that little lamplight, and maybe some rocks or a log or his stew pot here, and then the prequel version could have his lightsaber and council chair). But... I'm sucker for OT toys and this was 25% off, so... here we are.
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: Captain Phasma (Battle Damaged)
As you might recall, I fell deep in love with Phasma before seeing The Force Awakens, so since I have a whole little collection of her it's been gnawing on me that I add this to it - but I really disliked Last Jedi and especially this sequence... but for $10 I'll be their sucker. She's a repaint of the regular Black Series Phasma, complete with crappy elbow articulation, with a new head featuring the cracked helmet and her "revealed" eye behind it. It's a good sculpt, but it's really the multi-layered battle-damaged paint that sells this as something new and different. Instead of the sculpted half-cape from the previous release, this one gets a fabric version, and while she does come with her unique blaster rifle she also gets the ridiculous "quicksilver baton" in both it's short (aaaand I've already lost it) and long forms. Since Hasbro was nice enough to just reuse the whole figure from the neck down, this figure's hands are sculpted to fit the blaster and as a result are too "open" to properly hold either baton... whomp whomp whomp.
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: Stormtrooper (with Blast Accessories)
When Hasbro revealed this thing, I got excited about the possibilities of a larger SKU package and price point, but like most of what Hasbro has done with the Star Wars license of late... they just one-and-done'd it with a weird release. This is a just a repaint of the Stormtrooper with some battle damage effects painted on it - which effectively means the only use for this guy is as a dead trooper since that's the only time we seem them non-pristine... To justify the pricepoint, he comes with two neat but odd "blast effects." They're thick, translucent orange "rubber" with a hollow core and some black overspray - they're leftovers from that weird diorama/statue line Hasbro tried. Ultimately, the main draw for me here is the little blast effect that fits over the front of his blast rifle - I'm a big sucker for this kind of thing, and it's a bummer we only get one here. It's also annoying that it's orange when Stormtroopers' blaster-fire is red, but beggars can't choosers I suppose. He also comes with a very odd base... it's a sci-fi-y hex shape clearly designed to interconnect with others, but to date this is the only place it's ever been released. It's also a multi-part piece, with the "top" being reversible and having the Star Wars name/logo on one side and then some grillwork on the other. This is just such a bizarre and ill-conceived release - but that has been Hasbro's game plan on the brand for the last year or two, it seems.
Hasbro - Star Wars Black: Zuckuss
I've never been a fan of the whole bounty hunter craze, unlike most of my fellow collectors, so I was more than happy to sit out the 6" incarnations. But, for reasons, I've got Bossk and IG-88 (and of course, Fett), so for $10 I talked myself in to getting this, but now I suppose it means I also have to track down Dengar and 4-LOM... The sculpt is good here, everything we'd expect from the line, and I appreciate the somewhat dynamic posing of his hand sculpts. Yet, because it's Hasbro, they gave this guy a cloth robe, which is weird in a lot of ways. Firstly, it just doesn't look that good, plus is restricts articulation, and due to the pattern printing it feels odd, like a cheap motel quilt. This is certainly a completists-only release.
NECA - Gremlins: Ultimate Stripe
I am a dyed-in-the-wool Gremlins 2 man and have never really liked the designs from the first movie... but I'm a sucker for all things NECA and they've been going accessory crazy with the various "armybuilder" Gremlins (two of my other weaknesses - lots of accessories and armybuilders), so I used this sale to get those guys a leader. I'm sure this figure is identical in sculpt and paint to the regular version from the head down, but on top is a new head that's a bit more narrow and features the iconic mowhawk, created here via fabric strip with fur on it (the strip hangs down over the neck piece too, to be a bit longer but not restrict any articulation). He has a hinged jaw and balljointed (though a bit tight and tough to manipulate) ears, too! Then we get to the wholly exclusive accessories - a rotary saw blade, a very impressive skateboard (complete with textured grip tape, painted wood pattern underneath and spinning, translucent red wheels - pure, perfect nostalgia!) and a small chainsaw. The chainsaw and skateboard are excellent and feel like they'd be worth getting alone just to augment other figures, though I'm not sure of the scale here... probably 12"? This is certainly a cool release, but he's definitely overshadowed by the much more fun and dynamic armybuilder versions.