Monday, November 30, 2009

That's just classic DC!

After a time of hope, when I was sure somehow the universe was going to deliver them to me, followed by a dark moment of depression, when I thought I was never going to see them, quickly followed by a moment of negotiation when I stated that only wanted a couple and not the entire wave and also after a moment of doubt in my wallet, I finally got some of DCUC Wave 10.

At first I only wanted two figures from this wave: Robot Man and Beast Boy. Why? Because I like the Doom Patrol, and since Negative man is coming and (wish wish wish) Elastigirl will be a C&C sometime down the lane I needed BB and Roboto (as fans of MOTU may call him).

Robot Man uses one of the base bucks but the new tooling is great, the hands and head look especially fine. Actually I'm so thrilled with the sculpted brain that I will display him without the top of the head for some time.

At first I thought BB reused the teenage buck from Robin or Kid Flash, hard to tell 'cause I don't own any of those figures, but a friend told me it was a different body. So I'm awaiting confirmation. The thing is he looks fine, the head sculpt is nicely done, although he looks a little bit serious, and hair in the arms and hands is a nice detail that brings his animal side to life.

"Mento told me this was going to happen if I kept doing it... But with Starfire, Raven and Terra around what do you expect me to do?"

A lot of people complained that this was an incorrect costume for such a young buck. I don't complain because the path Mattel is taking is very clear to me: Mattel is not using only the comics as an inspiration, but the animated series as well, often as a source even more relevant than the comics. Examples: Solomon Grundy, same clothes and same size as the cartoon. The preview shots of Copperhead looked a lot more as the JLU copperhead than the comics. Beast Boy is a teenager wearing the costume he used in Teen Titans Go!

Since I really like the cartoons, I don't mind this direction.

The I picked up a Joker to see what all the fuss was about and I have to admit he's quite impressive. I don't think this figure will replace the DCD Batman and Son Joker from my Batman display, 'cause I like the modern Joker a lot, but this Super Friends Classic version is a must have. Not only for the great sculpt but because of the accessories, that laughing fish! AWESOME!

This figure is from a time when the Joker still had some fun added to the psycho, the modern version is pure psycho. And you know what they say: "All psycho and no fun makes Joker a dull boy".

Then, there's Forager, a character so obscure that I just had to get. I knew the bug from New Gods and I got a little sad over his death in Cosmic Odyssey, but other than that I don't think he's even Black Lantern material, and nowadays, that's saying something. The sculpt is very nice (the character design was kinda plain to begin with) but my issue with this figure is its size. Or Forager is too big, or perhaps Robot Man is too small, but there's no way he should be towering over him like that (the Joker is supposed to be a very tall fellow too).


I checked Power Girl but passed, the DCD Infinite Crisis is as good as this one. Still, kudos to Mattel for the huge boobs, but I'll take away that kudos for the silly "cover them in package" policy that was applied.

And as a bonus, I finally got my hands on this guy:

Wave 9 of DCUC was harder to find in Argentina than a decent Hip Hop performer in... In... Well, in Argentina.

I just love Green Arrow's sculpt and the waiting was worth it. The bow sucks, but we all knew that right? I was really lucky he was the only one I wanted from wave 9, some of my friends are going bananas over a Chemo they'll probably finish in 2064.

I'm very happy with my addictions... Ehm... Sorry... Additions to my Justice League, DC characters and the new (baby) Doom Patrol displays. Can't wait for next wave... And I want the C&C this time... Oa help me...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How mutant can you get?

Last week I could get my retro freak on thanks to the addition of four new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures to my (slowly but surely) growing collection.

They are Monty Moose, Tokka, Rahzar and Tattoo. The design from the late 80s and early 90s from Playmates is amazing as always (or almost always) and I can't help to think that I would have love to have some of this figures when I was a kid.

Monty Moose is my absolute favorite of the bunch, he looks particularly angry for a Canadian and quite cliché too. He's a Monty of course, and he's a Moose too. (I guess there were not a lot of options to choose from, like that song from the Band Arrogant Worms say all Canada does have is rocks and trees and water). Nevertheless, there's probably one Moose or two that can get mutated with a local police enforcer.

"I'm sorry if this mutation has upset you in any way, also I'm sorry if I seemed a little obvious"

As most of the mutated figures in this line Monty Moose has a dynamic sculpt, one of his feet has transformed while the other one is still human and inside a boot (this happens a lot, see Dirtbag or Doctor El as other examples). To illustrate, think about that time when your mom walked in while you were trying to get lucky with the family dog, just like that, this is like capturing the exact awkward moment when a human is mutating into an animal-like creature. Probably not the best example... But that's an image you'll remember for a while right?

Then we have Tokka and Rahzar:

These are nice, because they were part of the second movie (Secret of the Ooze) and although the movie was quite bad, I didn't really cared about that in those days.

I think they nailed Tokka (it was fairly easy, since they used a previous evil turtle body they had -he was called Slash- but they did add a different armor, hands and a new right-on-the-spot head).

"Are you Bizarro Slash?"

And I actually think they did a better job with the Rahzar action figure than the movie puppet, in the movie he looks like he's a bald werewolf. In the action figure he looks more menacing, with long claws and a full set of hair.

"I also must have some chameleon DNA, 'cause my eyes don't know where the hell they are going"

Also, the Tokka I got is the (according to ebay scalpers) VERY RARE ULTRA SUPER MEGA BROWN STRIPES VARIANT. Cool huh? (if you believe them of course). It's true that it is a variant, the original one had a darker shell, darker skin and he didn't have the (you've guessed it) brown stripes. Here's a pic of the two figures.

"- Are you Bizarro Tokka?
- Shut the fuck up, this is getting old!"

And last but certainly least is Tattoo. One of the normal, non mutated, non robotic, non psychotic and non interesting TMNT figures.

Here's the deal with Tatoo: He was released in 1991 (same year as Tokka and Rahzar by the way, Monty Moose was release in '92), the thing about the figure is that he came with (you guessed again) decals to put in his body as tattoos, of course the kids needed a nice big smooth surface to put the tattoos on and the best they could come up with was a sumo wrestler in diapers. Giving us the lamest figure in ninja turtle history.

"Without my ink, I'm just a fat guy in soiled underwear... Come to think of it, with my ink, I'm that too"

Of course if you're buying the figures loose, there's a good chance Tattoo has no tattoos. The other weird thing is that this character that can easily be mistaken by an enemy, is in fact one of the good guys. Same mistake can be made with Wingnut (he was even bad in the cartoon). But the really weird part is the character's bio in the back of the card that said that the turtles really liked this guy, because of his tattoos. "Well, yeah, they were TEEN turtles" you may say, but it was not because of that, it was because the tats reminded them of pizza toppings... Creepy.

I can almost hear a theme song...

Teenage Mutant Man-eating Turtles, heroes eating fat guys, turtle power...

Call Nickelodeon! I have another idea to sell!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hail to the King, baby!

No, I'm not here to talk about Army of Darkness (if you guessed that I was gonna do that based on this post's title, then congratulations, you're as geek as me. If you didn't thought I was gonna talk about Army of Darkness, the I'm very disappointed at you, you should really try harder next time. If you checked the pics before reading the title, then you cheated, and I'm kinda proud of you).

If you're waiting for me to show you this...

... Then, by all means, be my guest.

In this week's haul I got a MOTU Classics King Grayskull exclusive figure. This ghost of Kings past (I think that's a line from The Lion King) was an exclusive in 2008 SDCC and just from the packaging you know this is going to be great. You ca make Castle Grayskull out of King Grayskull's box. Also, when you open the gate, you get a lights and sound show, the King yell's "I have the power". Lovely...

... Or it would have been if I kept my toys in the box, but I wanted him out, and in order to do that without damaging the box or the figure, I must have pressed the damned button a hundred million times. Add the fact that my dog barked at the box every time it was activated and you will get a very angry Freak Studio at the end of the operation.


But everything was forgotten when the figure was out. He just looks great. Mattel re-used He-Man's Buck, with some new tooling, but I think is OK that the result is a more "barbaric" He-Man, he's supposed to be Adam's ancestor.

Apparently, a blonde Conan was the great grandfather of the guy in pink tights. Go figure.

He comes with his battle axe, shield and sword. But not any sword, you guessed it, a Power Sword. I decided to display King Grayskull with the axe for two reasons: First, he looks more like a Viking berserker with an axe. Second, for a very rare and magical power item, everybody seems to have a Power Sword. Skeletor has one, and Faker, of course He-Man, but He-Ro has one too. Oh, and Adora has a "cloned" sword (according to the card bio).. And did I mentioned that even Man-at-Arms has one (the 200X version, but a Power Sword anyway). So Battle axe good, Power Sword bad.

"This is a killing machine, not a fashion statement"

I like King Grayskull, he's a great figure, although he's hardly a classic (he only had one episode, and in the 200X remake, not in the first show). With that in mind, is kinda weird that in a line called MOTU Classics, we already have three (two here, one on his way) figures that are not classics at all: King Grayskull and Zodak (from the 200X show) and He-Ro (from who knows where). Still I think is good to throw in a couple of new toys every once in a while in order to keep people interested.

Until next time, sleep well you Queens of Eternia, you Kings of Grayskull... Sweet dreams...

"I see dead people..."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Atom Smash!

Well, here's the thing. As I wrote before, is not normal for me to buy all the figures in one wave. I'll do it if I'm into the series, like DCD JLI, but in other cases, like Mattel's DC Universe Classics, is just not the same, since there's no basic root in one series (there's a general direction of the line, the first year centered in New Gods, next year who knows? Legion? Metal Men? Titans?).

With DCUC I always treated every figure individually. Do I need a Metamorpho for a display? Then I get wave 1's C&C. Do I need Captain Atom or Mr. Miracle or Killer Moth? Great, I'll get them.

Today, I got this:

The other day, I was tiding up my display room and I came across Atom Smasher's left arm. Thanks to the Big Barda I bought for my Justice League display. Seeing the arm all alone in my accessory drawer got me a little sad... And since I know a guy that had a lot of extra C&C pieces, I asked him if he could complete my Atom Smasher.

"- We're so totally like that movie with Arnold Schwarzeneger and Danny Devito...
- Twins?
- Nah... Junior"

The problem is my friend doesn't like to sell his C&C pieces, he just uses them to trade figures. But I had nothing he could be interested in (that I was willing to let go, that is) so I convinced him to sell the pieces to me, we looked on line for a fair price and that was it. A week or so later, he gave me a box with the pieces and he said that there was something I may like inside. No ticking, so it was not a bomb, and no foul smell, so no dead cat either. At the moment I couldn't think of anything else, so I took the box. When I opened it I found these inside:

DC's most beloved heterosexual partner's for life. Also from DCUC's wave 7. Because my friend felt bad for sending me only the pieces, he added Blue Beetle and (modern) Booster Gold since he had a spare couple.

Beetle came complete wit his BB Gun (or a hair dryer):

"I make crime fighting look fabulous!"

And Booster had his faithful (or is it?) robot from the future, Skeets, that is attached to a hole in his back.

"I want to be your friend"

Of course, inside the robot is Mr. Mind, the most dangerous worm with the mind of a criminal genius you'll ever find. A villain so bad, so twisted that the only hero capable of defeating him was the Mexico based hero Tequila Man.


(for the record, I know that's a bottle of Mezcal, not Tequila... But wanted to be as generic as possible... Mezcal Man? Please, that's just silly.)

Atom Smasher is really nice, I like how you can clearly tell there's a face under the mask and how the Four Horsemen detailed the veins in his arms. Booster and Beetle are great too, I was seriously considering that the modern version of Booster's suit would be a nice addition to my collection (same with a not so chubby Beetle).

Back to the point, I was just so happy with the present that had to write about it right away. It reminded me that for every damn no good scalper in the world, there's a cool guy (or girl) that's just a collector like you, who's not in toys for profit and that he just wants to share his hobby and his passion for toys with others.

Now I realize, that this should have been my Christmas post... Oh well, can't erase it now. What? I can? Nah, I'll just think another sugar coated story for next month. Unless one of you wants to give me some more toys for free... No? Well, two times in one day was too much to ask anyway.

"- So, what's your power?
- I'm super stretchy, what's yours?
- I grow huge... Like a building or something...
- Really?
- Really...
- Don't believe you."

- Nothing's gonna happen, all you Atoms are good for is shrinking."

"- See? I tould you...
- Shut up!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Amazing Spiderman

No, I didn't start getting Marvel toys (except for Super Hero Squad, love those lil' guys)... But I did get this:

MOTU Classics Webstor. A long time ago (not really), when I decided to take this blog a little bit more seriously (never happened), I realized that since I live in Argentina (The Far Side of the World or Here There Be Monsters, depending on which map you decide to check) I usually get my toys later than the average collector. People often tell me is because of things like shipping and customs, I'm more conservative and blame those damn sea serpents.

The point is (there's really no point) is kinda pointless (see?) to review a toy almost every other toy blog already reviewed, and this is the best example: Most toys are reviewing Teela, Mattel's next MOTUC... I'll have her in about a month or so.

But that doesn't prevent me from having some fun with the toys I get...

"Itsy bitsy spider went up the... OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!?"

The figure didn't have any huge QC problem, so I'm happy with that. The grappling hook, however, was very warped because of the soft plastic used. But it's not a big issue, since is not noticeable from the front when Webstor is standing with the others.

I really like this figure and he takes me back (I had the original one, used to spend a lot of time trying to fix the mess I always did with the string action feature... Almost as much time as I spent playing), so, yeah, this is exactly what MOTU Classics is about. Nostalgia... And string... Or something like that.

With that in mind the design of the Four Horsemen is great, and I think I would have liked my Webstor even more, if he had this spider legs on his back and extra eyes when I was a kid.

The one thing I could never understand is the name of the character. I understand the joke, but MOTU characters are usually based on too specific bad puns (here's looking at you Two-Bad... Clawful... And a special mention to you, Mekaneck), but Webstor was to plain, even for MOTU standards.

Is it a joke on Webster? The kid from the show? How do you get from this to that?

"Not the same thing"

A cool pun can be added now thanks to Matty. Because you see... I got Webstor, at a Web-Store... But there was no Matty in the 80s, so that's not it. Plus, is a very bad joke.

Anyway, I think all things considered, Webstor got lucky, since knowing the line he could have been called Spy-Dor (He's a spy and a spider, so cool), Escap-o (get it? he's a master of... Nah, forget it), or even Web-Man...

"He-Man's villain: Web-Man"

I'll end this no-review by saying that Webstor is a really cool looking toy, expensive, true, but all the line is and you should know that by now. No QC problems and lots of nostalgic (sad) fun out of it.

- Are you ready for that upside down kiss now?
- No... I don't think so...
- But I got up here and all...
- Oh, OK... But no tongue.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Silly Toys: The Brave and the Bald

- This is not right, Master Bruce.

- Aquaman cancelled, this is the only chance we've got to get next week's episode done... Oh, and Alfred?

- Yes?

- Call me Batman damn you!

- OK... Master Batman...

- And I thought Aquaman was an idiot.