Monday, January 31, 2011

M12 Warthog LRG

So full disclosure, I don't play Halo games. I played a few levels of the first one and nothing ever since. I'm only vaguely aware of the mythology because I consume videogame media. But I always take a second to look at Halo figures because of my enjoyment of the web series Red vs. Blue which uses in-game characters to create hilarious videos.

And one of their first, and most popular, jokes was about the name of the Warthog... or the Puma.... Or the Chupathingy.

So hey, Minimate version under $15? Sure why not. It reminds me of the laughs.

Also, I like that this is the first (I think) minimate vehicle that can hold more than one minimate. It hearkens back to the GI Joe vehicles that could hold a half-dozen guys. Kinda. Very vaguely. At least in my head it does.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

X-Force Cannonball & X-Force Shatterstar

I don't think I've ever read an entire issue of the 90's version of X-Force. It was essentially New Mutants XTREME!!! Maybe I read an issue if it was part of a crossover event, but I can't really recall that well. I got a sense of their characters through osmosis, and I remember this being how I always remember Canonball dressing, with aviator goggles he admitted not needing because his powers protected his eyes but he thought they looked cool. (Back in the day Xavier's school had a machine which would produce any costume you designed in a matter of minutes.)

Also, I read the current run of X-Factor and Shatterstar is in that. In the comic he's portrayed as bisexual, but in a dedicated homosexual relationship. So in many ways this is the first minimate portraying an openly homosexual character. I think. They've done some pretty insane minimates in the past.

Neither minimate is very impressive, and in fact in many ways they're seriously flawed. I have trouble getting Shatterstar's hair-piece to fit on his head, it's too small to slip on smoothly, or sometimes at all. As you can see from their legs, there are paint problems, and it's really difficult to keep them standing without placing some sort of support system in place.

You can see what I'm talking about with the Shatterstar's hair in this picture, which also feature's Canonball's alternate leg base.

But if there's one thing I've learned about the Toys R Us exclusives, if you don't pick them up when you get the chance then there's a very real possibility you'll kick yourself later. Besides, I wouldn't mind making a definitive X-force/New Mutants minimate line-up.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Six-Armed Spider Man & the Lizard

Who's got six arms and comes with the Lizard?

This guy!

I don't know why Spider-Man's rogues gallery makes for such great minimates, but I love them so. Now I just need to get the Vulture from the Friends & Foes box set and I can rest for a while.

Oddly enough this is one of the few 2-packs available both through the direct market and from Toys R' Us where the figures vary a little. The Spider-Man minimates in the different sets have slight differences in coloring and the size of the eyes on the head.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Silver Centurian Iron Man & Crimson Dynamo

I've been considering getting this set for a while now. I don't give a crap about the Silver Centurian Iron Man. They've already made a minimate of him and they're pretty much identical for all intents and purposes. I think this one is a little shinier. But the Crimson Dynamo is new, and there aren't really that many minimates of Iron Man villains, although that could just be because there aren't that many iconic Iron Man villains. You get the same problem with Thor. But I also don't read Iron Man, I prefer him in team books, so this set was never a big deal to me.

Until I saw what they did for the face under the helmet.

That's right, take off the dude's helmet and it's Joseph Stalin! Or at least a Russian villain during the Cold War that looks like Stalin, because you know, comic books. This would be like if they had an alternate Red Skull face and BAM, Hitler.

I love minimates of real historical figures. So I had to get this... when it was on sale... which it finally was.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Mandarin

So I bought a Bowen mini-bust. Why? To class my apartment up a bit. Also because it was insanely cheap. There's a slight chip (so slight it's almost impossible to see) that brough the normal price down to $15, and I found it during a sale where everything in the store was half off, so I got this guy for under $10.


But why did I decide to get this guy? Well, for one thing, it's the Mandarin. A Fu-Manchu, yellow peril archetype villain who has somehow stuck around through sheer inertia. And this bust depicts him back when he was at his most silver age. Which is to say when his character was essentially was Chinese McAsian: Mystical Far East Terror.

Did you know that the Mandarin is half-caucasian? His mother was white. But he was raised by his father's mother, who taught him to be an Asian villain. Then he found 10 alien rings that essentially gave him power over the reality of a limited space. He seemed to be magic and voila: horrible stereotype!

So I got this out of an ironic fascination with artifacts of racism against Asians in American history. Based on how the dude is posed it's hard to see the fu-manchu mustache, which is a shame since that's the most obvious sign pointing to his yellow peril status. Well that and the fricking dragon on his base. Nothing says mystical Asian better than a dragon.

Let's take a look at that chip which robbed this bust of 66% of its value. It's on left tip of the mask.

Did you spot it? Look carefully. It's that white tip on the top. Yup, that's the chip that brought down the price of this bust so damn low. You can barely see it when you look at it further than two feet away. And really, since I don't collect this stuff for the resale value, I think I'm fine with a chip like that. Especially if it means I can buy it for 17% of it's current price.

The only real downside to this bust is that due to his cape, the bust is a little back heavy. It balances well, but the slightest knock or jolt sends it toppling back. I'm going to have to figure out a display option that eliminates that part.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Doctor Who Micro Figures

I guess the UK is having their version of "ToyFair." Words can not express how much I want the quasi-"lego" TARDIS that was displayed. These better come out in the states, or some UK store better have reasonable shipping rates.

Got this picture from:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Archie McPhee Surprise Bag, pt. 4

Let's finish this sucker up!

Parasite Pals stationary and grooming supplies: Your guess is as good as mine really. Parasite Pals are cute animal mascots based on paraistes, as you would assume. I don't know if that adds anything to their stationary or in the case of Dig Dug, a comb and mirror set.

I would have paid: $0.50 for each
Parasite Pals Valentine's Day Cards: This on the other hand is my cup of tea. Valentine's day cards which feature puns about love and being sucked of your blood by small creatures. It is awesome.
I would have paid: $3
Prize bags: Imagine these as being cracker jack prizes. Slightly larger cracker jack prizes. My friend opened one of these and got a cheap plastic pan flute and a cheap plastic model plane. The other bags include similar cheap dime store prizes. I opened a couple and got the following.

A plastic model of a seal and...

A drumming strawberry figure. I like this one just for the "WHAT IN THE HELL IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE!" value.

I would have paid: $0.05 per bag. I didn't count the bags but let's say that for the lot I would have paid $2.00

That brings the complete total of value that I would assign this Surprise Bag as $39.50 Would I be tempted to get another one of these? Sorely. The surprise element actually is worth maybe a few more bucks, but if I had to be honest, I would never even think of buying a lot of this stuff if I saw it in a store or catalog. That said, the stuff I would buy, that would probably cost me $30 or $40 to acquire, so I don't know if the surprise bag was truly worth it.
If I can give the crap I really don't want away as gifts to appreciative people, then yes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Archie McPhee Surprise Bag, pt. 3

Okay, let's get to the part that can generously be called: The only reason I thought it might be worth it to buy the surprise pack. That's the novelty action figures that Archie McPhee sells.

Li'L Ludwig and Li'L Wolfgang: Part of the Li'L genius series. I'm more tempted by the first series which featured writers, but I think those are out of stock. These guys are pretty neat though. Minifigures based on famous composers. And ones I can recognize and sort of respect. The likeness isn't something you'd get right away, but I think they're striking in their own right. Plus I can now say I own a Beethoven figure.

I would have paid: $2.50 each.

Cubes Corporate Protester and Motivational Speaker: I don't own that many of the Cubes action figures, but I really like the concept behind them. Basically you get a small minifigure dressed like an office drone and accessories that you can use to make a work cubicle complete with bad posters and office scenery. These two guys are part of the expanion packs so you can fill your office with more workers and office archetypes. I've actually wanted the Motivational Speaker for quite a while and have been eyeing the Corporate Protester, partially because I'm pretty sure their accessories would be in scale with the PALZ figures I've accumulated. So big excitement that both of these guys are in this surprise bag.
I would have paid: $5 for the Motivational Speaker, $3.50 for the Corporate Protester.

Casanova Action Figure: Here's the thing about the Accoutrements action figures, they're not very good. The articulation is limited, the accessories don't actually fit in their hands, and the likeness is varied in accuracy. They mostly get by based on the novelty value of someone making an action figure of either a historical figure or a mundane occupation. In essence they're ironic action figures, except for people who are really into a certain subject will buy a lot of them. (Librarians around the country LOVE the Librarian action figure. Seriously, go to any library and there's a 75% chance that someone on staff will own one and a 60% chance that they've displayed it in the office.)
The other side of that is that if you have no interest in the subject matter, if you don't care that they made an action figure of the subject, then these action figures have very little value. Which is how I feel about Casanova.
I would have paid: $1.50
Wagner Action Figure: I work with someone who has this displayed at work. I know that the conductor's wand doesn't stay in his hand unless you glue it in. So this thing was certainly made to be displayed in package. I dig it more than the Casanova figure, but only because I like classical music to some degree.
I would have paid: $2.00
Skydiving Freud Figure: Now we're talking. One: I know and sort of admire Sigmund Freud. Two: I find it hilarious that there's an action figure of him, especially one that they then strapped into a parachute harness. Three: The likeness is actually kind of good.
I would have paid: $6

So that brings my total assessed value to: $32.50. That mean's we're over the $25 cost of the bag, and even covers the shipping costs. So that's cool. One last part to this series then.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Archie McPhee Surprise Bag, pt. 2

Continuing on with out tour... if that's the right word... of the surprise bag of Archie McPhee (the retail arm of Accoutrements) merchandise.

Novelty Pennant flags: I really like the Chess Club one. Quick bit of trivia, I was president of Chess Club in high school. Mostly because nobody else wanted the job. So I kind of identify with that one. As for the Assistant Manager flag, I like the joke but since I'm not an assistant manager, and don't know anyone that is, I don't feel comfortable flying that one anywhere or giving it as a gift.

I Would have Paid: Chess Club Flag - $1.50, Assistant Manager Flag: $1.00

Seven Deadly Sins Silicon Wristbands: Odd that they only sent out Greed and Gluttony. Both sins I indulge in, I'm sorry to say. And really, two of the Gluttony? I guess that makes sense, since you would be a glutton if you took two... or is that Greed? Kind of cool. I don't know if I'd wear them, but I can see giving them out as gifts. And if I did wear one it'd probably be something like this.

I would have paid: $0.75 each.

I have no idea what the hell this is and I don't like it at all. Each picture is one of the 52 cards in a deck, but it also has no perforations or instructions for cutting. All of Asian people from old Kung-fu Period movies.... I'm a little offended. But mostly by the fact that I got this when I hate it so damn much.

I would have paid: $0

Novelty Swizzle Sticks. I'm not entirely sure what swizzle sticks are meant to be used for other than some sort of cocktail decoration. But since these are of pink poodles and pink elephants, I do appreciate the kitsch value a little.

I would have paid: $0.50 each

Chum flavored mint candy: Seriously. It's kind of gross but I do want to try it. Just to see, you know. And then I want to make all my friends try it.
I would have paid: $0.50 each.

That brings my attributed value of this jusnk to: $9.50

Next we're going to do the action figures, which should bring the total up fairly high.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Archie McPhee Surprise Bag, Pt. 1

Let's go through the Archie McPhee Surprise Bag I bought recently. If you'll recall, I spent $25 on it. What's going to happen is that I'm going to go through it all and give a running tally on what I would have been willing to pay for it. Then we'll see if it was worth it.

TiKi Tape: cute pun. It's just packing tape with a design on it. Very meh for me. I thought about giving this away as a gift.

I would have paid: $0.50

Baby Shower Catapult toy: launches tiny babies at people. I don't know if it's supposed to inspire fertility or mock it. Although somehow the idea of chucking baby corpses at people seems kinda wrong.
I would have paid: $1.00

Cowgirl Coasters: Not really my thing, kinda kitch I guess. However I did give this away as a gift to someone who REALLY was digging them. So that's cool.
I would have paid: $0.50

Love Pirate heart shaped eye-patches: Again, adorable. I never would have purchased two of these, but two of them I got. I guess you could put them over both eyes and be doubly blind. Or if you wanted to do a Jubei-Chan anime cosplay this would be useful.

I would have paid: $0.50 each, might have done a 2 for $1.00 deal.

So at the end of Day one, we're looking at $3.00 of attributed value.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lego Minifigures Series 3

Picked up some of the Lego Minifigures from Series 3.

The official name of this guy may be Rapper, but I'm redubbing it the Douche Bag. You can tell because the beard depicted is supposed to be the "Rap Standard" beard, but without the goatee element it becomes the "Chin Strap" beard, which is also known as the Douch Bag beard. Because the style is particularly popular amongst douche bags. Being a white rapper with gangsta rap paraphanelia is also a very good sign. Anyone remember Brian Austin Greene in the 90's? That's what this dude looks like.

Continuing my purchasing of Asian Sterotype Legos... It's the Samurai! Dude looks pissed, because if there's one thing Lego like more than Asian Stereotype Lego minifigures, it's pissed off Asian Stereotype minifigures!
That's it. I'm not getting the Sumo minifigure. That dude is really pissed and really steretyped.

Continuing our tour of stereotyped minorities turned into Lego minifigures, it's the Hula Girl! Actually I think this one might be a little accurate. You see the big phony smile on her face that isn't reflected in her eyes. That says to me that this is actually a Lego minifigure of a woman hired to work as a Hula Girl in a tropical resort where she is required to be "happy" for all the tourists when her soul has long ago been worn down by all the horny businessmen who have hit on her and the offensive racial slurs, both intentional and unintentional, that have been slung at her over the years by ignorant tourists.

Oh Lord. Why don't we all pretend this is a minifigure of the Indian Chief from the Village People and ignore the fact that this is actually a generalization of a stereotype popularized by Euro-centric movie makers which only serves to marginalize multiple cultures with heritages that span eons.

Monday, January 17, 2011

UNSC Red Combat Unit

I once purchased a Mega Bloks building set before. It was missing a key piece so I returned it and decided to write off the entire line. Then a friend gave me this set for Christmas. Let's see what we've got, shall we.

Four Mega Blok Halo minifigs. They're not as strudy as the Lego Minifigs, but they do feature one thing the Lego figures are woefully lacking, elbow and knee joints. Oh, and the shoulder joints are ball jointed. That was surprising, although unsurprisingly the arms kept popping out of the joints, requiring they be replaced frequently. Each minifig here has a different design and a different weapon.

Oh, and their feet are designed to snap onto the top of a Lego style building block, however the feet are also shaped in such a way that it is hard to get a firm connection between the pieces.

The set also comes with an interesting display base. Something I wish the Lego minifigs came with more often. Overall: Not as cool or good as Lego minifigs but they have some interesting features that the Lego minifigs lack. If they were significantly cheaper they might have more going for them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Surprise Bag

You're probably aware of Accoutrements Toys. They're a novelty company that makes novelty items like the Bacon Bandaids. Or better known for novelty toys like the Jesus Action Figure, the Einstein Action Figure, or the zombie PVC figures. You can usually buy their toys through various stores that sell novelty stuff such as the impulse aisle in a book store, your local joke shop, or a gift shop which includes some "wacky" items.

Or you can buy them direct from the company's retail division, Archie McPhee. Which is what I did when I bought a Surprise Bag. They proclaim it holds a variety of items from their store totally $125 in merchandise.

Here's what was inside it.

Now my question to you is this... Should I do individual posts for only the toys found in the bag, for everything in the bag, or just do one mega post exploring everything?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Urban Enforcer

They must already have a Lego Racers set called Police Car, because why else engage in such innuendo to call this one the Urban Enforcer... Watch out, if you live in the suburbs these guys won't lift a finger to help you.

I've actually wanted a police car in the Lego Racers scale for a while, so this was a welcome addition to the line. The stickers were less frustrating to put on, meaning they've either gotten easier to put on, I've become better at putting them on, or I just don't care how good they look anymore.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I dunno, does this really look like Weird Al Yankovic?

I guess. Vaguely. But the dude shaved off his mustache years ago and never had a goatee. Meanwhile I don't this figure has been around in years, but fortunately it showed up in a TJ Maxx. Hooray Bargain stores! Because when I see this guy at least I hear Weird Al in my head, reciting Wreck-Gar's lines from his classic Transformer's Animated episode. Potentially it's the only Transformer's Animated episode that can truly be called a classic. I'd probably know if I watched any episode where Weird Al or Fred Ward wasn't a guest star.

Except... I hate that his hips are so weak that he can barely hold his balance. Or maybe that's a weight distribution in robot mode issue.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ice Warrior

Continuing on with our look back at classic Doctor Who baddies, it's the Ice Warrior. Featured in two black and white episodes as aliens from Mars (they colonised it and then decided to take over Earth), they then returned in the 3rd Doctor's tenure as reformed soldiers for the Galactic Federation and then again as an extremist militant faction of the Ice Warriors who wanted to return their people to their evil ways. Which, for a race of Doctor Who Monsters, is an extremely nuanced and mature approach to a race of space invaders.

Key points of the Ice Warriors? They were vulnerable to high temperatures, spoke with a very noticable hiss, like a snake, they wore a lot of armor, and their clamp hands.

The armor on the toy restricts the figure's movement. The articulation is there, the joints are similar to most Doctor Who figures, although the bicep swivel is gone. But the armor bits prevent the limbs from moving that much. In some ways that means the figure has limited movement similar to the way the actors could portray them on television, but screw that. I want an Ice Warrior that can do the splits.

But otherwise it's a good looking adaptation of the creature.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Silurian Warrior Alaya

I've got a thing for the classic iconic Doctor Who monsters, so when they brought back the Silurians in the new series I was stoked, even if they did completely redesign them so they look absolutely nothing like the old ones. Those guys had inflexible faces that looked like weird demon masks and also, walked around naked.

Not so much the new Silurians, especially sinc they're very clearly female. (Why would female reptile humanoids have mammaries?) This was my Christmas gift from Mario. Thanks man. While completely identical to the other Silurian soldiers (all women) this is actually of the character Alaya. You can tell because she comes with the chain she was tied down with. It only fits around her wrists, so that's where it goes. She was also one of the only two Silurian females to show their face (because less expensive prosthetics, that's why), so her mask comes off.

Overall, a nice figure and it's nice to add another "Monster" to my Who Baddies shelves. I have her keep the mask on because she looks more intimidating that way. Unintimidating bad guys don't really help the bad guy shelves all that much. That's why I don't let Doctor Constantine keep his feeble old man head on.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hawktor & Swayther

Damn the collector's mentality. I've been having a lot of fun transforming the Bakugan from McDonalds. Too much fun. So I decided to go out and get another one.
I know it's a silly purchase, and not really worth it, but damn it, transforming balls... ARGH!

Then I wondered what the Battle Gear, which connects to the Battle Balls (they really call it that) look like, so I went back and got another happy meal.
Something is wrong with me. But yeah, when you transform and then combine them, they look like this.

And with that I feel my need to obtain any more Bakugan fading into oblivion. Unless the collector streak flares up again.

Saturday, January 1, 2011