Wednesday, January 29, 2014


This was a blind boxed figure from Funko I found at Target. I picked it up because I thought it might be a form of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic that I might actually like. I dislike the combable hair on the regular figures, but I like a few of the characters from the show so I'd be willing to collect them otherwise. The normal PVC mini figures aren't doing it for me, so I figured, hey, sculpted vinyl mini-figures might be a thing I could get into. (The larger vinyl versions are cumbersome and don't feel like toys to me. They feel like "collectibles." Emphasis on the quotation marks.)

When I opened it up, I realized that the all black bodies the ponies had on the box weren't, as I assumed, just a weird box design. Nope, all the ponies are painted pitch black. Which I guess is an interesting design choice for a collector's series. It just doesn't appeal to me. To tell the truth, if I had figured out that this is what they would look like, I probably wouldn't have taken the risk of buying a blind-box.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Flintmobile

The picture pretty much says it all. It's a Hot Wheels car of the Flinstones car. It has 4 wheels hidden in the stone wheels and there is an empty space in the floor where feet would go through.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Baroness

So hey, Sideshow toys fairly expensive Baroness 12 inch figure has been released.

I bought it. This is actually only the second 12 inch Baroness figure ever, and the first one doesn't really count because it was the SDCC exclusive 12-inch Sarah Palin Baroness that Hasbro made for the Rise of Cobra movie. This new Sideshow version (bought from Sideshow directly to get the second bonus head) is based on the original Real American Hero toys/cartoons/comic books. That's the more iconic version of the character.

And of course I've been interested in collecting good 1:6 scale GI Joe cobra characters. Well, sorta. I've only got 3. Because I've never been interested in the Major Blud look and I'm not a fan of the Sideshow Destro design. Also, it turns out Cobra Vipers are hella expensive on ebay.

But Baroness... if you're trying to create a patchwork Cobra 1:6 scale collection you need a Baroness. Which is probably why I did buy the Rise of Cobra one when I found it on sale at a comic book store. So now I own both Baroness 12 inch figures...

Let's compare:

Boxes: The boxes are quite different. The Rise of Cobra box is nicer, but it's also a SDCC Exclusive so they probably classed things up for that reason. The Sideshow box looks like it's designed to be disposed of. Very utilitarian.

Rise of Cobra Baroness:

Not many accessories with the Rise of Cobra Baroness. She also doesn't really look like a GI Joe villain. She looks like a generic "lady in leather coat" character from a low budget action movie. And she's designed to wear that coat always, because underneath is a sleeveless faux leather leotard. It's odd that in the promo print included with the box the character has sleeves on her leather jumpsuit, so that's the implied design, but in practice I guess sleeves under a leather jacket was too much for Hasbro. 

As for the head sculpt, this looks ALOT like they just rescaled the sculpt from the 4 inch figure. Because that looked like Sarah Palin and this really looks like Sarah Palin. 

And while I'm glad the hair is sculpted, I'm not at all happy with the design they went with for the hair. Because it's clearly designed for one pose and one pose only. Turn the head even a little and it looks ridiculous.

You'll notice I'm holding the figure up in that picture. That's because there's no stand and the figure isn't the greatest at standing up by itself. I blame the ridiculous heeled shoes they included. They look like Monster High's ridiculous heeled shoes, but are probably less practical. Also, the leather trench coat design is ridiculous. Why would a coat break up into sections like that over the legs? To provide leg mobility? Then you would just wear a leather jacket, not a trench coat. I don't know why this bothers me so much, but it does.

Sideshow Baroness: 

Meanwhile the Sideshow Baroness stands up quite nicely. The figure is covered in a shiny black body stocking which nicely simulates the look of the black leather catsuit you always assumed the Baroness was wearing. But they also included armored plating for the chest, legs and arms, which means this figure looks exactly like the art on the original figure's filecard.

And oddly, since this is depicting a cartoon version and not a live action version, the head sculpt looks more realistic than it's Rise of Cobra counterpart. Especially with how they sculpted the hair. And the glasses? Totally removable. And there's even a second head sculpt in case you want that wind swept look to her hair.

There's even a second pair of more traditional looking glasses that the Baroness is sometimes depicted wearing, so you can make her wear the style you prefer. Because people have fetishes about that kind of crap. You also get 8 alternate hands to make the poses seem more realistic/awesome. 

There's a few more accessories that come with the figure although not many more than the Rise of Cobra figure. The sideshow firearms are more detailed and look more realistic though. And there's a stand included to hold the figure up. And the interior box art is also very pretty.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Luke Skywalker

When they were announced I figured I'd only pick up the 6 inch Star Wars Black figures that spoke to me as a Star Wars fan who knows a lot of the back story due to a nerdiness for the franchise in high school that waned in college and into adulthood. I'd say I'm  mid-level Star Wars geek now, so I know far more than people who just watch the movies but not as much as a deep Star Wars fan. Which is why it's easy for me to just pick up a few Star Wars figures every now and then.

So who do I want in the 6 inch line? The main heroes and Vader, I suppose. But which versions?

When it comes to Luke I think I prefer his X-wing outfit, because that's when he's actually doing something other than being a Jedi. When he's in his X-wing uniform it's a reminder that he's not just the chosen one, he has other interests, jobs and skills other than Jedi. Because when he first started the series he knew he was a good pilot, and then he proved it with only a tiny bit of help from the force. You know, before he hung out with Yoda and then only did force related crap.

I like to think that his time as an X-Wing grunt is what kept the rest of the rebels from viewing him as a weirdo outsider. Remember when he joined us in the battle of Yavin, when he was in the trenches with the rest of the pilots? Luke knows what it's like to be one of us, even if he has magic powers now.

Of course I may just be talking out of my ass, and I'm just rationalizing this as my choice because it's the only Luke available right now and I bought it to have a 6 inch scale Luke Skywalker. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Shanna the She Devil and Savage Land Reaper

Okay, first off, this is Sauron. The giant pterodactyl X-men villain. Sure, it says it's a Savage Land Reaper, but even the description of the figure points out that the Savage Land Reapers look just like Sauron. But Sauron and Shanna rarely ever meet, so instead we use the fact that these Reaper dudes were the disposable bad guys in a recent Wolverine story co-starring Shanna. (Because the guy who wrote/drew the story really likes drawing wild blonde jungle women in loincloths.)

Personally I think the Sauron figure is a little too complicated for a minimate, but I'm probably in a minority when it comes to overly compliclated minimate design. (The ball jointed tail is a nice touch, but it's effectively a cut joint.) But I prefer the wing design on this figure than I've seen on other minimates. Here they're attached to the hands rather than ring accessories meant to be worn around the forearm. Far more stable this way. I'm also not a fan of the weird leg design, with the backward jointed foot which has no articulation in order for the figure to have any semblance of being able to stand on its own.

Shanna is what she is, an attempt to do cheesecake with a minimate body. Your mileage will vary, but the animal skin bikini paint job they did isn't too different than the flesh colored plastic so it kinda just looks like they made a flesh colored minimate with drawn on musculature. It's really weird.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Statue of Liberty Weeping Angel

So Darn Hot Topic. For the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who they inundated their stores with Doctor Who merchandise. At Buy 1 get 1 half off prices, I kept trying to get the most of my Doctor Who dollar. A lot of t-shirts, a bunch of mini vinyl Titans figures...

And then there were the 6.5" Titans. Apparently the mini-vinyl figures were so popular they made large scale ones, at surprisingly decent prices. For twice the price they more than doubled the scale. Didn't matter, because I didn't want giant versions of chibi vinyl Doctors... but then I saw the 8 inch TITANS! (Only $25... then apply a half-off discount and SOLD! Because they made an 8" Statue of Liberty Weeping Angel... At 8 inches, it towers over the normal 2 inch Titan figures and that's not really to scale, but it's still an awesome thing.

Also: Statue of Liberty weeping angel figure.

Geez, I might have to start a Statue of Liberty tag. For all 3 of the Statue of Liberty Toys I own. Maybe not.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lego Movie sets

I bought some Lego Movie stuff yesterday because when you see a sign that says "$15 off any Lego Purchase of $60 or more" and you've already decided you're buying $48 in Legos you accept it as a sign that you need to buy at least $12 more in Legos. If you don't understand why that is, give it a moment, or learn basic math. (This was at Toys R Us, so if you really want $15 off Lego Movie stuff, that's the place to go.)

First off: Lego Ice Cream truck. I don't know how I feel about this "transforming" element some of the Lego Movie sets have, but whatever, I GET A LEGO ICE CREAM TRUCK! I'm a huge fan of Lego trucks, so any new variation really gets my attention.

Then there's the basic sets. Which are still pretty costly. Which makes sense because they're a licensed set... but is also really weird because that license is owned by Lego. Anyway, I went with the one that has Robot cowboys and some a hang-glider made out of Old West signage. Because I'm sure the Old West Signage can be reused somehow.

Then there's the minifigures. OH GOOD LORD THE MINIFIGURES!

Minifigure Lincoln!

Minifigure Shakespeare!

Minifigure Robot Secretary!

Minifigure whoever the hell this is! Just kidding! It's a robot Saloon Girl!

Minifigure Crazy Cat Lady who I only got for the cat and the fanny pack!

Minifigure Man in Panda Suit Who has Kidnapped a Panda Child

Minifigure Lincoln in front of  a Stargate!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Articulated Monster Podcast, episode 85

Hey everyone, Articulated Monster Podcast! In it we're all very laconic and talk about what we got for Christmas. We recorded this right before the New Year.

On Monday we'll record the next podcast, and probably do a 2013 recap of some sort. Anything about the last year you want to hear us talk about? Favorite toys, toy lines, most hated toys? I might talk about the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who or something.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Jane Boolittle

I start the new year with this observation:

Damnit Monster High, Doctor Doolittle wasn't a monster. The whole point of your toy line is that your characters are the teenaged girl (or boy) versions of famous monsters. If you want to introduce a monster character that talks to animals, fine, I'm sure a lot of monsters would have that ability. It's just lazy to decide that you want the character to be the teenaged girl version of a non-monster character and then just change the original character to a monster.

That's like asking someone to name their favorite species of dog.
"I like Lions."
"That's not a dog."
"Lions are dogs now."
"Liondog. That's what it is. This interview is over."
"This isn't an interview, I was just curious about your favorite dog."
"And I told you, it's the Liondog."

What's odd is that the story for the character is actually interesting. She's the adopted daughter of Doctor Moreau and Doctor Boolittle... DAMNIT MONSTER HIGH! Creating a parody character and giving them a monster-pun name does not... ARGGH! And why would she have a witch doctor's staff... Okay, clearly this character was invented as a plot point for a cartoon adventure where they get lost in the jungle, but this just feels like the jump-the-shark moment for the franchise.

Which is a shame because this is such a clever toy line. They have an invisible man character who has a pet box which may or may not have a cat in it.