Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Top 20 NEW Toy Finds of August 2014: 1 thru 5


At the end of each month I, Brunpuppies, will put together a list of the top toys that I acquired over the course of the month. The number of entries will differ depending on just how many toys I got in that month. The order of the list will be based purely on my personal opinion of the items and is in no way definitive. I'm sure you the reader will have you own favorites and I am open to hearing about them in the comments section.

For me, August has been a HUGE month for toy finds, so much so that I will be doing two separate lists of toys. The first list will consist of new toys that have been released within the past 6 months to a year. The second list will have old toys that have been out of production for at least a year or much much longer.

The toys on this list are all new. They came from a variety of different sources. Some I got at the Boston Comic Con I attended earlier this month, others were online or store exclusives, others came from unusually shopping sources like grocery stores or clothing bargain outlets, and many just came from the usual brick and mortar stores.

5. Planet of the Apes Classic Series Dr. Zauis Action Figure (NECA)
Troy: What's wrong with me?
Zaius: I think you're crazy.
Troy: Want a second opinion.
Zaius: You're also lazy.

Apes: [in unison] Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius
Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius
Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius
[one ape starts breakdancing]
Oh... Dr. Zaius
Ape: Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius.

As much as I like the Planet of the Apes franchise and NECA products, a lot of my love for this figure comes from the Simpsons Musical, "Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off!"

After an impressive series of modern Planet of the Apes figures, NECA has released an equally impress line of the classic characters. The sculpt, paint, and articulation really shine with these figures. They really look as good as you could hope for. As a nice bonus, these figures are packed in a collector friendly box similar to the ones used for the Star Wars Black 6" line, rather than the typical clamshell packaging I've always hated.

Dr. Zaius is so well done that I'm looking forward to getting Cornelius and the Gorilla soldier. I may just hold out for the announced Gorilla two-pack though.

4. World of Nintendo Bowser Action Figure (Jakks Pacific)
Talk about great timing, I don't know if I would have been nearly as excited about this release if I hadn't just gotten the fantastic S.H. Figuarts Super Mario figure last month. I was so happy with it that I immediately wanted more characters from this world; luckily Jakks Pacific had some figures lined up in the right scale and at a very reasonable price point.

Starting off with Bowser, especially at this size, was a great way to grab my attention. Considering most of my interest in Nintendo comes from the original NES, my taste in characters is going to lean more towards those from the first three Super Mario Bros. I'm most likely going to stick with S.H. Figuarts for a Luigi, but I hope Jakks comes out with some worthy versions of the Princess and Toad, along villains like the various koopas, Bob-ombs, and Shy Guys. I've also played enough Mario Party for the Wii that I'm interested in getting characters like Wario and Waluigi. Let's hope this line has some legs.

3. DC Universe Classics SDCC 2014 Exclusive Doomsday Action Figure (Mattel)
So here here he is, Doomsday, the one exclusive from this year's San Diego Comic Con that I just had to have. Unlike most people, I had no problem with this being the containment suit version rather than the "unleashed" version. The Death of Superman storyline is what converted me from being a Marvel Zombie into a fan of DC as well, so a figure of the character as he appeared in those early issues is something that I was very excited to add to my collection. Everything about this figure is just perfect as far as I'm concerned, except for one thing and it's a BIG thing.

He's too %&$*ing BIG!

This was Mattel's last hoorah with this line and they just had to highlight the fact that they just never got it when is came to the scale of these characters. It's like they heard the fan complaints about the original Doomsday figure being too small and they just had to go way to far in the other direction.  That old figure just needed to be a little bit bigger to be the proper scale, but now we had this figure that needs to be a lot smaller to be correct. It's exactly what they did with Darkseid but is this case it's even worse. On the plus side, Doomsday is at least in scale with that figure and some of the other over-sized Collect-and-Connect figures like Bane, Kilowog, Solomon Grundy, Rocket Red, etc. It's just so frustrating not to have a line where all the figures are in scale to one another.

It's also just a little annoying that Mattel told fans that this was it, this was all they were getting and that they were never ever going make the "unleashed" version because there wasn't nearly enough support of their subscription line. They repeatedly stated that this was it, this was the only Doomsday that fans would ever get so they'd better not miss out. Of course right after it sold out they announced that they were in fact making  the other version. I totally understand that this makes business sense for them to do, but it just seems like another jerk move in a long line of jerk movies from Mattel.

As I said before, other than the scale, this figure is just about perfect. I just need to display him with one of the larger DC Direct/Collectibles Supermen rather than any of the DC Universe Classics figures.

Thank you Mattel for making a line of action figures that was so extensive and fun. I just wish you hadn't learned to scale figures from the same people that do the Playmates Ninja Turtles lines.

CLICK HERE for more Doomsday photos.

2. SpruKits DC Comics Level 2 Model Kit Arkham City Batman (Bandai)
I have to say, I'm surprised I didn't get into action figure model building sooner.  It's really quite fun.  I think what put me off regular model building is that fact that you can't do much with the end product other than display it, but the action figure models usually have a ton of articulation and are really fun to pose. The fact that they don't require any glue and just snap together is a HUGE plus for me.

As much fun as I've been having assembling Gundam figures, I'm even more excited the Bandai is starting to make kits of comic book superheroes. My first kit just had to be of Batman. For the most part, he didn't disappoint. The final assembled model looks sharp and the articulation is extraordinary! It may very well be one of my top five all-time favorite figures to pose. Every joint holds its position well and I have absolutely no problem getting him to stand even if it's on one foot.

There are a few downsides. The cape that comes with the kit is terrible. I thought it was a joke when I first pulled it out of the box and I even double checked to make sure there wasn't another one (there isn't). The cape is made of a thin clear piece of acetate (plastic) that has black and gray printed on it to look like cloth with folds. It's as if you just cut a cape shape out of the plastic bubble the action figures usually come packed in. The first thing I did after assembling the figure was make a few cloth capes in various lengths that I could put on the figure. (The pictures above show him in a long cape that I made.)

The other issue I had was the scale; this figure is 5 inches tall.  If you've read any of my other reviews, you know that the bulk of my collection is 6" scale. This is in no way a deal-breaker, but had it been in my preferred scale, my love for this figure would have been through the roof.  I guess I'll just have to pick up more models in this scale to go along with this figure.

1. Tamashii Nations Ultra-Act Ultraman Action Figure (Bandai)

Wow! This is what I consider a perfect action figure.

Collector friendly  and eye catching packaging that can be reused for display?

An accurate and well done sculpt that is true to the original design?

Crisp, clean paint work?

Lots of accessories that offer several different display options?

Useful, plentiful, and dynamic articulation that allows the figure to be placed in any pose you can dream up?

I really can't come up with a single negative thing to say about this figure. Considering how little I do know about the Ultraman property, it's surprising I like him as much as I do, although I have always liked the look of him. I should point out that this is the "renewal" version so it has had some minor tweaks from the original and it also qualifies it as a new release in order to make this list.

As much as I like the Marvel Legends, Star Wars Black, and other American 6" scale action figures, I truly wish they were/ up to the standards of imports like this one. I would definitely expect to see more Bandai and import figures on future lists that I make.

That's it for new figures this month.  Keep an eye out for my list of older toy finds later this month.

Happy toy hunting!

Check out the Top Toys for June and July

Click Here for a review of the Nicktoons Ninja Turtles Slash action figure.
Click Here for a review of the Ninja Turtles Movie Shredder action figure.
Click Here for a review of the Ninja Turtles Movie Raphael action figure.
Click Here for a review of the Disney Exclusive Indiana Jones action figure.
Click Here for a review of Marvel Select Amazing Spider-Man 2 action figure.
Click Here for a review of Warrior Claw Wolverine action figure.
Click Here for a review of the DC Collectibles Batman action figure.
Click Here for a review of the DC Collectibles Nightwing action figure.
Click Here for a review of Talon and other action figures.
Click Here for a review of the DC Collectibles Bizarro action figure.
Click Here for a review of the DC Multiverse '89 Batman action figure.
Click Here for a review of Link from Legend of Zelda.

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