I've finally received all my birthday presents (thank you to all my generous friends), so here's a brief rundown of all the toys I got as gifts this year.
My present from Mario was a Gremlins 2 Gizmo. Who doesn't love Gizmo? People who hate joy, that's who. This version is a completely new sculpt that shares no pieces with NECA's first Gizmo from a few years back. The stumpy little guy boasts a surprising amount of articulation -- up to and including his ears and even his eyes, which can be moved via a dial on the back of his head -- though naturally the shape of his body restricts the poses he can be put in. Additionally, the eyes have a tendency to shift out of place, so if you want to set Gizmo's gaze into a certain position, make sure to keep the tab that comes inserted in the dial when the figure is sealed in the packaging. Said tab secures the placement of the eyes and is easy to remove and reinsert. In any event, Gizmo is as adorable as can be -- everyone should own at least one Mogwai!
James gave me two figures, the first of which was Grapple Blast Black Widow. Given my collection of Marvel movie action figures is focused on the 6" scale, I've refrained from buying any 4" Avengers toys up to this point, though I have considered picking up that new 8-pack featuring all the characters. Well, now that I have the best figure from that line, obtaining the set is kind of needless now. The sculpt is really good, and unlike a lot of the 4" Avengers, Black Widow suffers from almost no budget-induced articulation cuts (the lack of a waist joint is the most glaring omission). Due to the way one of her pistols was shoved into her hand in the packaging, my Black Widow is perpetually wagging her finger at naughty supervillains. Sounds like something a Russian would do.
James said his intention in giving me a Golden Age Atom was to get me a DC Universe Classics offering that he knew I wouldn't buy myself. His judgement was astute: the original Atom is one of the few JSA characters I care absolutely nothing for, and the implementation of typical lazy Mattel reuse (his shirt is painted on, for chrissakes!) made him a very unappealing purchase at retail price. Having him in hand, I must say he's pretty fun to play around with, as many Mattel 6" DC figures are. But then every one in a while I look at it and remember that his shirt is painted on and that the company decided to approximate the character's Rudy-like short stature by merely producing him on a regular-sized body with slightly-shorter shin pieces, and then I feel really bad that the Four Horsemen's talents has been so wasted on this line. But yeah, this Atom ain't too bad after all. Still wouldn't have bought it myself, but that's what friends are for, right?