Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Top 30 Toy Finds of September 2014: 26 thru 30

(26 thru 30)

At the end of each month I, Brunpuppies, will put together a list of the 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.

September has been another big action figure acquiring month for me.  I started selling a chunk of my comic collection in order to have some spending cash for the up coming New York Comic Con.  During the process of selling I also did some trading for a handful of the figures on this list. There were also quite a few new figures in the toy aisles this month including some store exclusives.  I have to say, I'm already sick of having Walgreens as one of my new toy hunting destinations.

I will be revealing five figures at a time over the course of the next week or so until we get to number one. The entries start of fairly weak but as it moves on, we get some really fantastic toys on this list.

Let us begin with...

30. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Donatello Action Figure (Playmates)

In the the past year, my interest in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as reached an all time high. The Nicktoon and the IDW comic are both fantastic and I've really enjoyed going back and revisiting the early Mirage comics and searching out older toys. The one exception to this rekindled interest in the Turtles has been this year's movie. I didn't care for it at all.

If it wasn't for my need to be a completist, Movie Donatello is one figure I would have skipped all together. I happen to be a big Donny fan, but he was a forgettable character in the movie and even in the package, this figure looked like a real dog. His design, proportions, paint, and articulation are really just awful. Everything I liked about Raphael is missing from Donny figure. I even think is bo staff is bad and can't seem to get him to hold it in a way that looks at all interesting or natural. 

As happy as I am to have the four Turtles to display together, this is one figure I'm going to stick behind the others on the shelf.

29. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Michelangelo Action Figure (Playmates)

Michelangelo fares a little better than his brother Donny. His overall design and proportions are a little more pleasing, and his articulation, while more limited than Raph or Leo's, isn't bad. His accessories, however, are just a waste. Of all the nunchucks Playmates has made over the years to go with their various Michelangeloes, these are the worst.

Mostly, I just find this figure a little boring. Mikey was the character I liked the least in the movie, so there's not much interest for me to draw on for this figure. After months of dragging my feet before picking up the other half of the Turtle Team, the best I can say about Mikey and Donny is at least I got both for the price of one figure. Even that doesn't seem like a great deal.

28. Indie Spotlight Comic Book Heroes Dick Tracy Action Figure(Shocker Toys / GBJR )

Unlike Spider-Man or Batman, Dick Tracy isn't really a character I have much interest in getting multiples of. I was really hoping this would be the definitive Dick Tracy action figure for my collection. It's far from perfect, but I guess it will have to do.

I'll start with the positive.  The articulation is great and the scale is perfect to go along with most other 6" scale figures. The sculpt of the body, while a little soft, isn't bad at all. Other than those things, everything else is subpar.

The face sculpt doesn't capture Tracy's distinct, prominent nose and jaw at all, instead he gets a very generic looking face. Short of using glue, it's almost impossible to keep his hat on his head.  In this particular case, I would have been fine if his hat was a permanent part of his head, because he's rarely seen without it. The material used for his coat is just off.  It's a strange silicon type of plastic that looks and feels strange, although on the plus side it does allow for a good deal of flexibility. The color of it however, doesn't match the sleeves at all.

My last gripe is that the accessories are a bit bizarre.  The tommy gun looks like it was designed from the memory of someone that once saw a real one a long time ago rather than using any references. The other accessory is an extra hand that seems to have same sculpt as the one on the figure, only this one is painted rather than cast in color, therefore making it not really match the figure.  As I said, bizarre.

Since this figure is my only real option for this character in this scale, it will have to do for now, but there is plenty of room for improvement.

27. Star Wars Black Series Jabba the Hutt Deluxe Figure (Hasbro)

It wasn't until after I took pictures of this figure that I was finally able to get the "waist" articulation unstuck which happened to improve one of the issues I had with this figure. The fact that the top and bottom half don't match up. The tan of his his belly matches up a little better now, but there is still some disconnect between the two halves.

The top half has a hard plastic inner structure with a soft flexible outer layer made out of a plastic that always seems to degrade on action figures over time. The arms are the typical ABS plastic you find used for most action figures. The bottom half is rotocast in plastic that is similar to what you see used for a rubber ducky or a dog chew toy. The sculpt ends up looking very different between the different materials when looked at up close.

Jabba the Hutt is meant to look a bit like a giant green turd and this figure succeeds in capturing that. To be fair, he looks pretty good displayed with other Star Wars Black Series figures, he just happens to be a bit boring. I think I would have liked him more if the standard version had all the accessories of the SDCC exclusive version, but on his own he's just serves as a set piece for a Return of the Jedi display.

26. Marvel Avengers Infinite Series Hulk Action Figure (Hasbro)

I love Hulk action figures. Maybe it's just the bulk of the character compared to other figures in a toy line, or maybe just my general love of the character.  Either way it pains me to have this figure so low on this list.  It has nothing to do with the design or the sculpt of the character.  I happen to like it quite a bit.  It has to do with the quality of the parts.

This otherwise great figure is made of some of the most rubbery, gummy plastic I have every encountered.  His joints and armor might as well be made out of Sour Patch Kids.  I don't know what happened in this case, because I haven't encountered this with any other Marvel 3-3/4" figures. It is very similar to the problem I had with my Marvel Legends Nova and Star-Lord, only worse.  I think Hasbro needs to consider not using this kind of plastic.  I really do hate it.

This is a huge missed opportunity to have a really great figure, because I love the way the figure looks, I just loathe the way it feels when I pick it up and try to pose it.

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