Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cobra Commander Costume

I admit, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that even though this is the summer of the GI Joe movie, they're producing a classic Cobra Commander Costume.

Even better? To my knowledge, they're not making a movie Cobra Commander costume.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Comic: US Agent is pretty much an ass

Originally posted at my old blog a year ago.

Buzz Lightyear (Toys R Us Exclusive)

Out of all the SDCC09 toys, the one I hoped would find its way into retail shelves was the 3.75" Buzz Lightyear. So when I spotted them at Toys R' Us as a retailer exclusive I snatched one up. Incdientally, the packaging is a bitch to get them out of.

I was very pleased by the articulation. The hips don't move much, but the elbows and knees are full ball-joints. Like 360 degree rotation witha 90 degree bend. You can make his knees bend backwards is what I'm saying, so doing the teapot pose is very simple.

But the reason I wanted a Buzz Lightyear in the 3.75" scale (as opposed to the larger scales available everywhere for about the same cost) is that I like it when toys are of similar scales. Because in my head, Buzz Lightyear just joined GI Joe.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Originally posted at my old blog a year ago.

My figures for Marvel Wave 19 came in the mail. I feel a little bit happier. Weirded out by Mysterio's round bubble head. Seems inappropriate for a minimate.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Star Trek Minimates: Captain Picard & Borg Drone

Originally posted at my old blog a year ago.

I like Star Trek, and I like minimates. But I'm not a huge fan of the original series. Oh, I like the characters just fine, but mostly as icons and for their place in the mythology rather than because of a fondness of the original show. I'm more of a TNG & DS9 type of guy.

Unfortunately this means I've been disappointed by the Star Trek Minimates line and its over-focus on the original series. Once I had the core 7 characters in uniform I was fine. I have no want of endless variations of Kirk or Spock. But that's what we got until Series 4. Series 4 finally takes us to the movies and spin-off shows. So after skipping Series 3, it's time to pick up some new Star Trek minimates.

Here's the packs I got. Picard/Borg (YES!) and Admiral Kirk/Dress Uniform Scotty (or as I like to call them, old men Kirk & Scotty). Dress Uniform Scotty is the variant figure this wave, I just don't consider Duty Uniform Scotty to be movie version Scotty. I just don't.

The TNG uniform on Picard is done well, although Patrick Stewart's head does not lend itself to the minimate form. It looks fat, like he's bloated or something. And oddly enough, it feels like he doesn't have enough hair. I'm almost sad they didn't do the one-piece sculted hair head, like on Doc Brown or Hannibal Lecter. I say almost, because now I can dick around and give Picard hair.

The Borg Drone on the other hand is awesome. He just looks so cool, and unlike the Cylons, actually looks like a minimate. A borgified minimate. And what's great is that under that chest piece and head piece is more borg designs. And the head piece has a hair peg! Which means you can borgify another character without losing this dude as a drone! I'm going to suddenly turn multiple characters into borg when I get bored. Its times like this that I love the modular aspect of minimates.

I want more Borg. You know that Cylon 5-pack? I hope the do that with the Borg.

Of course I also hope they release a Riker/Troi pack, so what do I know? (No really, I want this before Data and Geordi... I have plans for the Riker couple. Secret plans.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mediocre Comic #4

Originally posted at my old blog a year ago.

Click image to view full sized comic

Mediocre Comic #3

Originally posted at my old blog a year ago.

Click image to view the full size comic

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Silence of the Lambs

Originally posted at my old blog a year ago.

I went to a local comic book store and what did I find? The "Silence of the Lambs" Minimate set. Nice! So I picked that up.

I love the idea of "Silence of the Lambs" minimates. It's just such a random movie to license. I mean, hell, 24 is kinda geekish, but "Silence of the Lambs"? An Academy Award winning psychological crime thriller about cannibals and transexual serial killers making suits of human skin? The crossover possibilities are completely fricking insane.

Yeah it's got 4 figures, but the accessories really make this one a winner. I freaking love the handcart and straight jacket, which recreates a memorable scene in the movie but also means you can now turn any 2 inch minimate into a mental institution inmate. Works great for Arkham inmates.

I've pulled out the piece inside the straight jacket, it's just a generic blank torso with the arms removed. I'm a little disappointed that the handcart is made of soft plastic, which makes it a little difficult to create a firm fit with the minimate C3 feet. As for use with other figures, the face guard doesn't really work with any non-lecter figure (although it will loosely fit around the head of bald characters) and the infrared goggles don't really work with figures not using hair pieces.

The figures themselves are pretty nice. The 2 Hannibal Lecter figures and the Buffalo Bill figure both have their hair sculpted onto their heads, like the "Back to the Future" Doc Brown figure, so it's impossible to swap out their hair, but it certainly increases their likeness to the movie actors. I don't know if I needed 2 figures of Lecter, but I guess it makes sense considering he's the most iconic part of the movie. And really, Charles Napier's character of guard without a face would probably put some people off buying the set.

The Clarice figure is a more generic minimate, with removable hair and more plain look. It looks vaguely like Jodie Foster, but it's lacking the accuracy of the other figures. Her dress piece restrict leg movements too, so that's a tad disappointing.

But overall I'm really glad to have gotten these figures, if for no other reason than to say that I've got some "Silence of the Lambs" mini-figures. It amuses me to do so.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lego Racers 1-3

Bad week. I'm sick and I'm moving at the end of the week. That means all my toys are being packed up, and the ones I haven't opened are all packed away. (FYI, I review toys once I've opened them, not when I buy them. So I've got my SDCC Doctor Who stuff, but I haven't opened them yet. After the move.)

That means I don't have a lot to review. Although for some reason my sick addled mind thinks it's a good idea to eat Happy Meals when I have a cold. Although only because I've become enamored with this month's Happy Meal toys. Lego Racers. This is the first Lego Happy Meal they've done in a while which actually has Lego parts. The past few have been action figure/statues based on the lego design. But these: These are in between.

Each racer is made up of three interchangeable parts that connect to one another using the lego design. This means they're customizable and that you can attach any other leg pieces to them.

And that's just enough Lego for me to be giddy. The end result is something that combines the customization and building potential of Lego with a sleeker, stream-lined design that eschews the normally craggy appearance of other Lego products. I approve. I haven't added the sticker/decals yet and I don't know if I ever will. I'm kind of digging the raw look they've got now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Missile Defense Unit

Figures sold separately!

Another cheap eBay purchase I received in the mail on Saturday, this kinda playset/accessory set comes from the second year of the G.I. Joe Real American Hero line. It's really simple, which isn't surprising since it originally sold for aroun two dollars in the early 1980s. It's just a brick wall, a sign, and some missile launcher gear (it also includes two display bases, which are not in the picture for what I figure are obvious reasons). I mainly got the set for the brick wall back drop, which can also be reassembled to face the other way. Not the most spectacular toy purchase ever, but it makes for a nice display piece to augment my Joe figures.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dino-Snare Dirtbike with Carter

Nostalgia is a tricky thing. A few weeks ago I had to urge to pull my Jurassic Park figures out of storage and reread my hardcover copy of The Lost World. I then went on eBay to see what Jurassic Park toys I could get for cheap. This figure/vehicle set was one of the many Lost World toys I wanted back in 1997 that I never got around to purchasing, so I was initially fulfilled that I picked this up at a low price.

First, the good. The bike is very well-sculpted, and the paintwork is pretty good, especially on the muddy tires. The "dino-damage" action (always a high point of Jurassic Park toys) is activated by a button on the back of the bike; press it and the bike splits in half.

OK, now for the bad points. The bike can't stand on its own. The figure is poorly sculpted and isn't screen-accurate (did he even ride a bike in the movie?). It can't even hold its gun in its hands. The snare makes balancing worse, and to top it off the retractable portion is damaged in the middle, so it can't retratct all the way. At least I didn't spend the original 12 dollar retail price for it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vader Invasion: Even Later

Much delayed, here's my entry into Open The Toy's Vader Invasion event, where various toy bloggers catalogue all of their Darth Vader toys.

First off, I neglected to include a picture of my first Darth Vader figure, a reissue of the original Kenner Vader figure as part of a Power of the Force box set. I really didn't want to dig through piles of boxes in my closet to take a photo. It's got a vinyl cape and telescoping lightsaber blade that fits in the right arm. It's not the greatest figure ever made, but it did its job back in 1978. Too bad I got it for Christmas 1995.

OK, let's see some pictures now!

This is the first Vader figure from Kenner's Power of the Force line. It features the bulky, muscular proporions common in the early days of that line, but I actually like how this figure looks due to its imposing nature. Because of that, to this day this remains my default Vader figure.

On a side note: the lightsaber color is faded because once I accidently dropped it into a can of soda. Don't ask.

This 2002 Vader is from the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where he chops off his son's hand. The details of the sculpt are great, but Vader's stuck in an awkward pose to accomodate his lightsaber-swinging action. A much cooler action feature is his magnetic hand, which gives the figure a "force attact" action allowing it to pick up its lightsaber.

This 1999 Vader comes from the scene where he tortures his daughter. Isn't he something? He comes with an Imperial interrogation droid as well as a CommTech chip (I don't have a CommTech reader and I don't want one). Kind of a lackluster figure, actually. He can fold his arms on his chest and hide them under a cloth cape! But he doesn't have lightsaber! Totally worth five bucks! Well, I got it for less. In an auction with the CommTech Jawa, I think.

This deluxe Revenge of the Sith Vader has the best play value out of all them. He comes with an operating table (not included in the picture, because it can connect with other figure bases and I didn't want to take apart my desk display) where you can lay the figure down and attach pieces to transform him from post-lava bath Anakin Skywalker into "Make 'em say NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" Darth Vader. The sculpting isn't as good as it could be (particularly on his undersized fried Anakin head), but a lot of that is to accomodate the Vader pieces that attach. And let me tell you, it's compulsively fun to detach and reattach the various Vader bits.

And those are my Vader figures! That's about four more than I actually need.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hobgoblin & Scarlet Spider

If you ask a comic book fan to name one story that epitomizes everything that was wrong with 90's comic book excess, and assuming they haven't blocked it from their memories, chances are good that they'll mention the Clone Saga from Spider-man.

This isn't the first minimate made from a Clone Story character, but it's the most emblematic of the story: The Scarlet Spider. The superhero alter-ego of Ben Reilly, the clone of Peter Parker/Spider-man who turned out to not actually be a clone but the real Peter Parker, until it was revealed that maybe he was a clone after he dies, although not until after he took over as Spider-Man in all the Spider-Man comics and fought Superboy in that Marvel vs. DC crossover.

Man it was a stupid story.

Hobgoblin is included here in part because he played a small role in the Clone Saga as an errand boy, but also because he's easy to make using parts they already had.

I've really wanted these guys because I hold a special place in my heart for the insantiy of 90's comics. But it's taken me a long time to get these guys. They were released as an FYE exclusive, and were in short supply. There wasn't an FYE in my area when these were released, so thank you ebay and your marked up grey market.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Vader Invasion: Week Later, Dollars Short

Here we go... finally found everything and have a free minute. So time to participate in Open the Toy's Vader Invasion. AJ can do another post if he wants to do his stuff, but this is all Timmy.

This Vader mask I bought for one reason. The lenses are warped enough that they're pretty close to my prescription lenses. It makes this one of the few masks I can wear without my glasses and still be able to see.

Removable helmet Vader was purchased in the late 90's. I had 3 eras of toy collecting. Childhood, the late 90's, and today. This was one of the ones I sought out, picking it up for way too much at a comic book convention. At the time I loved this toy, and it's adorable pasty white Anakin Skywalker. Also, removable hand. Of course that was before I really began to value articulation. The old Star Wars toys are pretty bad about that.

This vader was a gift from Mario when I started to get back into 3.75" scale figures. Although the articulation still isn't as great as I'd like, with cut joint elbows, but it was free, so can't beat that.

Galactic Heroes keychain: it's pretty much a Galactic Heroes vader with a keychain attached to it. It was a gift from my mother who picked it up from a sale. My mother knows I like "sci-fi stuff" so sometimes if she finds something on clearance she thinks I'll like she'll pick it up. It's usually hit or miss whether I do like it, but sometimes it's a pleasant surprise.

Case in point: Galactic Heroes Darth Tater keychain. You know you want one.
That's it for toys. I've got a few other things, but I feel pillow cases don't really count as toys.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Slash Attack Dr. Doom

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was not a very good movie. I tried watching it twice, and I was so bored I stopped paying attention a third of the way in. The only worthwhile thing the film gave us was the revised Dr. Doom design, which at least tried to approximate the character's original look from the comics.

So that explains why I got this figure. The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer toyline was in a 5" scale, as opposed to the 6" scale most other Marvel movie figures are made in. However, the figure is tall enough that you can put it in a 6" Marvel movie toy display with a little fudging.

The sculpting is decent, but not spectacular. The face is the main weak point; instead of looking like a metal mask, it makes Doom look like a Terminator endoskeleton of David Bowie. In addition, the hood sits too high and doesn't cover the head properly. The neck joint on my Doom is a little loose, so more often than not you end up getting a good look at the figure's round forehead. Articulation is decent on the legs, but above the waist it isn't the best. I feel like Hasbro should've worked some wrist or bicep articulation into the arms. The figure has a pullback waist action feature, so it's not bothersome. The energy axe looks pretty cheap though.

The last wave of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was pretty hard to find. Thus it was marked up on the secondary market (I got it for like 12 dollars at a comic shop in Los Angeles). The figure looks fine as a display piece, but I wouldn't recommend paying through the nose for it. Get a Marvel Legends Dr. Doom figure instead.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thor (Lord of Asgard)

This is a goddamn fantastic figure.

For years I'd been using the Thor figure from Toy Biz's 1997 6" scale Avengers toy line to augment my Marvel Legends collection, but you know what? That figure has a ridiculously tiny waist. Still, I wasn't about to get another standard Thor, so it was fortuitous that Hasbro came out with this figure. A cool-looking figure at that, and I knew the instant I saw press photos of it that I wanted to get one.

This figure (from the Hasbro wave 2 Blob series) depicts Thor as he appeared during Dan Jurgens' lengthy run on the character's series earlier this decade. The gist of Jurgens' tenure is Thor took his father Odin's place as the ruler of Asgard and subsequently extended his dominion over plain old Earth. I hear it's pretty good, although I'm not sure if any of the issues are available in trade paperback form.

While many of the early Hasbro Marvel Legends figures were lackluster (see: Banshee), Thor emerged as a clear highlight of the line. First off, he's massive: bulky and imposing, but not out of scale. The detailing is superb and the articluation is sensible. This Thor comes with a removable heavy cape and not one but two awesome weapons: his standard armament the enchanted hammer Mjolnir (which he can actually hold by the handle) as well as a big battle axe. Best of all, it looks utterly fantastic standing on a shelf, popping out in any display.

The only thing close to a major flaw with this figure is the color, which is a bit flat. But when that's all there is to complain about, it's a sure sign that someone did something right with this toy.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Transporter Room

So I liked the look of the new Transporter Room playset, but damned if I was going to pay $30 for it. Then the toys didn't do very well and it was clearanced at $15, cheaper than the GI Joe Mole Pod, so I picked one up. I haven't picked up ap layset in years. As playsets go it's kinda nice, a good amount of plastic and it's the transporter room, one of the coolest parts about Star Trek.

The toy also came with a Scotty figure, but whatever, it looks like a generic dude in a red shirt. Also, one of his arms doesn't bend at the elbow despite there being a joint. It sort of confirms to me my assumption that these are horrible figures.

Actually the whole toy line is kind of crap. I like the playset, but the tube that transports figures? To get the figures into the tube you have to fit them into a small hollow space in the tube. Unfortunately the space isn't wide enough to fit any of the 3.75" figures I have. Actually, no, I did get Scotty in there, but only by cramming him in there, scraping his arms against the side of the tube. The only way I could get Scotty's arms into the damned tube was by squishing them as far behind his body as possible so they didn't stick out next to his torso, you know, like arms are supposed to do. What kind of playset can't actually fit the toys it was designed for?

Looks good, bad design for the play features. But I did get some of my Star Trek minimates to fit in there. All-in-all, as long I don't try to use the playset's action feature, it's fine.