Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Harley... I am ashamed of myself for this title

I finally opened the Harley Quinn figure I've been sitting on for the last couple years. I got it since I never saw it on the shelf and then BAM, there it was. Then I never opened it.

Then I picked up the Mad Love 2 pack with the alternate Harley with a face that had less blue. But then I realized that it wasn't worth the extra cost when I've got a perfectly fine Harley at home. And so I returned the two pack and still didn't open my Harley figure.

Until last week when I figured, what the hell, my villains shelf is looking a little bare. I should spruce it up with something new. And since I'm not going to be buying a new villain figure for a while, I finally opened the Harley figure to put next to the Joker and Riddler figures I've already got on the shelf... And I got to say... It wasn't worth the wait. It's a good figure,  but I really probably should have opened it years ago. The blue face isn't really an issue, just imagine that she's choking victim Harley and suddenly it all makes sense... Except why is she choking? Does the Riddler know the Heimlich maneuver and will he do it even if Harley doesn't answer a riddle?

The only serious beef I've got with the figure is that the holes on the pegs of her feet don't fit with the Super Power stands I got from Mattell. Instead I had to put her on one of the clear stands that come with the All Star DCUC figures.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Real Ghostbusters Minimates Wave 2

They did a cool little hair flip thing with Peter to better represent the way his hair looked in the cartoon. It actually helps make him look hip. Which is great because to me Peter Venkman is the best of the Real Ghostbusters, until voice actor Lorenzo Music was replaced by Joey from Full House because Bill Murray complained that Music didn't sound like him. 

Winston is Winston. He is cool. His figure is cool. He alone was able to stand up against the Sandman.

I guess there's some controversey about the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. He's supposed to be happy, not angry. It's the variant for the Toys R Us line. He's supposed to be angry in the 4 packs and some people are complaining that this angry eyebrows version robs them of the happy, friendly Stay Puft they were promised in this wave. I guess I can see that, but I'm not that big a fan of Stay Puft myself. Besides, I already have a happy smiling Stay Puft minimate from another Ghostbuster pack. I got this for the Louis Tulley as Ghostbuster figure. In the cartoon he donned the uniform a couple times. Usually when the real Ghostbusters got kidnapped by ghosts.

The Sandman. The figure is bulky but they made the Sandman into a toy and that is AMAAAAAZING! Every time I look at it I keep, hearing the Sandman calling in his raspy voice.

Evil Slimer is big and evil, and Killerwatt is likewise cumbersome. Both figures keep threatening to topple over. It's just too much weight balanced unevenly for those little clear floaty stands to handle.

Finally the Logo Ghost. I never even knew this was a real character. And he comes with a handsaw because the back of the box says he's trying to saw his way out of the logo. Genius.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


My thought process went like this: Hey, it's Namor wearing a Speedo. I guess I'll buy it.

Bonus: he has hip and chest articulation. He's actually got 21 points of articulation. It's like they just used the Marvel Legends Superhero Showdown mold... Is that what they did?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cyborg Superman

Say what you will about the character or how he's been used, Cyborg Superman has a great design. When he first showed up in Reign of the Supermen he was one of the horses I was betting on to be the return of Superman. I was wrong, and he turned out to be evil, and then used in increasingly stupid stories. And at some point someone decided he should be a Green Lantern villain.

Which is silly because look at him, he should always be a Superman villain. He's part Superman, part robot. ALL EVIL!

The figure is everything I could have hoped for, save for the fact that his hip joints are stiff and thus he has standing up. Also, plastic cape, which always suck. But the way they implemented the Cyborg face is great. You get the sense that his head really is a chunk of metal with a small flap of flesh stuck on top of it.

Oh and he came with Mongul.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oh let's face it, I got it for the Bowser Minifigure

I've lately gotten pretty into the Mario Kart K'NEX Toys. I picked up the Bowser track set and was shocked to learn that there are two types of Mario Kart toys. One consists of the stand alone Karts that are constructed using Lego like bricks and feature a pull back motor. The other is the Mario Kart toys that come with tracks. These are actually just a few model pieces that snap together, feature battery powered motors, and have no brick parts (although the engines do allow for some bricks to be connected to the Kart.) Shocking. So while I kind of liked the Brick cars, I've found that I rather enjoy the track pieces and the battery powered cars.

The minifigures are a bonus, but so far there's only been four minifigures released, so if you collect all the playsets you'll end up with a dozen minifigures of Mario alone. They're of amazingly high quality and designed so that you can place only their upper torsos on the appropriate vehicle peg to simulate the look of them driving from a cockpit.

The track pieces are a little flimsy, and I'm not putting on the stickers that come with the set that you put over the grid to simulated road textures like stone or gravel. Instead I'm leaving them neon pure. Oh, an awesome inclusion is that the track pieces come with peg pieces so you can lock the pieces tightly together and then easily remove the pegs to take them apart again.

 The track versality allows you to create your own track layouts. Although the type of track pieces are sorely limited. I had to pick up a track extension pack, and even that only came with three normal straight track pieces. So many freaking curves. I get it. Curvy tracks, but sometimes I just want the damn Karts to go straight.

Then there's the obstacles. Like these Fire balls that came with Bowser and attach to the track border via K'NEX technology. So now you can temporarily knock a kart off the track, or just delay it. That is if you're willing to let your $25 Karts get banged up.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Buying the Tripod just for the Brain Slug

Sure it's on sale, sure the saucer which can detach from the legs is pretty nifty, but the sole reason I wanted this Tripod Invader (from the Alien Conquest Lego line) was for the head clinger.

It's an alien that drops onto and envelops Lego minifigure heads. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!


In fact its so awesome that I decided to try it on some of my favorite Series 1 minifigures.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sixth Doctor in Regeneration clothing

I've been passing on this figure by for a while now. Every now and then I'll see one in a Toys R Us and think "Cool, Doctor Who toys are in a Toys R Us," consider buying it, and then put it back on the shelf. Partially because I already have a 6th Doctor figure and partially because I've never been a huge fan of these regeneration figures that show the Doctor wearing the previous Doctor's clothes. They're clearly just a head swap with a body they've already got...

But this time something was different. Specifically, this time the figure only cost $3. And also its the tail end of my favorite Regeneration sequence ever on Doctor Who. Actually, the Sixth Doctor's first words post regeneration ranks as one of my favorite moments in the show. So I guess this figure is a testament to that.

And a testament to the idea that I like paying low prices for toys.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eleventh doctor with beard and straightjacket

One advantage that the new series of Doctor Who has over the classic series is that it is mor comfortable with the Doctor dressing up in clothes other than his "costume." The old series would occasionally have the Doctor wear a kilt or something, but mostly his clothes would be variations of his classic costume. The new series had The new series on the other hand would often place The 10th Doctor in a space suit or a tuxedo and not really make a fuss about it. This meant that when Character Options put out new figures of the Doctor in each wave they could offer more variations than simple color swaps, something they don't really do when releasing all their variations of the classic Doctors. There's about a half dozen variants of the Fifth Doctor and most of the variants focus on the pattern on his pants or whether he has celery on his lapel.

With the 11th Doctor the stories have gone back to the model of not having him stray too far out of his chosen outfit. The pattern on his tweed coat changes, the color of his shirt or bowtie, but it's pretty interchangeable. However what they've done differently is have the Doctor experiment with accessories. Hence the popularization of fezs in nerd culture. What this means for the toys is that the 11th Doctor can be released multiple time in the same wave but they can legitimately claim the variations might be wanted by fans. Which is why wave 6 of the Doctor Who figures includes the Doctor with beard variant.

I'm still uncertain why I love 11th Doctor variants when I couldn't give a damn about the 10th Doctor ones. Maybe it's that they have better articulation. Or maybe it's because when the 10th Doctor changed his clothes they didn't make a big deal of it. A passing aside to how he looks in a tux, but it never affected how he acted. But the 11th Doctor takes great joy with every costume variation. (this is apparently a result of actor Matt Smith being similarly exuberant. The costume designer, upon hearing that the 11th Doctor would get a fez for a few minutes in an episode, groaned because she knew Matt Smith would be so delighted he would never take it off and probably try wearing it off the set.) So each variation is associated with moments of whimsy or joy rather than the utilitarian boredom of the Tenth Doctor. It's like the 11th Doctor likes playing dress up and so the toys have more of a play time feel to them.

Which really is a long way for me to explain that the variant I seriously wanted ion Wave 6 was the Doctor in a straight jacket. And holy crap did other go all out on this. Seriously. THEY GAVE HIM DOUBLE JOINTED ELBOWS SO THAT YOU CAN TIE THE STRAIGHT JACKET ARMS BEHIND HIS BACK. And yes, they include a way to affix the arm belts to his back. It's a toy with realistic Straightjacket features.

How freaking awesome is that? Screw you 4th Doctor figure with slightly different colored jacket, this is how a good variant is made.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A-team van but smaller

Well here's something that I was surprised to see on a shelf at Target. I'm really loving Hot Wheels increased regularity at releasing pop culture vehicles. I wonder if they're just more attuned to the way that our culture has become increasingly saturated with nostalgia for cultural artifacts or they just accidentally hired a huge geek who is slipping these under the radar. Or maybe their reps who go to Comiccon are coming back with skewed views about what the people want.

Either way it means I have a die cast representation of B.A. Bartacus's van. The back of the package downplays their mercenary nature, but has to keep pointing out that B.A. Would have to constNtly strip the van and put it back together due to all the crazy times they had to turn it into a death car... Because of all those greedy businessmen with their own private armies who were harassing poor small town people with hot daughters.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Minimate MAX scuba guys

I usually don't like picking up minimates of generic dudes... but hey: SCUBA DIVERS! With so many accessories and extra parts that this is essentially 2.8 figures instead of just two. And they're some damn neat looking accessories. So really, I didn't buy this set for the figures, it's just a glorified accessory pack.

Which means I pretty much just bought this set to cobble together shit like this...

Scuba Spider-Man. Just like the overly indulgent action figures from the 90's.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Articulated Monster, Episode 18: Halloween... sorta

New episode of Articulated Monster is up now. Download it with iTunes or whatnot.

Card Shrine

Why would I buy a Lego Card Shrine? I mean you get it for free if you buy certain sets from Toys R Us. Why would I be willing to spend $10 on a promo set.

It sure as hell wasn't for the card. It's a cool lenticular 3-D card, but I don't collect Ninja Go so I'm not really digging the card... Oh wait, that's right. I got this set because it can be a shrine for any card. Any trading card at all. So suddenly it's a shrine to Sunfire...

Or a shrine to Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

Or a shrine to anything you have a trading card of. And that is pretty neat.  And hilarious.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spartan Air Assault (female)

Since I like the web series "Red vs. Blue" I've been vaguely interested in The Macfarlane Toys Halo figures for years. Not so much for the Halo games. I've not been a fan. But love that "Red Vs. Blue." One day they'll make figures that will double for the characters I know and love, but when they do will I actually want to buy them? I don't know if the figures are any good.

So I picked up this Halo figure when I found it for $4. It's pink, so it's a girl! I'm assuming in the games this isn't as sexist as it seems. Or maybe it is, I don't know. The only pink armored character I know is Private Donut who is a dude because that's the joke. But hey, this figure is pretty good. The sculpting is as good as you'd expect from Macfarlane and the articulation is pretty extensive, if not a little confusing at times. There's so many joints that I have trouble keeping them aligned properly. But this does mean that the poses you can make are pretty extensive. It almost makes me want to go out and get some more, but I'm gonna wait for the figures that resemble characters I know. Unless they come out with a hilarious version of a spartan that I can't resist picking up. Like if they make a Spartan that's colored so it resembles a panda.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Statler and Waldorf

Technically these two figures are sold separately, but c'mon, you know they were designed to be sold as a duo. They come with the same chairs for cripes sake.

It's a shame there's no balcony playset. Because what two figures would be better to place atop your entertainment center and criticize everything you're watching. Or maybe they're criticizing you, with their unyeilding plastic stares! OH NO!!!!

They come with a few odd accessories. The score cards and the Muppet Theater programs are fine, but they also come with Muppet vegetables! As seen in the Cosby Show episode where they had Muppets. Actually I think Statler was in that episode too. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Imaginext Dinosaur

Once it was established that these were essentially an Imaginext version of the Dino Riders I knew I had to buy one. And I went with the cheapest one, which fortunately was still pretty awesome because, hell, it's a dinosaur. With robot parts.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Charlie Brown

I bought this a few years ago, but clearly it' from "It's te Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." The figure come with Charlie Brown and his two accessories. A sheet depicting Charlie Brown's attempt at a ghost costume (which can stand on its own and thus serve as a second figure! Score!) and a bag of rocks.

Because Charlie Brown, he got a rock.

God, that's an awesome accessory. They packaged the figure with a constant reminder of the horrible life that Charlie Brown has, but which he ultimately doesn't let get him down, because Charlie Brown has an inner strength and tranquility that most of us can only dream about. He may hate his own blockheadedness, but he knows that in the grand scheme of things, he has peace.

So yes, give him his rocks. Even in as a toy. So as far as Peanuts toys go, this is A-number 1 super awesome.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Guess I'm not getting a giant attacking Bowser statue

After opening and being impressed by the Bowser Mario Kart set I looked into the Stone Bowser set and holy hell... $90?

Sure it comes with a Mario, Yoshi and Bowser minifigures, two battery powered karts, and a Bowser statue that shoots fireballs and moves its arms about, but $90? When I've already gotten all the minifigures? And when buying sets to get all three dudes with karts would still only cost me $75...

They really need to release some variant minifigures in this line or new characters, because I want so many of the playsets but can't justify buying them if I'm getting the same karts and minifigures with each set.

BUT DAMNNNNNN that's a sweet ass race track. It has a Bowser statue.