Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yellow Ranger

So I'm walking through a Wal-Mart and suddenly I'm all, huh, 4inch Mighty Morphin Power Rangers toys. It's an anniversary, and I had heard they were reissuing toys of the original Rangers, but I didn't realize there were toys in the 4-inch scale. I took a look, and holy hell, they have all the articulation I require in a 4-inch figure before I start considering it.

So I want to check them out, but which one? All the male rangers had comically oversized hands and huge metal pins in their joints, I was worried the pink ranger's skirt would restrict the leg joints, so I went with the Yellow Ranger. And that works since I do like collecting toys of Asian-American Pop Culture heroes. (Trini. RIP)

But yeah, I'm really digging this figure. There's ball jointed leg and shoulder joints, hinge joints at the elbows and knees, and there's cut joints at the gloves and the head. If there was a waist joint I'd probably go out and buy the entire team, but as it is... I dunno I might just enjoy this one and leave it at that.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Captain Britain & Shadowcat


Back when they first had too many X-men they shunted off some of them to England to join Excalibur. Which means the premiere British Super-team consisted of two Americans, a German, a dragon, a fairy, and a British guy. And it was sort of considered an X-men book. Sort of.

But it was pretty cool. And they gave Kitty Pryde a good costume. A shame that the minimate interpretation of her cosutme makes her look like she has no neck. That collar's a seperate piece and it's not good. Not at all. But hell, she comes with Lockheed.

The Lockheed isn't articulated, he's just a solid piece of plastic, which is a shame.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Luke Skywalker

Mario got me this for Christmas. I'm just getting around to opening some of those presents up so I guess it's time for a review.

This is the first new in the box Star Wars figure from the original trilogy I've gotten in a while. I used to collect the Power of the Force figures back in the 90's but the bad sculpts and horrible articulation from that era put me off Star Wars figures for a while. They've gotten better articulation lately so I decided to give them a new try, but I've not really seen one I've really wanted. Especially since they've been focusing on the Clone Wars and new trilogy as of late.

This Luke Skywalker is a welcome surprise. It's of Badass Jedi Luke when he stopped whining and just went with being proactive all the time. Plus it has all the articulation I want in a Star Wars figure. Actually it has too much. The ball-jointed knees feel fragile and feel weird to use. The pop-out chest I could do with or withou. And the chest swivel rather than waist swivel wasn't something I expected, or am particularly happy with. But too much articulation is better than too little, particularly at this scale when I can't pretend it's a statue, and overall this is a pretty neat Luke figure. Certainly it's hands above any other Luke figure I own in the likeness or articulation departments.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mattel's messed-up business plan

I don't collect Mattel's online exclusive Masters of the Universe Classics line, primarily because I don't have the money ($20 a figure plus shipping???) and I'm largely content with my 2002 series figures. Still, there's a few I'd like to get--that is, if Mattel didn't so badly manage the line.

If you unawares, last week Trap-Jaw and Battle Cat went on sale. The former sold out in less than ten minutes, and the latter went not long after that. Furthermore, even people who signed into the website right when the items were available ran into page loading problems, costing them figures even if they put them in their online ordering cart. The whole event was a debacle of epic proportions that has had reverberations through the collecting community since, so much so Mattel has had to issue a press release to address the situation. Now, it's great that they acknowledged that there were problems and have indicated that they will make more Trap-Jaw and Battle Cat figures, but one paragraph jumped out at me as quite baffling:

For Adora and Trap Jaw the first two 2010 figures, we did not really have a baseline of what the demand would be above and beyond the 2010 subscription. We sold way more subscriptions in 2010 vs. 2009, so we had to be very careful not to over produce beyond what the demand would be above the subscribers. This is why we produced only a small amount beyond the subscription to start off (especially knowing if we sold out we would and will go back into production for a second run of popular sold out figs!).

So wait, let me get this straight: it never occured to Mattel that there might be more than a few people who didn't purchase the year-long subscription to buy every single figure coming out in a 12-month period? Mattel did not consider that people might not have gotten a subscription because either A). they couldn't afford it, or B). they simply didn't want every figure?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Go Kart

So I'm looking at the Clearance area in Target and my eyes spot a Hot Wheels car. I pick it up and BAM, I know I need to buy this. Even if it's not on Clearance, I must buy this. Why? I'll tell you why, Hot Wheels Go Kart.

It's listed as one of the 2008 All-Stars, which makes me seriously question how Hot Wheels picks its All-Stars, but whatever. I love this thing. Mostly because of how ridiculous it is. And the description of it on the back even claims that it was designed for sheer "amusement." Those quotation marks aren't mine, they're actually on the box. Hot Wheels can't even take this thing seriously. How great is that?

I even like that it's not as sturdy or as good at rolling as regular Hot Wheels. It's like they incorporated the relative performance of a Go Kart into the design. It's unintentional, I'm sure, but I love that.

This thing is tiny. Let me put it up to another Hot Wheels car so you can get a proper sense of scale.

How small is this thing? So small and light that it doesn't have enough weight to complete the loop. That's a shame, but I like the ridiculous look of this thing enough that I'm not 100% disappointed. (I'm sort of buying these things to drop them down the loop.)

Hot Wheels purchased: 3

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olds 442

So full disclosure: I don't really know anything about cars so almost every Hot Wheels purchase I make will be based on aesthetic choices. Which leads us to today's Hot Wheel profile, the Olds 442.

I picked this up because 1) I like the shape of the body, which is true of many of the muscle cars from this era. (Okay, I know a tiny bit about cars, mostly what I've learned from movies and Home Improvement episodes.) 2) I like the design of the paint. I'm a fan of the colors purple and green when they're used together. You know, like the Riddler or the Joker. Seriously, I'm going to pretend this is the Joker's car. The fun Super Friends era Joker, not the scary psychotic modern Joker.

From what I can tell, this is #6 in a series of 10 cars that came out in 2010. I'm not really sure how Hot Wheels categorizes its car releases each year, so that's something I'll need to work on. All I do know is that this car works a hell of a lot better than the Red Baron going through the loop and ramp. As far as I'm concerned that means this is a winner!

Hot Wheels Purchased: 2

Monday, February 15, 2010

List of unique DC Universe Classics figures

It's really hard to justify getting more than a few figures in the DC Universe Classics line due to Mattel's insistence on reusing body sculpts as much as possible. Once you get one of each of the basic boy types (average male, large torso male, female, teen male, guy in suit), anything beyond that is pretty redundant unless there's a large amount of new tooling or parts.

When the line started, I knew I definitely wanted to pick up core Justice League members, as well as certain other characters that I liked (like some villains or Justice Society members). Sure enough, I got Green Lantern, but having that figure made my later acquisitions of Orion and Blue Beetle (which are essentially the same figures with new heads and different accessories) feel a bit redundant. Not to mention the thighs are used on even more figures I own, including Captain Marvel, Green Arrow, and Hawkman. All this reuse has really turned me off from picking up other characters I would otherwise be open to acquiring figures of, including the Spectre, Mr. Terrific, and Wildcat. It's even more disappointing when comparing these figures to my Marvel Legends collection, which (excessive reuse of the Bulleye body aside) primarily relied on original sculpts for each figure. So after my brother got me the (new to me) Question and (all brand new) Deadman figures, I've pretty much vowed to myself to only pick up unique or heavily retooled DCUC figures.

How many wholly unique figures have there been in DC Universe Classics? Well, here's a rundown, based on the best of my knowledge:

Wave 1:
The Demon
Metamorpho (Collect-n-Connect)

Wave 2:
Gorilla Grodd (Collect-n-Connect)*

Wave 3:
Solomon Grundy (Collect-n-Connect)

Wave 4:

Wave 5:
Metallo (Collect-n-Connect)

Wave 6:
Kalibak (Collect-n-Connect)

Wave 7:
Captain Cold

Wave 8:

Wave 9:
Chemo (Collect-n-Connect)

Wave 10:
Imperiex (Collect-n-Connect)

Wave 11:

Wave 12:
Mary Marvel****
Darkseid (Collect-n-Connect)

Wave 13:
Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes)
Wonder Girl

Wave 14:
Ultra-Humanite (Collect-n-Connect)*

And for those interested, figures that have enough new parts or tooling to not look like other figures already in your collection:

Big Barda
Mantis (Super Powers variant)

*From preview images, it's likely Ultra-Humanite reuses the arms from Gorilla Grodd.
**I've read one review mention that Desaad reuses parts from Sinestro, but I can't verify that. Even then, it would be just the torso, crotch and thighs, as everything else is new and the figure's body is covered in a cloak piece.
***This mold was originally released as a white-coloredSan Diego Comic-Con exclusive, but this version is the one originally intended for release. Even then, only Man-Bat uses this body.
****The forearms and thighs might be reuses.
*****The legs and arms might be reuses from Black Canary.

Hot Wheels: Falling With Style

Hey, so I've gotten back into Hot Wheels and it's all because of Toy Story.

Or rather I should say it's because I found a Toy Story Hotwheels set which the Sears I was at had put on clearance in order to get rid of what Christmas stock they had left. It's a loop and a ramp as seen in the titular "Falling With Style" sequence of the first movie. I got it because, hell, cheap Hot Wheels loop and ramp.

The set does come with a car and a small Buzz Lightyear figure that attaches to the car. The car it comes with is the "Red Baron."

I'm pretty sure they included this car because it's the only one where the plastic stand that connects Buzz to the car can actually snap onto the car's body.

And lest we not forget, the loop and the ramp.

This set actually comes with a bit more track than that, as well as another ramp that catches the car as it goes flying, but it's really to large a set for me to take a picture of without exposing my entire DVD collection in the background. I found this set for $5, discounted from $20, but if you go to Toys 'R Us you can get the loop and some track or the ramp and some track for $4 each. (Or $8 for the loop, the ramp, and a lot of track. Neither comes with a car.)

The car with figure attached actually travels the loop pretty well, but has some troubles with the ramp. After trying it out I've decided to try getting a few more Hot Wheels in order to send them down, because damn it's fun. And hell, the cars only cost a buck each. I miss cheap but good toys.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lego Creator Stegosaurus

I complain about how much Legos cost, but damned if I didn't plunk down a large amount to get a large Lego dinosaur. Totally worth it. It's from the Creator line of Legos so it has instructions in the box to make 3 different types of dinosaurs with the pieces. This is clearly the stegosaurus, while the other modes are a tyranosaurus and a pterydactl. I prefer the stegosaurus, it's the most impressive of the three modes and the tyranosaurus has horrible articulation. (Because I want my lego animals to move, damnit!)
But seriously, based on the different modes, you can understand why the set was called "Stegosaurus," it's the most impressive and well done of the three. Still its cool to know I can turn it into something else with the pieces that come into the box.

I was going to say it's cool to know I can turn it into something else, but it's Lego, they ALL do that.