Monday, February 28, 2011

The Articulated Monster, Episode 1

Me and Mario started a toy podcast called the Articulated Monster. First episode is up, check it out.

Dalek Eternal


I still don't like the design of these new Daleks, but I love their ridiculously bright primary colors. So I wanted to get a figure of one of them that fully showcased how artifical and toyriffic these things are. The only one I could find (other than the Drone) for a reasonable price at the convention was this Eternal. The Eternal's role in the Dalek empire was left intentionally vague so future writers could come up with an idea.
I think I did something to mine during packing. I had to shove a bunch of figures that I got from the Doctor Who convention into my suitcase, which meant opening the packages and putting them between clothes in my suitcase. The clothes served as a cushion, but I think the joint in the eye stalk ot jammed, and now it won't move. So that sucks.
Other than that this figure does its job on my shelf, which is look hilarious over designed and "modern."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Announcing Cybermen Week, March 28-April 1


Man remember a couple years back when we did Cybermen Week? No. Go look at the archives because I think it's time to bring it back. It's like Shark Week, except with Cybermen instead of sharks. And on a blog instead of television. And this has only been done once before instead of like twenty-something years.

I declare that during the final week of March (March 28-April 1) that this blog is going to do another Cybermen Week, which means daily posts on the weekdays all related to Cybermen. And my promise that there will not be an April Fools joke on April 1st, just Cybermen related content.

And since I enjoyed participating in the Vader Invasion, I'm going to open Cybermen Week to everyone. Please post a Cyberman based entry on your own blog that week & give me a heads up and I'll happily link to it. If you don't feel like doing an entry on your blog, then send me pictures of your own Cybermen toy collection (either individually or in a group shot) before March 28th and I'll post them up on my blog during Cybermen Week.

Let's all revel in the Cybermen Love and make Cybermen week the most awesome week of all! Get prepared folks!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Iron Man Mask


I'll tell you the truth, I'm surprised by how much I like this mask. I originally bought it because it's a cool looking mask that is molded in a way that I can wear it while wearing my glasses, but I love it because it's a cool looking mask that is molded in a way that I can wear it while wearing my glasses. I'm pretty easy to impress when it comes to masks. Also, it was sold in the toy aisle at Target, so it counts for this blog.

Sure it's meant for kids, but it pretty much fits me and it was reasonably inexpensive. Win!

The Sontaran Experiment


The Sontaran Experiment was a 2 episode story from the 4th Doctor's first season which brought back the popular Sontaran alien first seen in the Time Warrior the season before. (During the 3rd Doctor's last season.) It would sort of cement them as one of the most popular Doctor Who aliens... which means its weird that they wouldn't show up again for another 9 years. But hell, they made an action figure set of the episode, which is really weird.

I had no intention of buying this set, but then I went to a Doctor Who convention where they were selling it, and I saw it in person, and collector's lust seeped into my pores.

So this set comes with the 4th Doctor, the Sontaran Styre, and Styre's ship, which looks like all one-man Sontaran ships is a giant sphere. (It was also seen in the Time Warrior.)


I don't know how I feel about them always packing Doctors into the sets. On the one hand I hate paying for figures I already have. The minor paint variations aren't usually enough to make me feel like I'm getting a new figure. But this time I'm okay with it because this time we get sad 4th Doctor while wearing hat. The other 4th Doctor figure I have is happy 4th Doctor while wearing hat and surprisingly I think this is an acceptable variation.


Next up is Styre. In a nice touch, he has 5 fingers. You see the Sontaran Experiment was the only story where the Sontarans had 5 fingers. In all the other Sontaran stories they have three. You can see the difference in the old school and new school Sontarans by this comparison in the figures. The old Sontarans could be rather tall, the new ones are very pointedly not. I do prefer the old uniforms though. They're more gritty, as befitting a warrior race of clones.

Finally there's the Sontaran ship, and damn what a disappointment that is. Sure it looks impressive on the outside, but open the door and BAM. You're greeted with a solid wall of plastic.

I mean why let the door open at all if you don't have a compartment that can fit the figure inside it? And the fake chair, that's just teasing us with what could have been. Hell, I don't even care if it was a good compartment, but give me something that the damned Sontaran can fit in when I close the door. I probably wouldn't be THAT disappointed, but this set is retailing for $65 in the US, considering previous set costs, that means that this big silver ball is meant to be going for somewhere between $25-$35 dollars.

SO LET THE DAMN SONTARAN FIT IN THE SHIP!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Zygon


Despite only appearing in only one televised story, the Zygons have gotten themselves some cult status. Maybe it's because of their distinctive look. Or that they can shapeshift. Or maybe it's because they control the Loch Ness Monster and have it attack a city.

Probably that last one.

This figure of the Zygons from the story is pretty accurate, right down to the lack of movement the originals had on the show. The neck isn't articulated at all, so we're essentially looking at one long torso piece. On top of that the "remote unit" they use to control the Loch Ness Mosnter looks like a barnacle that's snapped off the dude's... uh, side I guess is the way to describe it?

The Zygon also comes with the head of the Giant Robot build-a-figure. I think it's sad that I'll never finish the Robot because I'll be damned if I'm buying two VOC Robots in order to get the legs... or buy another 5th Doctor for an arm... or another Magnus Greel, just to give the Robot hands and feet. As far as I'm concerned it's a mini-bust that rocks prevariously on it's legless hips.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sergeant Kup

As an avid collector of Generation 1 Transformers, I tend not to get any of the modern remakes of the original toys unless a character demands a more cartoon-accurate figure (Ratchet), reissues are unlikely (Sunstreaker), or the figure is a really damned good version of one I don't already own (Hound). My brother has the Japanese reissue of Kup—the crotchety old soldier introduced as one of the main new Autobots in Transformers: The Movie back in 1986—but the old school Kup’s robot mode wasn’t quite up there with that of contemporaries Hot Rod and Blurr. So when Hasbro announce it was finally releasing a new Kup as part of its Generations line this year, I knew it was one of my only new must-haves.



Packaged under the more copyright-friendly moniker of Sergeant Kup, what immediately disappointed me about the figure was that he’s been given a new alternate mode. Kup was originally a futuristic pickup truck with a distinctive design, but Sergeant Kup is now just a plain ordinary pickup you’d see out on the road. One of the main disadvantages of this change is that the figure now can’t replicate the old transformation scheme, meaning it has to “fake” the original design elements like the original truck front end becoming the robot chest, a design technique I abhor. Furthermore, the panels that make up the sides of the truck mode can be frustrating to deal with during the conversion process. I plan to keep the figure in robot mode, so ultimately these aren’t as big of issues to me, but I imagine they can be irksome to others.

Once in robot mode, Kup looks pretty cool, especially armed with his giant new rifle. The rifle features this c-hook/balljoint attachment (common in recent Transformers releases) allowing it to affix to the roof and arm panels; it's cute, but no better than peghole technology, in my opinion. Sure, Kup’s got more heroic torso proportions (look at the V-shaped torso) and bigger feet than I’d like, but overall it’s a great rendition of the character. That is, except for the arms. Saddled with cumbersome front tires and truck side panels as part of the transformation, the figure is further hampered by some wonky joints. The shoulders keep wanting to push down and inward whenever you move them, and the ridiculous double-elbow joints (hinged for up-and-down movement in the middle of the bicep, but only for inward movement in the forearm) are the worst I have ever seen on a figure I own. They look like they should be balljoints instead (I find myself instinctively trying to move them as I they were), and I really wish they were.

I’ve found Hasbro’s most recent updated Generation 1 designs under the Generations banner not as enticing as efforts in the preceding Classics and Universe lines. I hoped Kup would be an exception to that, as he’s one of the characters I felt most needed a new figure. I’m largely pleased the figure (the head in particular looks great), but looking at that torso which is only a facsimile of the original truck mode and dealing with those terrible arms, I know a better job could have been done.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Guess where I'm at

So I'm at Gallifrey One, the Doctor Who Convention that runs on the West coast. I've been to some panels, gotten autographs, and bought a crapload of toys. I've spent way too much, but what this means for you is a whole bunch more Doctor Toy posts and maybe an all new Cyberman Week this year.

Dr. Mindbender


AJ got me Dr. Mindbender for Christmas. And who doesn't love an orthodontist that tested a pain dulling ray on himself and instead rewired his brain to be evil? Shirtless evil!

He's what I've come to expect from the modern GI Joe toys. I think this guy is from the Cobra Island 7-packs, but it's kinda cool to have a toy of an over the top...

He's a freaking orthodontist who specializes in mind control and brain washing. How is that ever covered in dental school?

AJ also got me Duke.

Duke sucks. He's the most boring of all the GI Joes. But he's blonde with a can-do attitude, so he's the main character. Because AMERICA, that's why.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kirk & Spock



While you're reading this, assuming you're reading this on Thursday, February 17, 2011, then I'm on my way to a Doctor Who convention. So let me give you some Star Trek stuff to read about. I picked these guys up on e-bay, and before you protest that you've seen Star Trek minimates on this blog in the past, let me assure you, you haven't.


These are the 3-inch minimates, the kind Art Asylum used to make before they realized that the 2-inch figures were more popular and needed less plastic. They're much more sturdier and don't feel like they'll snap in half when you pose them.

They're also damn hard to find considering they haven't been in production for almost a decade. I got mine on e-bay, mostly so I can place then in 3-inch designed playsets. Because Kirk+Spock in cubicles=Hilarious.

Or something like that. Look, I just like the damn figures, okay. The only gripe I've got against them is that Spock's paint job is kind of weird. There's flesh covered paint around his shoulder joint, so it looks like Spock has this huge hole in the armpit of his uniform.

Not cool Spock. Not cool.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eleventh Doctor

Finally, a variant of a Doctor figure that I can get behind. In the past the variant figures have all been repaints, creating a new figure that wasn't a "Must Have" if you already had a figure of that Doctor. This one is the game changer.


Why?


The fez and mop. The best visual gag on Doctor Who in... geez, maybe 20 years. And they made a figure of it. It's the Doctor... wearing a fez... and carrying a mop.


SOLD!

This actually feels like a different character to me, one which justifies buying a new figure of the same dude again. So I've got normal 11th Doctor and Insaneo Fez Wearing Doctor. All variants should be like this.

He also comes with a sonic screwdriver accessory (the small one in his hand) which is neat, but not necessary. Also: 1/6th of the Pandorica. It's a large wall of plastic with an audio CD featuring the book on tape of the novelization of one of the classic television adventures, in this case: the Third Doctor's first adventure. On television it was known as "Spearhead in Space" but here it's called "The Auton Invasion" read by Caroline Johns, the woman who played the companion Liz Shaw in that episode. It doesn't use any audio from the original show though. Kind of disappointing, so the fact that it doubles as a build-a-prop is kinda neat. I think I like build-a-props better than build-a-figure. I don't feel the pressing need to collect them all, but if you do then hey, neat bonus. Maybe it's different when the prop is a giant stone box though.




One blog dead, but let's feed on its corpse.

So I closed down my Minimates blog and have imported those posts into this blog. Most of the posts were back in 2008, way back before this blog even existed. So now we have archives for 2008!

Enjoy...

I SAID ENJOY DAMNIT!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Menace & Anti-Venom


What says Valentine's day more than Menace and Anti-Venom?

Okay, a lot of things, but Menace is the mother of Harry Osborne's son... except she thought it was Norman Osborne's because she totally cheated on Harry with his dad. Someone needs to explain why Norman Osborne routinely is able to seduce women that are the age of his son, even when they're in relationships with either his son or his son's friends. It's really getting weird. Bad enough Gwen Stacy, but come on.

Also, Anti-Venom, who is the host of the first Venom with a symbiote suit that lets him cure cancer and disolve alien symbiotes. How did he get it? Something to do with being miraculously cured of cancer. He's kind of a weird anti-hero.

Menace's head is one of those masks that come off to reveal her secret identity! Lilly Hollister. The daughter of a rich politician who is kinda like Paris Hilton, except smarter, more manipulative, and she took the Goblin Serum in order to turn herself into a transgendered super villain. Also, she's biracial so that explains the tan skin. She didn't Snooki herself up... OH GOD I MADE A JERSEY SHORE REFERENCE!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jungle-Viper



Peek-a-boo!

From GI Joe's current Pursuit of Cobra line comes the Jungle-Viper. I had to pick this up after reading several good reviews about it, and especially after Mario acquired one. The best part about the Pursuit of Cobra line is that you are guaranteed a horde of accessories with each figure. In this case, the Jungle-Viper includes an eight-piece ghillie-suit camo disguise, a huge three-part sniper rifle, two pistols (with holsters for them in the shin and by the hip), spy goggles, and a display base.

The Jungle-Viper looks great completely enveloped in the ghillie-suit, which can be manipulated into various configurations via a series of ball-joints. If you decide you want an unadorned Cobra foot soldier, the disguise is easily removable due to the trusty use of the backpack peg hole. And don’t fret—this figure stands fine on its own even with all the gear loaded up onto it.

Really the only nitpick I have with the figure is something that's become common with a lot of Hasbro 3 ¾"-scale figures, and that’s that the implementation of hyperarticulation can be a detriment to a sculpt of this small a size. The new hinged wrist articulation found on the Jungle-Viper is neat, but it makes the wrists look chunky. Of course, this shortcoming can be obscured creative use of the ghillie-suit blades. Definitely a recommended figure.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jean Grey Black Queen & Hellfire Club Guard

Hey look, they made a toy out of the most sexually charged part of the Dark Phoenix Saga. You know, when Jean gets brainwashed into thinking she should wear underwear and act like a dominatrix. Chris Claremont everybody! He loves him some brainwashing and mind control!

Oh, and also they made a Hellfire Club guard. I never knew if those dudes were supposed to be robots, cyborgs, or guys in costumes. I've lately began to think its the latter, which kind of sucks since Wolverine had a tendency to kill a lot of them. Pretty much that means he was killing a bunch of security guards. Which sucks if they weren't really evil or knew what was going on. On the other hand, they routinely beat the crap out of the X-men after the Inner Circle had neutralized the superheroes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Small Car

A while back I thought about creating a youtube channel dedicated to doing Lego videos. I only ever put one up, but I thought I'd post it here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Mutants Magik & Warlock


So let's look at 3 awesome things about this Toys R Us exclusive set.

1. Holy crap they made a Warlock minimate!



2. Holy crap they made a Doug Ramsey minimate! They made a minimate out of a guy whose mutant power is the ability to decipher languages really fast.


3. They made a new minimate base in order to depict Magik's teleporatation power! They actually made an accessory that depicts the doorway to a hell dimension.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Assylum Assault T-1000 & Inmate Sarah Connors



They made a minimate of Sarah Connor escaping the insane asylum... after the creepy guard licked her face...

And a blown up Robert Patrick with alternate annoyed Robert Patrick head and his "car chase" hands. That's adorable. He wants to kill humanity. Seriously, how was the Terminator chasing John Connor in T3 supposed to be superior to this guy? He was liquid metal. Actually, since inhaling mercury can kill you, all the dude really had to do was turn into John Connor's pillow at night and let the kid inhale him.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Modern Mandarin & Dreadnought



Let's get this out of the way, I don't know anything about the dreadnaught and I don't really care about the minimate. It's nice enough, but I'm very much, "Whatever," about the figure.

No, I got this set because... well it was on sale... but also because it has the Mandarin and 1) I'm trying to get a few of Iron Man's rogues gallery as minimates which is difficult since I have no real idea who any of them are except for the biggies like this guy, 2) as you know by now, I've got a thing about Asian action figures, even ones as over-the-top fu-manchu in design as this one, and 3) if you do a list of the "Big Bads" of the Marvel universe, the ones that can be said to be of the "top tier" then the Mandarin would be... forgotten until someone said, hey who are the top Iron Man villains.


Seriously, everyone forgets about this guy until the idea of an Iron Man is brought up. And then it's like, oh yea, you should have the Mandarin in there. Seriously, most people don't even know what his powers are. He has 10 rings he recovered from an alien spacecraft. Each ring has control over a different power, essentially giving him energy powers and control over matter. That might explain why he's not used that much. It's not exactly easy to sum up what he can do in one breath. Every time you bring him back you've got a page of exposition where you explain that he can use psychic powers, use fire, lightning, whirlwinds, electromagnetic powers, dark void energy, disintigration, molecular rearranging, ice blasts, and all-purpose energy powers. Essentially you've got to say "He's a wizard" but then try to explain why he doesn't just turn Iron Man into a cat because by spelling out the rules of what he can't do. BORING!

But dude looks like a classic yellow peril villain in minimate form. So that's a purchase.



He comes with a robe, which is essentially a solid piece of plastic that restrict movement. Fortunately you can take the robe off and reveal his toned torso (because now it's racist to depict one of the most prominent minority supervillains as sickly or weak). Also, somehow being shirtless is more mystic than having a shirt. Something to do with the visual symbolism of uncivilized savages being more in tune with the unknown... Look, the whole approach to the dude is racist, okay. Just accept it and be sad for what it means to American society. (I'm Asian, I get to make these remarks.)

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