Tuesday, December 31, 2013

WWE Stackdown Wrestling Ring

A building brick wrestling ring? I've wanted this ever since the WWE Stackdown sets were announced. Of course it's ridiculously expensive.

So first things first, this is C3, which is the Art Asylum building bricks that they created to make vehicles the first time they tried their hand at DC Comics minimates. Then as now, the bricks didn't feel as solid or strong as Lego bricks, but that's a complaint that can be leveled at almost all brick building sets.

In this particular instance though, it's a real problem. You see, the larger plates have a tendency to warp a little, so trying to stack a plate on top of another plate results in frustration as one corner keeps popping up, no matter how hard you try to flatten it or make it stick to the plate underneath. Which wouldn't normally be a problem except that this ring build requires you to place four plates on top of four other plates and the end result was I just removed an entire layer of plates from the build to get the bricks to stay attached to one another. So the base isn't as solid as it should be.

Actually, nothing sticks to the plates very well. Those steps keep feeling like they're about to pop off on their own.

And that's my main problem with this set. The bricks don't feel solid once you connect them. They feel flimsy, like they'll break apart if you just leave them there. The final build doesn't feel strong. This could also be an issue with how the build is constructed, the placement of bricks doesn't feel like they're forming a strong foundation to build off of.

On the bright side, once it's all put together, it looks nice, even if I have ignored using the provided cardboard bunting for the ring. It's just too branded for my tastes.

The minifigures are very basic. They lack the iconic look of Lego minifigures, or the Lego feeling of solid plastic. They're more like Mega Blok figures, but with a surprising amount of articulation. Even so, I've ignored most of these in favor of using minimates. (The first waves of DC Minimates came with C3 sets, so their feet were designed to plug into building bricks. Since that time all minimates have what are called "C3 feet" which means they can be plugged into any traditionally designed building brick.)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Jokey Smurf

From the Mega Bloks blind packed Smurf figures. I wanted one ever since I saw these guys on the All Things Fett blog. At about $2 a pop they're overpriced but at market value. I went with Jokey because I liked the character when I was a kid since his gimmick was exploding presents. Everyone knew the prank but they still fell for it, proving that Smurfs are stupid. I think there was a great episode where Jokey was cursed by magic so all his gifts were exactly what the person wanted and that made Jokey depressed.

Which kinda means Jokey is a dick. And they made a minifigure of him before Handy, Hefty, or Baker. Good for him.

Like all the blind packed Smurfs he comes with a character specific accessory, in this case an exploding present. Good call. It also makes him pretty easy to find using the squeeze and feel method.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ah man....

Ah man, Hot Toys announced on Facebook that they've got an Alfred (Michael Caine) figure and he only comes with a ridiculous Batman Armory set, so the whole thing's going to be mad expensive. Especially if they make you also buy a Christian Bale figure too. The way they worded the posts makes it unclear if the Armory comes with both figures or if you can also get it with only one of the two figures.

I'm willing to pay good money for a Hot Toys Aflred, but not $600.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Deanna Troi

Oh man, the Playmates 1:6 scale Star Trek figures. I wish I had been into 1:6 scale when they originally made these. Depending on when in the production line you got them, they could be pretty good or ridiculously crap. (I remember rumors of a 1:6 scale Mugato which was just a giant plush figure with no internal plastic to let it hold a pose.)

What's even better, is that the 1:6 series were based on themes rather than series. So Troi here is from the "Women of Star Trek" wave. The back of the box doesn't talk about Troi at all, just about the history of the Star Trek franchise. So weird.

The figure itself is pretty impressive for something I assume cost $20 when it originally was released. The uniform is pretty amazing for a cheap 1:6 scale figure, certainly much better than the one on the Dragon figure of Data I looked at earlier this week.

The articulation is pretty basic, but serviceable. Ball shoulders, hips and waist; Knee and elbow joints; Cut wrist and neck. The neck joint is made moot by the hair though.

Sculpting is good, with a decent likeness and sculpted hair (which, as I said, prevents the neck joint from doing anything). Her boots are sculpted onto her legs, but I don't care. It's not like I'm going to dress this up in anything other than this uniform. For a basic 1:6 scale figure this is great. I really want more like this. But for that I'd either have to scour e-bay or have a time machine to take me to 10 years ago.

Oh, and here's a look at the difference between Dragon's Star Trek accessories and Playmate's, keep in mind these were both made for 1:6 scale Star Trek figures.

AMP Episode 84: Mario Doesn't Know Anything About Calculus

Episode 84 of the Articulated Monster Podcast is up. The other James hosted, we talked about toys, and Mario proved he doesn't know jack about calculus.

Monday, December 23, 2013


So Dragon made some Star Trek The Next Generation figures a while back. For $35, they look pretty good, although these days you'd be lucky to find them for that much. And for $60 the likenesses look horrible.

Except for Data, so I picked him up for about $30. Data's pretty simple to get down, a blank expression, and if you make him less detailed, it works for a character that isn't supposed to look quite human. Unfortunately as a 1:6 scale figure this thing kinda sucks.

Let's start with the accessories. The holsters for the tricorder and phaser, as well as the comm badge, all are meant to be placed on the uniform using adhesive backing. Basically these are stickers. At this scale I don't mind if you sew them on, but nope, you better hope the adhesive is strong enough and won't wear away. And holy crap is it difficult to get the sticker back off the tiny comm badge. I dropped it and thought I lost it a couple dozen times.

Also, what's with the horrific 1:6 scale version of Data's pet cat Spot?

Onwards! The uniform is ill fitting, and if you raise his arms it causes the mid-drift to be exposed because this  isn't a poorly fitting 1:6 scale jumpsuit, but a poorly fitting shirt and pants.

The articulation is pretty good, with plenty of joints, but the figure seems predisposed to this weird slumped over pose. And the plastic feels pretty flimsy. I'm afraid its going to snap on me.

Overall, not a bad 1:6 scale Data figure for cheap, but you better be willing to live with the downsides.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Skylanders Saturday: Grilla Drilla

Why did I buy that toy/skylander?

He's a Gorilla with a drill body. In the game he burrows underground and punches people. What more do you want?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Articulated Monster Episode 83: Why would we buy toys?

Are you subscribed to the Articulated Monster Podcast on iTunes? No? I don't blame you! But here's episode 83!

We talk about how we didn't buy toys on Black Friday! Timely!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Family Guy K'Nex and Mickey hulk

Saw these at Toys R Us recently. Can we just agree that these look grotesque?

Okay, the Meg/Brian figures look decent, but the rest look horrifying.

Meanwhile, this is a thing of beauty.

They couldn't just produce a green Mickey Mouse, they had to use a regular plush doll with new hands/feet and give it a green body stocking. 


I figure December is a good month to start looking at toys I never got around to opening this year. Like Ace, which was a comiccon exclusive, so I've had this toy since... July?

That sounds about right.

I gotta say, the updates in articulation on their 5 inch figures makes me hate that they went to a 3.75" scale for the regular figure line. But here in the classics we get ball jointed shoulders, Bicep swivel, cut wrists and interchangeable arms so you can do jacketed figure or not. (Sadly the extra arms have no wrist articulation) The legs even get ball and socket thighs with a large range of movement and a swivel mid-thigh joint. But frustratingly, this line never fives figures an ankle joint so the figure is difficult to balance some times.
The accessories are pretty right on for the episodes the figure is referencing, complete with every weapon she uses in the episodes: Nitro-9 explosives,rocket  launcher and baseball bat infused with ancient Time Lord powers so she can kill a Dalek with it. She even gets her over sized rucksack. The only other thing
I can think of her having is either a giant boombox or racist 60's sign for her to look at with disgust.
As for the jacket, they do an amazing paint job.