Monday, March 29, 2010

Hell Yeah!

I really shouldn't be doing this review. I have a lot of stuff ready for the site (even things from the same line), some comics ready too and pics taken and all. But I'm so happy about getting this next figure I really can't wait to tell you this:


The February disaster at Matty's was largely regarded as the day everyone lost Battle-Cat. But, although I play from time to time with the idea of getting the green cat eventually, the figure I wanted most was Trap Jaw. Why? Because he was one of my MOTU top three.

You see, when I was a kid I had a Top Three list for almost everything, my favorite Super-friends (Batman, Flash and Firestorm - this last two when they showed up), my favorite three cartoons (Thundercats, Robotech and MOTU - later Transformers), my favorite three Ninja Turtles figures (Leonardo, Bebop, Napoleon Bonafrog), my favorite three Batman villains (Penguin, Joker, Riddler), my three favorite Thundercats characters (Jackal-man, Tygra and Vulture-man), etc.

For MOTU it always was Mer-Man, Trap Jaw and Stratos. I also liked Webstor, Ram-Man and Tri-Clops, but these were always near the top, nut never at it. The reason behind the three choices are clear for me: as a kid flying is a really cool dream, the same goes for breathing underwater, and cyborgs, cyborgs are just plain cool.

"I'm here to chew scrap metal and kick ass, and I'm all out of scrap metal"

As how I got it it's easy, thanks to Mattel. You see after the Moss-Man disaster, a friend and fellow collector called me and said that his brother was "Quittin' teh lien!". He had a MOC Trap jaw, but was tired of not getting the figures he wanted and paying scalpers. "Oh, too bad" I said. "Oh, that's great!" I thought.

Some days (and a few bucks) later I had Trap Jaw in my collection. The figure is amazing, the three arm attachments work great and look better and this kind of figures is the reason I really don't want to "quit teh lien"... they are just that awesome.

"A really trendy belt will help you with your extra parts. Always remember that."

And of course you also get the extra arm and the extra head to make your own Kronis. I especially like that. I was hooked with the 200X cartoon (and particularly with the 200X toy line). So I guess that the inclusion of Kronis and the decision to add the expanded universe of the 200X series is a sure win for me.

For those of you who doesn't know, Kronis was Trap jaw when he was just a blue skinned guy and not a cyborg with a great name. Kronis fought with Keldor (the pre-Skeletor) and almost succeeded in the conquest of all Eternia. But they failed, and Kronis betrayed Skeletor (ex-Keldor). For that he mutilated him and left him for dead. But Tri-clops found the body, and since he was in a playful mood, create a new warrior out of him (you know the drill, faster, stronger, better, more articulated). And then Skeletor accepted the now-more-powerful-traitor as his new Evil Warrior. I wonder if Skeletor will ever learn to be a real evil dictator...

Nah, I don't think that would have sold too many pairs of He-Man underwear back in the 80s.

Until next time. HELL YEAH!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Batty for Batgirl

One of the things (few things according to most Internet reviewers) in which DC Direct is better than Mattel's DCUC is the lack of a unique repainted body. Of course, DCD does an insanely amount of repaints, but the lack of one buck allows lines to have incredibly different characters of all shape and sizes (Kryb, Larfleeze and Atrocitus from the Blackest Night line are great examples of this). Of course the lack of one buck is the root of DCD's problems with scale, but with a little QC and some attention to detail that would be a minor issue.

Georg Brewer, the man in charge of DC Direct (that also has a PHD in Missing The Point) said several times that DCD needed a unique body to compete with Mattel. Wrong. Attempts to a unique body from DCD (namely, the History of the DC Universe line) were a complete failure. Also Gerog said that since they have the male and female bucks from the Superman/Batman line (based on the art of Ed McGuinness) that should be the buck used. Wrong. Again.

The over muscular buck based on McGuinness art is fun, and works almost as a caricature of a superhero. For some characters (like Captain Marvel) it works great, since that body and face expression would be exactly how a little boy like Billy Batson would imagine a superhero. But for some other characters that body just doesn't work.

"The Flash? more like The Fail..."

The female buck is also muscular and also goes good with some characters, and others, not so much (like Wonder Woman, that looked like the fifth member of KISS).

But I just bought my first DCD figure of 2010 and this time, the buck works very well:

Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, is a great addition to my Bat-Family display and she looks perfect in this sculpt. The muscles are the McGuinness style, but looks OK considering she trained all her life to be the best assassin in the world. The bright paint makes her mask, especially the eyes, pop in a figure that's almost all black.

And still, she's shorter than Barbara Gordon Batgirl (from Justice), as she should be. So they look great together. We'll see how the scale thing will look with Stephanie Brown later this year...

All things consider, I really like how Cassandra turned out. She looks like she can certainly kick Katma Tui's ass. I'd bet on it, but super-heroine fights are illegal in Argentina...

Until next time. Seriously, anyone wanna bet, I got 50 bucks here that say that Batgirl breaks one of Katma Tui's arms like she's Steven Seagal... No? OK, next time then...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Think green

I'm not a fan of DCUC female buck. As a matter of fact, since I'm cherry picking the line, I try to avoid as many female figures as I can, since DCD females usually are better (if they are in scale). Examples: Power Girl from DCUC is nice but the one from Infinite Crisis is better, White Mary Marvel is a DCUC disaster in comparison with DCD, and let's not start talking about Little Barda (gorgeous sculpt, all wrong). This said (I'll say more later) I bought my first DCUC wave 11 figure, and it was a girl and not any girl:

"Hips don't lie..."

Katma Tui, from the Green Lantern Corps. As usual with DCUC The face is great, the 4 Horsemen are incredible sculptors as you may have heard on the Interwebs more than a few times. But the body is quite a mess. The arms are like little toothpicks, I was afraid I was going to brake them everytime I moved them. And in comparison, the legs and hips are huge.

As you may have noticed, I'm not loving this figure. But I wanted her for one of my displays and she's a welcome addition to the Green Lantern Appreciation Group (GLAG). The only problem is that the GLAG also wants an Arisia, and when I finally get DCD's Katma Tui will look like Arisia's little Poozer. And if DCD finally gets to her (yeah, right) she'll be 7'25" or something like that.

What Katma Tui does have in favor is the two green constructs that are the greatest idea since the first Green Lantern come to existence. History shows too many Power Batteries (nice detail, kinda over-rated) and nothing that kids can actually use to play with the figure. Except their imagination, but who wants to do that, right?

Anyway, Green Light Constructs are a great idea, I just hope they don't turn into generic pieces, but instead they are produced to fit the characters personality (like they did with John Stewart making a gun). If the release Guy Gardner with a construct it better be something that can cause some real damage!

Sorry about the rant and the lack of sillyness. I'm just not a fan of DCUC female buck, did I say that already?

Until next time. Actually I can use DCUC Big Barda if I ever want to have Little Barda on display...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Crouching Mouser, Hidden Dragon

My Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection is slowly, but surely, growing. I just got two very expected additions, a robot mouse trap (that can walk when you push a little button in its back) and a Dragon.

"A mutant dragon!" you might say, but that's just stupid. "No, silly" I'd reply, "Hothead is the spirit of a samurai dragon genie trapped in a bottle and accidentally released in the middle of a blaze that possessed the body of the fireman that released him". Ha, mutant dragons! That's so ridiculous!

Anyway, Playmates TMNT line of the late 80s and early 90s (this bad boy was released in 1992) is one of the best examples of what toys should be: great looking, durable, fun and completely crazy.

"Just look at this guy's crazy eyes!"

The other figure is a Mouser, a robot designed by the evil scientist Baxter Stockman to capture Master Splinter. It was released pretty early (1989) and it was part of TMNT Wave 2. It's a cute little robot-thingy, and it's specially meaningful for those of you that played the TMNT first videogame. These were the little bastards that bit your arm and were incredibly hard to kill. Now I own one. I'm guessing this completes some sort of cycle of life, but I'm not sure which one.

As for Hothead, the figure is in very good shape and as I said it's a lot of fun. He's not only a dragon, (how cool is that?), he has an incredible sculpt and an Action Feature that makes him stand above the rest (literally).

The other odd thing you might have noticed about Hothead is his name. Everyone knows the importance of disturbing innuendo in the names of kids toys (G.I. Joe, great example) and TMNT didn't fell so far behind: Metal head, Hot spot, Leather Head and of course Hothead. I wonder if the creators of the figure knew that the name could result in stupid sex puns...

Oh, yeah... They knew.

Until next time. Haha, mutant dragons... It's never not funny.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's good (and bad) to have friends

Do you remember Adora's debacle? It happened a long time ago (in January) and most collectors thought it was going to be impossible for MOTU Classics purchases to get worse, but we can't say that Digital River is a company that walks away from a challenge... They decided to fuck up royally the following month, and they succeeded! Battle Cat and Trap Jaw day is a day that will live in infamy...

Now that I have expressed my anger, I can honestly say that I wasn't really affected by the Adora disaster. Nor Matty nor Digital River was to blame, only me and my trust in a friend. A friend that promised to take care of the order (my order) and fell asleep. But still I forgive him because that's what friends do, they also have the balls to admit they made a mistake, and my friend told me "I fell asleep" when he could have said "When I logged on there were no more Adoras", and I would have believed him, is not like that wasn't exactly what happened.

So, I was playing with the idea of paying evil scalper prices when BubbaShelby from the awesome blog Toyriffic offer me an Adora in exchange for some Argentinian toys that got him incredibly thrilled.

And he sent Adora, and she arrived in perfect shape and I'm really happy.

Adora looks way better in person than I was expecting from the pics. She's a strong character that deserved a figure. BubbaShelby apparently thinks that PoP toys were girls toys, but I think he's only half right. The good guys (mostly girls) were kinda Barbie-like and My-Little-Pony-like and even Mustachioed-gay-Ken-like, but the bad guys, the bad guys were badass! Mantenna was and still remains as one of my favorite characters of all the MOTUverse, don't really know why.

But probably is because when I was a kid my uncle traveled to the USA and bought me a Mantenna and none of my friends had anything even remotely like him and everyone wanted me to trade/share/sell but I always said no because I HAD THE POWER! (again, that's just a guess...)

Adora comes with two accessories, the ubiquitous Power Sword (every character in this universe seems to have a Power Sword at some point) and a blaster that fits perfectly in her hand and in the holster. There's a little paint issue in one of her legs, but that's the only QC problem she has. The head sculpt, as usual, is amazing.

I'm happy with Adora, I think she turned out even better than Teela, and it's a good thing to have another female in Eternia. At least this doesn't feel like the Smurf Village anymore, if you know what I'm sayin'... (I'm not entirely sure what I'm sayin' either, so don't feel bad if you didn't know).

So, a big thanks to BubbaShelby. As I said before, if you send me toys you're my friend. So, thanks to my new friend. He also promised to find other things for me... And I won't let him forget that! (y'know, 'cause that's what friends do...)

Until next time. I HAVE THE POWER!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

High as a kite

No, I'm not going to talk about the recent importance gained by (man, this guy is not even C... I don't know. D? No, not enough...) F-lister villain Kite-Man thanks to Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

"Kite-Man you say? Nope... Not even in the D-list..."

I want to talk about Pixar Animation Studios 2009 movie: Up! I just got this gorgeous figurine set. They are exclusive to Disney Stores, but since there is not a single store in Latin America, I had to buy them in a plain old comic store.

There are seven figures in this set: Carl the old guy, Russell the Asian kid, Dug the Dog, Kevin the ostrich on acid and Alpha, Beta and Gamma the evil attack dogs. I'm really sorry that deranged villain Charles Muntz didn't make the cut, I do a fair Christopher Plummer impersonation, but don't have a figure to practice with.

The figurines are not articulated, but they are sculpted with an incredible degree of details. They are very true to the look of the film. Carl is grumpy and he even has his hearing aid. Russell is cute and chubby, he looks good enough to... I don't know... To dress your kid as him next Halloween...

Or not... Forget it... It was a stupid idea anyway...

Dug and Kevin are also great figures. And although the talking dogs were the part I least enjoyed about the movie, I loved Dug. Why? Because I had a Labrador Retriever when I was younger (Dug is a Golden Retriever) and Dug reminded me so much to my dog that I can do nothing but congratulate the people of Pixar for making me relive My good buddy. Also, there's a part of the film when Dug looks to the side and the look on his face is spot on, I'm thinking someone at Pixar must own a Golden Retriever...

And then you have the other three talking dogs:

Of the entire set Alpha was the worst figure, I guess making a decent Dobermann is as hard as making a Dobermann decent. The other two are great, especially Gamma (the Bulldog), since Beta should have been a little bigger, I think.

I really liked this set, it's unique, cute and very well done. I'll try to track down the other Disney Store exclusive figurine sets... I know there's one of Nightmare Before Christmas that I would really enjoy.

Until next time. No, Mr. Kite-Man... Not even the E-list...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Around the world in plastic toys

Most of the action figures I show in this blog traveled great distances, usually from the USA to Argentina, but sometimes some figures feel the need to be free and see the world before settling down.

Take these, for example:

DCD Mary MARVEL (white costume variant) and The Atom (Ryan Choi) from Mattel's Infinite Heroes line. Two figures I wanted for quite some time, and they made it here after an incredible (well packed in bubble wrap) journey from the scariest country of the world: Australia.

Courtesy of my (now I have to say it) very good friend FishMilkShake... Again!

Mary MARVEL (not Batson, MARVEL! Calling her Mary Batson like that was her superhero name is like calling Superman "SuperKent", I don't care how many legal issues there are, her name is Mary MARVEL, and she's the sister of Captain MARVEL, not goddam Shazam! Sorry, now to our regular broadcast...)

As I was saying, Mary MARVEL in her white costume was the stand in for Captain MARVEL in Keith Giffen's weird six issue sequel to JLI called "Formerly known as the Justice League", and also "Super Buddies" and also "I can't believe this isn't the Justice League".

As such, I needed her for my JL display, I was expecting DCUC's version, but it turned out to be a cheekbone nightmare. A horrible skinny funny looking figure in the great wave 12. So I decided to go vintage and told FMS I was looking for this girl. And presto, now I have her! Thanks!

Let me start by saying don't collect Infinite Heroes. The often called "Playmobil hands" made me avoid this line like the plague. But to tell you the truth, the hands don't look that bad in person (and from a distance).

"Why did he wanted this figure if he doesn't collect the line?" You may ask, and my answer would be I only want the two Atoms (now I'm only missing Ray Palmer). The small size of the line but the similar look they share with the 6" line is good for having a small sized Atom (but big enough to be noticeable). I already own the very small Atom that came with DCUC Gentleman Ghost in wave 8. But he's usually lost in the shelve. So I decided to get these. I told that to FMS and BOOM... Thanks! (Again).

It's really nice to have friends, and is even better to have friends that will send you toys in the mail!

Until next time. MARVEL!