Friday, November 29, 2013


Who better to unbox and talk about for Black Friday than the embodiment of greed!

And now I'm one step closer to collecting the best of the different Corps in six inch scale... Wait, no bicep swivel. Dangit Mattel!

Other than that, I'm fine with this. People say it doesn't look right, but Larfleeze varies so much depending on the artist that I feel it's good enough.

Now I just need some more Indigo tribe figures.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Thursday

I'm totally against Thursday Black Friday sales... although I was mighty tempted by one this year at Toys R Us. Their Skylanders deals are pretty good, buy 1 get 1 70% off. Thursday only. I had to remind myself that it wasn't worth  betraying my principals... especially after I did the math and realized I'd only be saving $5 since Toys R Us  pretty regularly does Buy 1 get 1 40% off on Skylanders.

Meanwhile I love Fry's Electronics approach. CLOSED THURSDAY but you can go online starting 9am Thursday and buy any of their black friday items for black fridays prices if you do local store pickup, basically doing your black friday shopping online and just picking it up at your leisure on Friday. No staff required to work Thursday except for a couple IT guys on call to keep the servers from crashing.

Today I'm thankful for...

...blogger erasing the beautiful post I just wrote and wait, no... No... I am not thankful for the blogger app on iPhone being a piece of crap and forcing me to bust out a laptop to rewrite a post.

But I am thankful for luck. What kind of luck? Toy luck.

Hot Topic had one of their regular Buy 1 Item get 1 Item half off sales. And as a reward card member I got an extra 15% off the sale price, which means, HEY! Blind boxed vinyl figures are no longer the slightly higher Hot Topic prices but rather are cheaper than MSRP!

In my mad quest to get a Second Doctor Titans vinyl figure I bought 14 blind boxed figures from the Doctor Who Titans 50th anniversary wave. The plan was simple, weigh the boxes in my hand, try to figure out how much vinyl was packed into the box, and hope I was right about the contents within. Keep going until I got a double,

With no context of how much vinyl each figure used and uncertain how much weight the accessories would add, I never correctly guessed what figure was in each box I opened. But luck was still on my side for a while, as I didn't get a double until Box 8. (Some cheating in that Box 6 was from a different wave and would have been impossible to produce a double.)

As I opened the boxes I revealed: 9th Doctor, 6th Doctor, 2nd Doctor. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. But in my hubris, I wanted to see if I could get any of my other favorite Doctors. More boxes: 4th Doctor, 1st Doctor, Adipose, 7th Doctor, 1st Doctor.

And that's when I stopped, because it was a slap in the face. Who wants two 1st Doctor figures? Not me.

But of course that means I only need the 5th and 11th Doctors for a complete set. But should I buy them on ebay or open the rest of my blind boxes knowing that the odds are not in my favor and I could end up with a bunch of toys I don't want in boxes that can't be returned because you can't just can't return open blind boxed items. (Unless you're returning it to a ruthless merchant who knows that you're trying to return the rare variant and wants to resell it for a huge profit.)

Dinosaur Skeleton

I feel like most boys either wanted to be a paleontologist or astronaut when they were growing up. I was totally in the former class.

Saw this in a gumball machine at Toys R Us for fifty cents. I wanted a T-Rex but got a... I want to say Styracosaurus. My dinosaur knowledge is not as good as it was when I was seven. Back when I had the Dinosaur Dictionary and wanted to be a paleontologist. 

It's still pretty neat.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Skylanders Swap Force

Black Friday price matching has all Skylanders Swap Force sets at $37 at WalMart so I picked it up. So far the figures are decent and the game is the same as its always been. I am worried that the magnet gimmick may fail one day, rendering all figures unusable, but for now I'm enjoying it. It's 100 times better than Disney Infinity in the sheer scope of what its trying and in terms of sheer videogaming fun.

Although, I must admit that right now the biggest thrill has been WashBuckler, voiced by John DiMaggio, saying "8 legs, no pants."

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Articulated Monster Ep 82: James is Lazy, James is Forgetful, Mario is a Jackass

New podcast is up. And we are starting to solicit ideas for stuff we make Mario talk about for a minute without interruption. Leave your ideas in the comments:

Link to podcast!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Mystery Machine

The Character Building Mystery Machine. Normally $35, it was on sale recently for $20.

I can't recommend this set. Do not buy it. Do not buy anything from Character Building if it has decals on it.

Character Building sets always have this one issue that I can't get past, they want you to put stickers over the brick seams. This means that once you've put a set together you can never take it apart. And some stickers are meant to cover 3 or 4 bricks. It feels cheap and unstable. Maybe I might feel different if they used plastic clings as the decals instead of paper stickers, but I feel like adding the stickers makes the build permanent and that removes some of the fun that is inherit in brick construction sets. Why go for a clunky model if you plan on removing the rebuilding aspect? And why remove the rebuilding aspect if on the box you point out that you can use the bricks to build a completely different model? Well, no I can't. Not if I've put the stickers on, because now those bricks can't be taken apart without destroying the stickers and then I can never build the mystery machine again.


Meanwhile the only good part of Character Building, the minifigures, are great.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Titans 50th Anniversary Wave

I fucking HATE blind packs. It's okay but annoying for $3 items. It's almost criminal for anything costing over $10. Especially if you're going to make certain figures in a wave rare.

I spent $40 trying to get a 2nd Doctor in the Titans 50th Anniversary wave. But because I got doubles of one of the "common" figures I feel like I wasted $10. I don't even hate the figure, but I don't need two of them and I know trying to sell or trade will not end well with me because it's a "COMMON" figure. And it doesn't help that it's near impossible to find these figures retail... ARGH!

The really screwed up part? I'm not even that huge a fan of the design. I like it, but a lot of the figures are hit or miss for me. I like the angles on the 10th Doctor, but the 8th Doctor looks a little generic and misses some of the nuance of Paul McGann's great face. And the 3rd Doctor needs a more wrinkled look, he needs to look old-young.

I'm annoyed at how this came about, but I know there's a fricking good chance that I'm going to buy more blind boxes to try and get the one I want, and I know that's even more annoying to me.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rescue and Robot Hulk

So there's this thing about Marvel minimates, where every wave usually has to include an A-list hero because those sell more than the lesser known characters. It makes sense. But it kinda trickles down into every minimate release kinda weird. So the character "Rescue" is Pepper Potts. In the comics she has shrapnel that is threatening her heart in a replay of the Iron Man origin. Tony gives her an arc reactor to save her life and then follows that up by giving her personalize Iron Man armor that only has defensive and emergency rescue capabilities because she only wants to save people, not fight crime or save the world.

So when they make a minimate of her it's as "Rescue Armor Iron Man." If you didn't bother to  read the description on the back you would assume it was just a new Iron Man Armor. Of course they add a second "Pepper Potts" head, so it's very OBVIOUSLY the character "Rescue" but no one knows who Rescue is unless they're a recent comic book reader. Everyone knows who Iron Man is, who of course that's the name they put on the box. Love the figure though.

Also Robot Hulk. I know there's a comic book explanation, but I don't care. It's a robot designed to look like the Hulk. That's all I need. 

Of course if you want the comic book story, where there's a tiny dude driving the Robot Hulk body, this set includes enough alternate limbs to create that.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Halo avatar minifigures

I got these because the other James mentioned that the Dollar Tree had them for $1. And luck of luck, I got the ones I wanted despite being blind packed.

They look like bad cosplayers.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I don't know why I like cheap minifigures, but DC Grab Zags for $2 at Walgreens? Where you can easily tell which one is Batman?


Tiny batman!

Now I'm tempted to get a tiny Wonder Woman because they made it so her face looks like a character from Adventure Time. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Stargate SG-1

Y'know what, I don't care what they really call it. Ever since they announced the Best-Lock Stargate brick sets the only thing I ever really wanted was a brick built Stargate. Of course the big costs more than I'm prepared to pay, so isn't it nice that at Target in their Stocking Stuffer section they have a smaller set with a smaller Stargate and control device.

Also, worst likeness of Macgyver ever.

Shit wait, is this the size of all the Stargates in all the sets? If so, that sucks. I was hoping for one that was fricking massive. Still, not bad.

It's a knock off Lego brand so the bricks aren't as solid as they could be and some of the connections are a bit loose. The Stargate is solid, but it's a loose connection. The plate is so flimsy that bricks won't stay attached to it. 

Also, all the Stargate symbols are printed on it, not a sticker. The control panel's a sticker, but not the Stargate. Neat!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Red Arrow

As far as I'm concerned this is actually a 6 inch scale base that happens to come with a Red Arrow figure. Although I will say that it's a pretty good Red Arrow figure.

When the Young Justice 6 inch figures first came out, I remember being excited at the possibility of getting characters that we didn't get through DCUC. Then I was excited by the idea of diorama bases for six-inch figures. Then the rest of the 6 inch figures came out and I was disappointed by how character specific and undiorama like the bases were. Then they cancelled the line before the figures I really wanted had a chance to be released because they filled the line with Batman. Damn it Mattel. Of course if I see a figure at a discount store for a good price, I'll still consider buying it.

The rooftop base is very similar to the one that came with Robin. The differences instead of a gargoyle you get a smokestack, which has a wanted poster on it... destroying part of it's generic-use it any way you want to value. But in a nice touch the wanted poster has notches that the arrows can be placed in making it look like Red Arrow has been shooting at it as target practice.