Thursday, November 11, 2010

2009 Christmas Haul (Late, Yeah, I Know)

Yes, it is now November 2010. Better late than never, huh? I got some pretty great stuff last Jesus Day, and since I've taken my sweet time covering these items, I'll try to keep it short here.

Green Arrow here is a gift from Action Ranger Timmy. Only his shoulders, crotch, and upper legs are reused from the standard male base body that Mattel utilizes for these figures whenever possible, so that from the get-go earns the figure high marks in my book. The new details are great, and he's got bonus articulation in the wrists to accommodate fancy archery poses. The only true shortcoming with the figure lies in in its accessory. The arrow is permanently attached to the bow, and the shaft of the arrow is way too short. Regardless, it's one of the best figures from DC Universe Classics.

Mario gave me the classic Ted Kord version of Blue Beetle, also from DC Universe Classics. While there's far more parts reuse going on here than with Green Arrow above (in fact, the head, the belt, and the BB gun accessory are the only pieces unique to this figure), I like it far more. Part of the reason is that when standing at rest Green Arrow is kind of awkward-looking, while Blue Beetle is fun to pose in a variety of positions. While I technically already got this figure when I acquired Green Lantern (same base body, of course) Blue Beetle is a superior figure: he has a more interesting color scheme, the belt makes the midsection look more proportionate, and the head sits higher on the neck, making it look far more realistic than the stump-necked Hal Jordan figure. As a result of all these facets, Beetle here has since become one of my absolute favorites of the line. As a side effect, my satisfaction with the execution here has partly contributed to making me far less interested in buying any further DCUC figures that trot out that same old base body. Come on Mattel, give us more unique sculpts!

Late last year I had another one of my periodic Star Wars phases. Given I was surprisingly short on Imperial grunt forces, my brother provided me with some Stormtroopers. Naturally, these figures use the same mold (which makes perfect sense, unlike in some other action figure lines I could name), but one of them specifically represents a Spacetrooper briefly seen in Star Wars when the Millennium Falcon enters the Death Star hangar bay, complete with breathing apparatus, large rifle, and removable helmet. Whatever, I'll take any canonical excuse that allows me to troop-build without having to by multiples of the exact same figure.

The real prize during last year's Christmas was the brand new AT-ST Hasbro put out, also courtesy of my brother. I wanted one ever since Kenner's Star Wars: Power of the Force line launched in 1995, but it always eluded me for some reason. My disappointment in never acquiring one of the few vehicles from any toy line I still desired was alleviated when Hasbro released this all-new larger sculpt of the AT-ST, loaded with cool features including super-articulated legs, interchangeable cannons, and a bonus AT-ST Driver figure. The cockpit alone (which seats two figures instead of one, as the original version did) is filled with enough fantastic details to make it one of the coolest toys released in 2009. It's certainly impressive, and holds an honored place in my collection, standing right next to my Millennium Falcon (with my Infinite Heroes Batman standing on top of the entrance hatch, funnily enough).

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