Wednesday, June 24, 2015

18 Toy Finds of May

May 2015
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.
May was a relatively small month for toy finds compared to recent months. Hasbro has given collectors a very short break between bombarding us with Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black figures. There were still some quality toys to be found.

Here's what I was able to discover:
18. Batman: Li’l Gotham Joker Mini Action Figure (DC Collectibles)
I was really excited about this series when it was first announced and I was very happy with the Batman figure, but after hearing so many stories about the fragility of the other figures, my excitement faded. I kind of forgot about them for a while and then I saw the Joker on clearance and I decided to take my chances. I’ve had no issues with it so far and I quite like the design of the Joker and his little hyena pup. I’m not totally happy with the fact that the Joker’s eyes are closed, but it does give the figure some character. I think I might just have to get Robin and Harley, if I can find them at a good price.

17. Halo Master Chief with Cloak Action Figure (McFarlane Toys)
I had no real desire to add another Halo figure to my collection, but at clearance price, I did want the cloak. It fits onto plenty of 1/12 scale figures and looks great. This is one of those rare cases where the accessory outshines the main figure itself. To be fair, the Master Chief figure itself is a perfectly good action figure, it’s just nothing new.

16. POP! Marvel Dancing Groot Bobble-Head Figure (Funko)
For the most part I’ve been able to stay away from the Funko POP! figures, not because I don’t like them, I happen to think they’re quite cute, but because I know it won’t take much to get me hooked and I really don’t need anymore toy lines to collect. Other than this Groot, the only figure I have is of Homer SImpson which was given to me years ago as a gift. I also have two Book of Life figures in my house that I got for my wife.
As for this figure, I knew as soon as the credits rolled for the Guardians of the Galaxy that I was going to have to get some sort of Baby Groot figure for myself. At this point there are plenty of options from several different companies for Dancing Groot toys, but I finally decided to go with the POP! version because it was cute and fairly inexpensive. Now it sits happily amongst the plants on my work desk. Meanwhile I’m stuck fighting the urge to get more POP! figures.

15. Team Fortress Red Spy Action Figure (NECA)
Like every other video game based NECA figure I own, I bought this at a deeply discounted price. And like many of those other figures, this one is a great action figure even though I know next to nothing about the property it’s based on. The sculpt, articulation, accessories, and general character design are all very good. I would say the same about the paint, but I’m just not wild about the paint applications and colors on the head. I think a better job could have been done with the flesh color.

14. LEGO Star Wars Imperial Troop Transport 75078 Building Set (LEGO)
Four Stormtrooper MiniFigures plus a Transporter for under 15 bucks? Yes, please.
Finally, LEGO is making the small army-building Star Wars sets I’ve been hoping for. Right now there are a bunch of little sets like this that I can see myself getting multiples of. I’m sure there are plenty of LEGO/Star Wars fanatics snatch these up the caseload. It’s the best and easiest way to build up your Imperial Army.

13. Mega Man: Rockman Action Figure Model Kit (Kotobukiya)
This model isn’t quite as nice of a build as many of the Bandai models I’ve done, but it still results in a really cool figure. The main issue I have with it is that the joints don’t fit together as tight as I would like. Parts tend to pop apart as I pose Mega Man. Another issue is that the sprues leave much bigger flashing than a Bandai model, which requires more work to clean up. But, as I said, it’s worth it for a great Mega Man (which looks to be about 1/10th scale.) I think I might just go back and give him a metallic blue paintjob. The added layer of paint might even tighten up some of those joints.

12. Justice League Alex Ross Series 8 Toyman Action Figure (DC Direct)
I remember seeing this figure come out a few years ago, but I just assumed the articulation would be as limited as the other figures in this series. This combined with the fact that at the time I was more interested in Mattel’s DC Universe figures rather than the stuff DC Direct was producing, meant that this Toyman figure didn’t really make it on my radar.
My mistake.
This figure is actually very well articulated and moves at every joint that you would hope for (except the fingers which just look like they have joints.) This is a fact that I only learned because one of my local comic stores was selling it loose and I just happened to pick it up. At only a couple of bucks, it was an instant buy for me. It wasn’t until I looked this figure up online that I realized it shoulds have some black strings hanging from each loop, but I don’t really miss them and think it looks better without them. I always love discovering older toys that I had overlooked, especially when they are this cool.

11. LEGO Movie Super Cycle Chase 70808 Building Set (LEGO)
The Target 50% Off Clearance Rack strikes again.
This is a fun set of vehicles to put together, but I’m not sure I would be willing to pay full retail price for it. I think it would be worth it if the Super Cycle was as big as it was in the movie, but not this simplified version. However, the police vehicle is quite nice and is the better of the two rides, in my opinion. Overall it was a fun set to put together.

10. WWE Elite Collection #34: Doink the Clown Action Figure (Mattel)
I have to confess, I don’t think I have ever watched Doink the Clown wrestle in my entire life. That being said, the idea of an action figure of a clown wrestler was too good to pass up. These wrestling figures are becoming a slippery slope. I’ve gone from none to a dozen in a year.

9. Arrow: Deadshot Action Figure (DC Collectibles)
ARRRGH! I hate getting a broken action figure and not realizing it until after I’ve gotten it out of the box. I was really impressed with how this figure looked until I went to go put a gun in it’s hand and saw that the right trigger finger was missing. I really just do not want to deal with DC Collectibles’ customer service in order to get this replaced so I guess I’ll have to see if I have a spare black gloved hand that will work with this peg joint. Oh well. Other than that, this is a really nice figure of cool character. A character that apparently won’t be showing up on The Arrow TV show anymore for various reasons. Oh well. At least he had a good run.

8. Terminator T-800 Endoskeleton Action Figure (NECA)
I have two of the McFarlane Toys version of the Terminator Endoskeleton, but after about a decade and a half, they were due for an upgrade. The new NECA version is very similar, especially in appearance, but it does have some improvements. Most of it has to do with added articulation in the legs which allows for a lot more poses. It also feels slightly less fragile than the McFarlane ones, but time will be the true test.  For now, I’m very happy with how this figure turned out. I can see myself getting another one. I’m sure NECA will do more variations of the endoskeleton besides the video game ones they’ve already released.

7. LEGO Movie Double-Decker Couch 70818 Building Set (LEGO)

This is the one and only LEGO set that I’ve bought in 2015 the I’ve paid full price for, and even at $15.00 it seems like a good deal. Considering MiniFigures on their own go for $4.00 each, getting five (I’m including Unikitty), plus two small builds, the couch and car, is a great value. The best part is that all the figures are of major characters and not just minor players in the movie. Really, the only other major characters missing are Wyldstyle and Batman. The inclusion of the couch is icing on the cake. It just happens to be one of the most iconic builds from the movie. Anyone that loved the movie, needs to get this set.

6. Batman: Arkham Knight Batman Action Figure (DC Collectibles)
Yet another Batman to add to my now enormous collection. It’s always great to add one that has a completely distinct look. The sculpt, paint, articulation, and accessories are all very well executed, my only gripe is with the design itself. I’m just not much of a fan of the fact that Batman has such a tiny head in proportion to his body in all the Arkham game designs.

5. Tamashii Nations S.H.Figuarts Naruto Action Figure (Bandai)
I have read tens of thousands of comics in my life, but I am ashamed to say the my reading of manga is limited mostly to Akira and Full Metal Alchemist. Both are great books, but I know there are so many more titles I should be checking out. This summer I plan on correcting this oversight. One of the many titles I have on my list is Naruto. Hopefully I end up liking the book as much as I like this figure. I am absolutely blown away by how many different hand and face options this figure came with. I really wish American based toy lines would follow suit. In general this figure is the usual high quality that is expected of S.H.Figuarts, and I’m sure I will like the figure even more once I get to know the property it’s based on better.

4. Arrow: The Dark Archer Action Figure (DC Collectibles)
Other than maybe Deathstroke, this may just be my favorite figure from The Arrow/Flash line. The sculpt, paint, proportions, and articulation really come together to make a great figure. Sure, this is meant to be Malcolm Merlyn for the show, but it can also work as a member or the League of Assassins, which makes it a rare army builder figure from DC Collectibles. I could see myself getting another if these ever go on sale/clearance. I think if DCC had included a second head they would get a lot more people buying multiples of these. Maybe they are just holding out for another release. I’d get a two-pack with Ra’s al Ghul is they made one.

3. Game Stop Exclusive Batman: Arkham Knight Red Hood Action Figure (DC Collectibles)
I have to confess, when this Red Hood character design for the video game was first revealed, I wasn’t much of a fan of it. From the time I picked up the Mattel DC Multiverse figure of this character to now, the design has really grown on me. Two of the main reasons I like it are the fact that this is one of the few Red Hood figures with a red hood, and the fact that the helmet is featureless rather than having a nose, mouth, or eyes. The general militarized biker look also suits the character very well. It’s a major plus that the figure comes with two guns, unlike the Mattel version (which was like making Captain America figure without his shield or a Thor figure without his hammer.) Overall, it’s a very nice figure and I feel lucky to have scored this exclusive before it sold out at Game Stop.

2. The Dark Knight: The Joker MAFEX Action Figure (Medicom)
Let me start off by getting something out of the way, no, this figure does not do a great job of capturing Heath Ledger’s likeness. That does not, however mean that it doesn’t look like his version of the Joker. It’s one of those odd cases where the character is captured almost perfectly, but not so much the actor that portrays him. For me, in this particular case, that’s just fine.

If you can get over any issues with the likeness, everything else about the figure is fantastic. It has all the articulation you could hope for, the sculpt is highly detailed and accurate, the paintwork is very well applied, and the additional parts and accessories allow for all kinds of display options.
I should also note that the display bases that come with these MAFEX figures are my favorite. I personally think they work even better than the Bandai stands that you can usually get for S.H.Figuart figures. I really wish Medicom would also sell these seperately.

1. 1958 Chevrolet Corvette 1:12 Scale Diecast Car (Solido)

One day I just got it in my head that I really wanted to get a Lola (the flying car from S.H.I.E.L.D) to go along with my Agent Phil Coulson action figure Marvel Legends recently release. After doing some research I found that there was a 1/12 scale 1958 Corvette that had been made by Solido that would suit my needs. It wasn’t quite the same as what he drives on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is an all red 1962 Corvette, but I happen to like the look of the older model better, especially the use of white in the side panels. My only issue with getting one was the price. Most where going for $200 plus dollars eBay. After about two months of losing bids, I got one, new in box, for $75 which I thought was more than reasonable for a diecast car of this size.
When the car finally came in, I was extremely happy with it. This is an absolutely amazing “accessory” to display with my Agent Coulson action figure. I highly recommend it if you are a fan of the character and can find one at a reasonable price.

That's the list for this month. Below are a few more pictures of this month's toys.

(Click on images to enlarge.)


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