Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Playmobil Nativity Scene

I've been thinking about buying a Playmobil nativity scene for years. So why now?

I resisted buying the last Playmobil set (which came with Wise Men) because the manger was made completely out of cardboard. My plan had always been to include new and wacky characters into the Nativity scene, so the manger was the primary reason I wanted to pick up a Playmobil Nativity. (Playmobil baby Jesus in his crib was the second reason.) If the manger was just cardboard... well I could do that at home so why would I buy a playset?

Then this new version came out with plastic manger and ground. No wise men (you can buy them separately) but the major players are still there. Sure the backdrop is cardboard, but I can live with that. The important bit is solid plastic. It gives it a more tangible quality.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

DC Superfriends Pack

I wonder why they called this the Superfriends pack even though Batman is the only Superfriend to be featured on it. Really, they should have called it the "Batman's Rogue Gallery" pack or something to that effect. Although I guess Batman isn't a rogue, but it still makes more sense.

I've been meaning to pick up a few more Batman Imaginext figures, but haven't because the prices have been a tiny bit more than I was willing to pay, espeically since I didn't really like the accessories that they came with. (Although I was really tempted by the Riddler Biplane.) However since I got this set with a gift card, it only cost me about $1. THAT IS WELL WORTH IT.

Especially since I can now show you what Batman looks riding a dinosaur.


Featuring Mike Haggar in the role of Galactus.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Heralds of Galactus

Of the actual Heralds in this set, also known as the guys who find Galactus planets that he can eat, I'm only familiar with Frankie Nova and Terrax. Frankie Nova was pretty much the "nice" herald of Galactus. All the others have been very much "DESTROY DESTROY DESTROY!" Hell, Terrax's full title is Terrax the Terrible.

But this is a pretty awesome set. Terrax doesn't just get a rock to stand on, it's a flying rock. (Yeah, he has Earth Bending powers.) Frankie Nova's fire hair can be altered so it fits on a fire base that simulates her flying trail of flame hair. The other guy gets an axe. Screw him. Let's focus on Galactus.

So definately not to scale. Since the Marvel license restricts Art Asylum to producing minimate figures that are 2 inches or smaller, Galactus has to be 2 inches tall. I dunno, maybe he's been exposed to Pym Particles. But Who cares.


'nuff said.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Infinity Gauntlet box set

I already have a minimate Thanos with Infinity Gauntlet. Sure it's one of the older, less detailed minimates, but I kinda prefer those ones. It's more cartooney, which is what you wouldn't expect an action figure of a madman who is in love with Death so he assembles a glove that gives him godlike powers that he then uses to kill half of all life in the Universe.

But when they announced this set I knew I would have to get it one day. Because of Mephisto. They made a minimate of the Marvel Universe's substitute for the Devil. You know the guy Spider-Man made a deal with to save his aunt at the cost of his marriage. That guy. THEY MADE A MINIMATE OF THE DEVIL.

Don't get me wrong, I also like that they included Drax and Adam Warlock. I loved Infinity Watch. (It was a 90's comic about the guardians of the Infinity gems, the bits that powered the Infinity Gauntlet. It's a comic book. Live with it.) But comeon - MINIMATE DEVIL!

Oh wait, when I pulled it out of the package and tested out the joints, the ball snapped off the hip and embedded itself into the socket of the peg. It took me an hour to get it out. THE DEVIL IS BAD!

Actually this set has been out of stock for ages, and on the secondary market it goes for like $50, but there are a few stores on the internet that haven't marked it up, and thank heavens I found one. Because nothing is so ridiculous as a minimate Mephisto that I can use to try and tempt minimate Spider-man to sell his marriage.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hey, Free Legos at Target.

Oh look, it's a book. No wait, it's a deceptive envelope-slash-box thing to hide a giftcard.

Remember last year Target had those Lego gift cards, where in addition to a gift card you got a Lego version of the Target mascot? Well they're back this year, but even better. Because now they've added additional bricks. So now you can make either the Target dog, a snowman, or a Polar Bear. And it's all technically free, since the only thing you pay is the amount you put on the gift card, which you can then later redeem at Target. You lose no money, you get a bunch of Legos. How is this not awesome?

WAIT! It's even awesomer. Last year the gift card you brought in to redeem the credit was the plastic box the Legos came packed in. This year it's a much bigger box... so the gift card is an actual card that detaches from the plastic case. It's now incredibly convenient to bring the cards with you. Which is great for someone like me who will put the bare minimum on each card ($5) so I can get as many Legos as I feel is not abusing the system. The card even says "Building Permit" on it.

Is there a downside? I guess the Polar Bear looks rather suspicious. But that's about it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I got another TARDIS

So that makes the fourth TARDIS I own in the 5" line. And I've got another one on order, so man, I'm collecting a lot of these things. But let's take a look at my latest TARDIS.

Yup, it's Idris. Or the TARDIS in Idris' body after HOUSE transferred her soul to a human body. So as far as I'm concerned, this is a TARDIS figure. It is noticeably different than past TARDIS figures in that it is not a big Blue Police Box. Thank you for reading completely Obvious things, the blog.

Hey, a row of TARDIS... how do you spell the plural of TARDIS?
So, interesting side note, while the dress makes it hard to pose the TARDIS's legs, you can twist the waist around and because the way the bustle is designed the TARDIS can look pregnant.

And I'm going to stop writing now before I start making inappropriate jokes. Because the TARDIS is a woman and it can be assumed that the Doctor has genitals.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Bizarros

So, continuing my new trend of not opening figures that can't be posed and as such are better suited to be displayed only... I'm not going to open these guys...

The Bizarros! Evil, bizarro versions of the Space Lab 2021 crewmembers Debbie and Quinn from the Bizarro episode. Why is Quinn a bird thing? No one knows. It's Bizarro.

You are Bizarroed out.

So yeah, unlike many variants these guys aren't just repaints of the originals. We're seeing a whole new figure for Bizarro Quinn and while Debbie's mostly a repaint, there's some new sculpting for Bizarro Debbie's arm.


Sorry, whenever I think of these guys I just keep imagining Bizarro Quinn shouting, "Bizarro!"

It's hilarious and you can't get it out of your mind. That reason is the only reason I bought this set. Well that and the fact that it was on sale for $3.

Accessories are the same from the Normal Quinn & Debbie set: Debbie's biological clock from the episode where she wanted a baby, the dolphin she was forced to hysterically mother when she realized she didn't want a kid with any of the other Sea Lab characters, some toy booze, and a few futuristic computer screens. All-in-all, this is a pretty damned awesome set.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Episode 21: Cobra M.U.L.E.

The new The Articulated Monster Podcast episode is up.

If you want to follow along with the news, check out these links as we talk about them.

DC All-Stars DCUC replacement figures

Celebrity Cabage Patch Kids for Charity

GI Joe Collector's Club

Battleship Kree-os

2011 Toy Hall of Fame inductees


Animated/Live Action Lego movie

Toys R Us open at 9PM Thanksgiving Night, Black Friday deals online at 9PM too

Wal-Mart at 10PM

Amelia Pond

They finally made an Amelia Pond figure about a year after she first showed up in the show. Still no Rory figure, even though he's a main character whose actor's name appears in the opening credits. He's been in more episodes than River Song, and she's got 4 figures. Also, he's her daddy.

Um, yeah, but Amelia Pond. Considering she's Amy Pond as a child, they use Amelia Pond a lot in the show. Most likely they only planned to use her once but then they realized how good the actress is (and hey, she's the cousin of the actress who plays Amy, but they had never met until they filmed the show) and how popular the little girl version of Amy Pond turned out to be.

Incidentally, I like the character. I'm always thrilled when Amelia Pond shows up, although I hope they don't have to pull a Walt from Lost when she grows up. So when they announced a figure of Amelia Pond I was down for it. Although the fact that it doesn't come with any accessories and is smaller than other figures is kind of a kick in the pants. Would it have killed them to include... I dunno, a bowl of fish fingers and custard. Or an apple with a smiley face on it? Or a crack in a wall? Oh man, yes. I want them to make a crack in the wall as an accessory. No idea how, but DO IT CHARACTER OPTIONS! AND THEN RELEASE IT IN THE UNITED STATES UNDERGROUND TOYS!

There's a variant of this figure only available at a Doctor Who exhibit in England, so I'll never get that, but this is a good version too. The likeness isn't great, but it gets the idea across. I really dig the rain boots. The nightgown sort of acts like a dress, restricting the leg movements. But since this is a smaller figure its a lot easier to keep the figure balanced so that's good. All around a good figure.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Listener Question Post

We're recording the next episode of the Articulated Monster Podcast on Sunday. If you've got a listener question, please let me know by replying to this post or e-mailing it to

The Tick (not the cartoon)

Yes, let's get this out of the way first. This is an action figure of the Tick from the comic book, not the Tick from the cartoon or the live action series. This is supposed to be pure comic book Tick. Personally I've never been a huge fan of the comics. I, like most of America, was more familiar with the cartoon. I loved that show. So great was that love that I tried the comic books, but it was missing some of the insanity and wall-to-wall humor of the cartoon so I never really got into the comics the way I did the cartoon. (Although bits like the Clark Kent character making glasses with his fingers when his real ones get broken are gold.)

This figure is from the Shocker Toys Indie Spotlight line that I've written about before. This is from the Wave 2 preview run of that line. Which is good because the actual Wave 2 never got released. Apparently Shocker Toys is pretty good at not releasing announced toys, so make of that what you will.

But hey, onto the figure. As I've mentioned before, I really love the Indie Spotlight packaging since it's designed to let you pull out the plastic tray with the figure, play with the figure, and then put it all back into the packaging in a way that makes it look as good as new. I love that feature.

The Tick has an alternate confused head, a stop sign that's been pulled from the ground, and alternate hands that will let him hold the sign. Otherwise you can use his default happy head and fist hands. Both options work well.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Silent with Closed Mouth

Good figure. Tallest Doctor Who figure I own. The Silent towers above the other figures in this line and is just as tall as the Sontaran ship... and almost as tall as the motion control TARDIS. Articulation is standard for a Doctor Who figure, featuring all the cut biceps and thigh joints that are surprising to see in a 5 inch figure. And it balances surprising well for a tall thin figure.

Okay, enough about the toy. Fanboy ranting now!

So the Silent aren't a species, they're a religion, with worshippers from multiple races. Which is fine except every time one of these species shows up, they're the Silent and nothing else. It's like how all the members of the people from Raxacoricofallapatorius are referred to as the Slitheen even though it's clearly established that the Slitheen are the name of one family on that planet. The Doctor should know better. It'd be like referring to all the people of Earth as a Rodriguez. (You thought I was going to pick a Euro-centric name, didn't you. Racists.)

Another thing I'm kinda weirded out about is the concept that you can't remember the Silence and can only realize they exist if you're looking right at them. It's like the Stone Angels, the only time you can do about them is when you're looking at them, the rest of the time you're f-ed.

Okay, ranting over.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hello Kitty

Let me just say that the blind packed Mega Bloks Hello Kitty figures are a step down from the Marvel and Halo blind packed Mega Bloks figures. Mostly because the Mega Blok minifigures usually have 7 or more points of articulation and Hello Kitty minfigures have three, their shoulders and head. Although, to be fair, that's pretty much keeping in step with the character design.

Meanwhile the figures are easy to find in their blind packs. The feel and squeeze method works amazingly well since the figures all come with easy to differentiate base blocks and accessories. So when I wanted the basic Hello Kitty without a hat and traditional coloring, I found it in less than two minutes.


But it cost $3.49.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

No Playskool, just no.

So I got a giftcard from Kohls, or maybe it was a coupon, basically $10 off anything over $10. So I went over there on my lunch break and looked around. They had a pretty good sale on the toys (40% off certain items) so I ended up buying the mildly racist Potato Head set.

That's Karate Chips Potato Head, complete with butter knife sword and peeler-chucks. And a headband with a Japanese Caligraphy-esque design styled on it. That's not racist in and of itself, although it certainly is on the edge of it. But there are plenty of non-Asians who practice Karate and wear stuff like that. No, what gets me playing the race card is that on the packaging the figure is placed in front of a digital backdrop of bamboo. That is definitely playing up the Asian-ness of this figure and whatthehell? As I've mentioned before, I'm disappointedly frustrated when the only depictions of Asians in a toyline are Martial Artists.

So yeah, I bought it because stereotypical depictions of Asians in toylines is fairly hilarious to me because of how lame and sad they are, while at the same time exposing the possible ignorance of the manufacturer.

Oh well, at least the face pieces didn't include squinty eyes or buckteeth. Also not included: A Potato head. This is just the pieces to expand whatever Potato head you already have. That's perhaps the most disappointing part of all. (Although it's also probably why I was able to buy this for less than $10.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oh what hell, Character Building?

Character Building is Character Options line of lego-like block toys. They're most prominent for their Doctor Who figures, but they've begun making the leap into generic building toys. They have their own design for minifigures, as all building block toys usually do, and based on the strength of Doctor Who license they were able to do a series of blind packed Doctor Who minifigures. Since it's a Doctor Who Line, there's not a huge call for Character Building stuff in the mass market retail chains.

Which is why I was shocked to find Character Building minifigures blind packed figures at Target in their trading card section. For $2 you could get a blind packed generic Character Building minifigure. Which would be neat if the reason most Americans gave a damn about Character Building was anything other than Doctor Who toys. They don't even look like great figures, but whatever. I searched around for one of the UNCOMMON figures, the zombie with an exposed brain, and picked one up so I could ascertain whether the figures were good enough to be worth my while to seek out the Doctor Who figures.

And for $2 I can happily say, no, no they're not. Let's not even get into the part where the RARE figures are repainted versions of the COMMON figures so the ol' squeeze and feel method won't help you find a RARE figure. The things are not very detailed, the paint's a little sloppy, and hey, some of them don't come with any accessories. Like the zombie. I mean, sure, I think the Lego minifigures are over-priced, but at least they come with cool accessories and amazing paint decals. I dunno man, do I really want Cybermen if they're just versions of these figures.

Yes, but only because they're Cybermen. And I don't want to pay the going rate for them.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Choose wisely...

So if you've listened to the Articulated Monster Podcast, then you know that in December I'm going to open up a 1990's vintage style Lego Advent Calendar.

I've decided that as a narrative conceit, I'm going to have the calendar results be explored by some minimates. But I'm going to give you a chance to help out, by deciding which minimates will explore the Calendar. Your choices are most noble explorers: The Silver Surfer (with possible help by the rest of the Defenders) or the Enterprise Away Team (with possible help by other Star Trek characters.)

Vote in the comments below.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just a thing.

Thanks to pre-ordering, I think I've purchased 90% of the toys I'm going to buy for the next 3 months. Lord, it's going to cost so much...

So on Black Friday, I will not be looking for toys.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I don't know about Halo. Played part of the first game, watched the Rooster Teeth series Red vs. Blue, and that was about it. I'm also not a huge fan of Mega Bloks. So why would I buy this set?

2 reasons. 1) buildable turret and 2) ATV that is also a miniversion of the Warthog. Also, it was on sale. Mostly that last part, since I've been passing this in the toy aisle for a year without picking it up. I'm sorry, but I was burned on the Mega Bloks Warthog when they left out important blocks and I had to stop about halfway into the build. Ever since then, I haven't been too eager to get Halo Megabloks.

But this is a nice set. The Mongoose is pleasantly solid and looks a lot nicer than I thought it would while I was building it. It looks like a real toy vehicle. The Turret is kinda weird, because it's an alien turret and thus the gun looks... well it looks really fake. Really, really fake. The alien minifigure is kind of nice though, and I like his alien energy sword. But that doesn't redeem the fakieness of the turret. Still, at least the turret spins. Like a turret should.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, wave 1, Toys R Us Exclusives

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 minimates are awesome because it allows never before Marvel figures to be released and ensure the expansion of the Street Fighter Minimate line from like a decade ago. Now the way Diamond is distributing these is a bit weird. For Each wave 6 box sets of two figure will be released. 2 of these sets are sold wherever Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 minimates are being sold. 2 of these sets are available only through Direct retailers (comic book stores and collectible toy stores). 2 sets are only available through Toys R Us. I've already pre-ordered the 4 sets only available through direct retail, so I knew I'd have to wait and snatch up the Toys R Us Exclusive figures when they became available.

And that would be last weekend. So BAM!

Hulk vs Mike Haggar:

Because shirts are for puny wussy men. This set pretty much establishes the complete lack of character connection in choosing these packs. Do they have a similar design scheme? Good enough! Which explains why other packs include the guys wearing suits of armor (Iron Man vs Arthur the Knight) or guys with swords (Deadpool vs. Dante) or even girls with wings (Phoenix vs Morrigan) Based on the way these things were packaged, I'm not entirely sure which accessories are meant to go with which characters. Who gets the cloud of dust/smoke. Who gets the clear base? I'm assuming Hulk gets the base because the new arms and legs he gets to make him appear bulked up include a larger than normal hole on the bottom of his foot and the peg on the base seems a little larger than usual.

Meanwhile, Haggar obviously get the pipe. Because he's a mayor and mayors need pipes. To beat up street gangs that kidnap their daughters. And he gets the dust cloud because I had to put it somewhere.

Magneto vs Zero

See, it's two guys with metal helmets. I wish Zero were Mega Man, but since the game designers though Zero had the more interesting move set, I get him instead. He's still got a blaster arm, which is of small comfort. Although I notice there's no alternate hand for the blaster arm. So he's always going to have a blaster arm... is that how it's supposed to be? I stopped playing Megaman games at Megaman 3, and even then I never really finished the games, so I don't know about Zero at all. I only know about Tron Bonne and Roll from Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Dude's got a ponytail for cripes sake. MEGA MAN DIDN'T HAVE NO PONYTAIL. Zero does have a laser sword though, so that's nice. I guess.

And look, another Magneto figure. Sure. Why not. At least he gets a new flying base and a helmet that was previously released in a 2-pack I never picked up. So those are welcome accessories. The glowing purple "magnetism" works well, but I've already got a few of those. Other than that, this is a standard Magneto minimate release.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Articulated Monster Episode 20

And BAKOW! Episode 20 of the Articulated Monster Podcast is now up.

There's a short news segment this week, if you want to follow along here's the links we looked at

Mez Itz Dark Knight figures & accessories

Lego Universe Closing

Changes to Halo Wave 6

We're always looking for potential guests. If you think you'd like to join us and you can connect via Skype, let one of us know. As the guest you'll get to pick the topic of the week/episode.

Buyer's Remorse returns

So this weekend the only item I picked up which spurred the Buyer's Remorse is this guy. I'm not certain if I'm going to keep this Jack Knight DCUC figure, but I've never seen one before so I figured I should pick it up... just in case. So should I keep it? I don't know. That it has less articulation that most DCUC figures is kinda weird. But really, how much am I going to pose it?

And I love the character and I like that they printed the astrology star from the back of his figure.

Friday, November 4, 2011

This year's 300th post!

And the 300th post this year is the regular: ASK US A QUESTION thread for the Articulated Monster Podcast. Just reply to this post below and leave your question. We'll answer it, absolutely.

We're recording on Sunday so you have until then to leave your question.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Whelp, got the new Lego Club magazine in the mail. There's some pretty heavy handed foreshadowing of the Lego Dinosaur releases. It's the tail end of a comic that ties the Atlantis, Pharaohs Quest, and Alien Conquest lines together. Personally I'm looking forward to it. And I love the idea that all the non-licensed Lego lines are part of one uber-line.

Also, a free DVD with Lego commercials and animated bits. It's the coollest free thing I've gotten in the mail that I'll probably never watch!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scarlet Spider

Everything I said about the character here is still applicable. Oh, but they're bringing the character back although it might be a different clone.

Who cares, I'm pretending this is 90's Clone Ben Reilly, the guy who fought Superboy. It's fun to play pretend.