Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Toy Finds of July 2015

July 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.

July wasn't a huge month, but that's mostly because I was expecting the Marvel Legends Hulkbuster and Rhino series to hit stores at any moment. There were a few SDCC exclusives I would have liked to have gotten, but they sold out pretty quickly. I should be saving up for NYCC in October anyway. Let's just get to the list:

20. Star Wars Revoltech Stormtrooper Action Figure (Kaiyodo Knockoff)

This figure was such a disappointment that it caused me to request my money back for the first time ever. I knew when I ordered this Stormtrooper that it was a knockoff, but I had fairly good luck with other Revoltech KO figures so I thought this one would be just fine. I was wrong.
Visually, this figure looks pretty good. I would say it’s almost as good as the real thing. Sure the paint isn’t quite as clean, but it’s at least as good as any mass produced Hasbro Star Wars figure. The issue I had was with the joints. The cheap plastic that was used for the joints left them incredibly loose or too tight to move without breaking. I kid you not, within 30 seconds of taking the figure out of its package it had fallen apart into 8 pieces because the peg joints were so loose, 30 seconds later 2 of the remaining joints were broken.
I was lucky enough that the ebay seller was willing to refund my money and not make me ship back the figure. With a few various tricks to tighten the loose pegs and some creative use of Super Glue and a Dremel, I now have a somewhat functioning figure as long as I don’t touch it too much. It still sucks to have to go through that. If you want a good 1/12 scale Stormtrooper, I recommend the Bandai Model kit.

19. Despicable Me Minion Made Mystery Pack Evil Minion Minifigure (Mega Bloks)

I took a chance on one of these blind boxed figures hoping to get any one of the yellow Minions from the series and of course I got an evil purple one. It’s still pretty neat, just not what I was looking to get. This is the main reason I’ve always stuck to blind bagged figures rather than boxed. At least then you can kind of feel what you’re getting and make an educated guess.

18. Tamashii Nations S.H. Figuarts Dragonball Z Gokou Action Figure (Bandai Knockoff)

This is more along the lines of what I expected the Stormtrooper to be like, a knockoff that may not be as good as an original, but is still a decent action figure in its own right. The sculpt on this figure is very good even if the plastic used is a bit low quality. The paint isn’t even close to true Figuarts quality, but I’ve seen worse on a Hasbro or Mattel figure. Most of the articulation is good, but I find the sleeve and the hip articulation to be a bit goofy. Part of my problem with them is that both points of articulation are also a little loose and hard to pose. All the accessories and difference hand and face options really add to the value of the figure.
Overall this isn’t a bad figure especially considering it can be bought for less than a third the price of a real Figuart version. I can see this being a more attractive set for someone looking for some custom fodder rather than a true Dragonball fan.

17. Superheroes Marvel’s Hulkbuster Iron Man Minifigure (LEGO Knockoff)

The third and last knockoff on the list is exactly what I’m looking for in a KO, an inexpensive. good quality figure of a character that I can’t otherwise get from the “real” brand. In this case, the Hulkbuster minifigure isn’t a something that’s available (so far) from LEGO, yet this figure fits in perfectly with other minifigs. The plastic it’s made from is a reasonably good quality, the paint is nice and clean, and all the parts work well with true LEGO pieces. I especially like the scale for this figure compared to other minifigs. The best part, this was less than $2.50 including shipping!

16. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Karai the Snake Action Figure (Playmates)

I can’t believe it has taken this long for a Karai figure to come out and it’s not even her original, non-mutated form. She has appeared in more episodes than most of the characters that received toys in this line so she is certainly deserving of a figure of her own.
The figure itself is very nice. Sure it’s low on articulation and paint, but that is to be expected from Playmates at this point. The sculpt and proportions are very good and the snake head fits very well on the “normal” head. This is also a rare case villain figure being in scale with the Turtle figures. That’s always a big plus with me.

15. Shokugan Mobile Suit Gundam Converge G M Action Figure (Bandai)

They sell these cute little figures at Barnes and Noble now and I just couldn’t resist getting at least one. This figure has a great sculpt and paint job and I also really like the proportions of the overall design. As for articulation, it just has swivel shoulders and one swivel wrist. I was a bit surprised that the neck doesn’t move, but I’m okay with it. This is more of little statue than an action figure anyway. It also comes with a big chunky clear base that is completely unnecessary because the figure stands just fine without it.

14. Toys R Us SDCC Exclusive Batman ‘66 TV Series: Yvonne Craig Batgirl Action Figure (Mattel)

Batgirl is the only character I felt was really missing from a true Batman ‘66 collection and I’m glad she’s finally been released. (Although I wouldn’t be opposed to getting figures of Alfred, Mr.Freeze, Mad Hatter, King Tut, or Egghead.) This figure looks great alongside the rest of the series though it’s nothing exceptional for a 1/12 scale figure. The only real complaint I have is that the cape is very stiff and doesn’t hang down naturally.

13. Marvel Legends Fantastic Four - Ronan the Accuser Series: Namor the Sub-Mariner Action Figure (Hasbro)

I wasn’t expecting to come across this Namor figure at a reasonable price any time soon, I especially wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I do considering how much it has going against it.
One of the first things I noticed about this figure is that it seems like it was designed by someone that had never seen another Marvel Legend figure in their life. The articulation and sculpt style is completely different than any of the hundreds of other figures from this line. Even the scale seems like it’s true 1/12 scale rather than the slightly larger, more heroic scale of the rest of the line. This Namor figure really looks out of place when put side by side with any other Marvel Legend figure. Maybe it’s because it’s such an oddball that I like it as much as I do. That coupled with the fact that it’s the only figure available in Namor’s iconic “outfit”. I certainly isn’t because it has a strong sculpt, detailed paintjob, or a great range of articulation, because it definitely doesn’t have any of those. Sometimes I just like what I like.

12. Legacy Collection: Firefly - Kaylee Frye Action Figure (Funko)

I really like Kaylee and have always had a bit of a crush on her character so I was very happy to get this figure. The reason it doesn’t rank better on this list is just because it doesn’t capture her likeness quite as well as I’d like. Honestly, it’s no worse than any other figure in this line, but because of my fondness of the character I had higher hopes that her charm would be captured in plastic form. As far as value, it’s a little lame that she comes with just one accessory. She at very least deserves an assortment of tools or spaceship parts.  

11. Legacy Collection: Firefly - Zoe Washburne Action Figure (Funko)

Zoe beats out Kaylee simply because she comes with two accessories. Honestly the two are a tie. Neither of their likenesses are as good as I would like.

10. Legacy Collection: Firefly - Haban Washburne Action Figure (Funko)

Wash’s figure isn’t really any better than Kaylee or Zoe, but he has the slight edge purely because he comes with two fully painted toy dinosaur accessories. Although I do also have to point out that the paint on his shirt is extremely well done and I wish more action figures had paint apps of this quality.
Just as a general note on this entire line, Funko is still using clear plastic on their joints even though they said they were no longer going to do so after all the breakage issues they had with their Game of Thrones line. The joints seem to be holding up much better now, but I’m also unwilling to test them to see what their limits are. Hopefully they don’t get brittle with age.

9. Yamaha YZ450F 1/12 Scale Diecast Motorcycle (Maisto)

One of the things that always seems to be lacking with 1/12 action figure lines is vehicles that the figures can ride. Many 1/18 scale lines like G.I.Joe or Star Wars seem to split their focus between figures and vehicles, but the same definitely can’t be said for 1/12 scale. That’s why every once in a while I like to go on the hunt for cool rides for my Marvel Legends, DC Classics, and other figures this size. Usually all that’s available are really world vehicles so I stick to stuff that I would love to have full size version of myself.
I’ve always wanted a dirt bike, but somehow never got around to getting one. I’ve had road bikes like mopeds and scooters, but never any sort of off-road bike. I still might get one at some point. My wife certainly isn’t opposed to it being a former motorcycle rider. For now I’ll have have to live vicariously through my Nightwing or Wolverine figures.

8. Walgreens Exclusive Marvel Legends Infinite Series Ant-Man Action Figure (Hasbro)

I can not believe I found this figure within a week of it being announced at SDCC and it just happened to be at the very first Walgreens I checked! Every other Walgreens Exclusive took me weeks or even months to find and that was after checking nearly a dozen stores repeatedly.
I really like the look of this Ant-Man (aka Black Ant) figure. I’m a huge fan of the black and red color combination and the orange used for the eyes and helmet really pops.I think this body type that was formerly used for Spider-Man, works great in this case.  The new head/helmet sculpt is fantastic and I hope it gets reused for a more classic Ant-Man figure.
My only issue with the figure is that it’s the same price point as other Marvel Legends, yet it does not come with any accessories or build-a-figure part. Considering it uses the Spider-Man body, it could have also included an extra set of hands from that figure, specifically the hands with the splayed fingers. Maybe even included the flying ant that came with the movie Ant-Man, but in different colors. The ideal accessory would have been a mini version of this Ant-Man design. Just something to up the value of this very cool action figure.

7. Batman ‘66 TV Series: To the Batcave! Batman Action Figure and Playset (Mattel)

I’m not even sure I want to call this a playset, it’s kind of more of an accessory set.
This is it, the last item I am likely to get from Mattel to fill out my Batman ‘66 collection. (I’m still up in the air about getting the surfing Joker figure.) It’s a decent set and I’m happy to get many of these accessory although there are a few more that I wish had been included such as the bat-shield, bat-cuffs, the mobile crime lab, and maybe the big bomb from the movie. These accessories will all make great set dressing once I get around to making a Batcave diorama. There is also yet another Batman figure packed with this set which normally would be superfluous since he has already been available with so many sets.* Luckily an alternate Adam West / Bruce Wayne head was included which goes a long way towards making the figure more interesting.
*Has anyone else noticed that the latest shipments of the Toys R Us exclusive Batmoblies now come packed with Batman and Robin figures, yet sell for the same price? Heck, in some stores they are even discounted and selling for under $50! That’s a crazy good deal in my opinion.

6. LEGO Superheroes Marvel’s Ant-Man 76039 Building Kit (LEGO)

This is a great set and it also happens to be the only one based on the excellent new Ant-Man movie, but really it’s all you need. (Well, maybe a set that included Falcon and Wasp would be good too.) What really made this set stand out for me really had nothing to do with what came in the box, but instead LEGO’s wonderful customer service.
As I was building this set, I realized that I was missing two key pieces to construct Antony the ant. I went back to the LEGO Store where I bought the set hoping there was some way they could help me and the manager informed me that on the LEGO website you can order any missing piece missing from a current set free of charge. I was happy enough with that answer, but the manager then said that rather than wasting any of my time, he would just open up a set and replace the parts it needed. One of the reasons for this was that he wanted to make sure that it wasn’t an ongoing issue with the sets that he may need to report back to corporate. It turns out that it was just my particular set. Then he proceeded to give me the entire bag from the set that contained the parts I needed. This meant that I was getting dozens of parts for free! Not only that, but he also threw in a complimentary polybag set of an astronaut and space rover. That is really going above and beyond to make a customer happy.
I was later able to find the pieces I needed in my spare parts bids combined with the free parts I got to make a whole other ant (minus the wings). Overall, I was indeed a very happy customer.

5. Disney Store / Marvel.com Exclusive Marvel Select Movie Ant-Man Action Figure (Diamond Select)

I’m going to go ahead and compare this to the recent Marvel Legends Movie Ant-Man release. The sculpt and paintjob on the Select is much more detailed and screen accurate. The articulation isn’t quite as plentiful as the Legends, but the fact that the figure is much more solid and and not rubbery, gives it a slight edge. As for accessories, it’s a bit of a toss up. The Select has two heads, one of them being a much better looking helmet than the Legends version and the other having a fairly good Paul Rudd likeness as well as an assortment of different hands. Both figures come with smaller Ant-Man figures although the Select one has a better sculpt and paintjob. The Legends figure, however comes with a mini Yellow Jacket figure, an oversized Antony figure, and an Ultron build-a-figure part with makes it about even in the accessories department.
Really the deciding factor for a collector as to which is better might really come down to scale. Outside of that, I’d have to say the the Marvel Select Ant-Man is an overall better figure. I only wish I could get my hands on some Pym Particles so I could make all my figures the same scale.

4. Transformers D-style Convoy (Optimus Prime) Action Figure Model Kit (Kotobukiya)

They had me at “Optimus Prime Action Figure Model Kit.”
I can’t overstate just how much I love putting together model kits like this. I was so convinced going into this build that I was going to break my “no paint” policy and give it a nice metallic red, silver, and blue finish, but when I was done assembling it I was just far too pleased with the cartoon look of it to change it. The exaggerated proportions of the figure are very cute and is perfect as is, although I would love to get a regular proportioned G1 model of Prime at some point. The only downsides with this figure are that the range of motion on the articulation can be a little restricted (although there is plenty of it) and the little Prime-as-a-truck included in the set requires a lot of fine detail paint to look good. Other than that, this is an extremely fun model.
Note: A Bandai figure stand plugs into the hole in his backside allowing you to put Optimus Prime in some really cool midair poses.

3. Tamashii Nations S.H. Figuarts “Kamen Rider Fourze” Fourze Magnet States Action Figure (Bandai)

When I saw this cool looking S.H.Figuarts figure for under $13 on Amazon I figure it was worth checking out. I’ve never seen anything from Figuarts that wasn’t well made and considering that they typically go for much more money I thought I had nothing to lose. Thankfully I was right, in fact,  I consider this a huge win.
I know absolutely nothing at all about this character or Kamen Rider Fourze in general, but I do know that this is a kickass action figure. The sculpt is incredibly detailed and the articulation is up to the usual superb standards for a Figuarts. As for the paint it’s is all perfectly applied and the colors really make the figure pop. Last but not least, the accessories are plentiful and they are treated with the same care as the figure. My absolute favorite one is a little remote control hot dog.
Yep, a hot dog.
If you can still find this, I highly recommend getting it, even at twice the price it’s a great deal.

2. DC Comics - The New 52: Harley Quinn Action Figure (DC Collectibles)

This is easily my favorite Harley Quinn action figure and would probably make it into my top five favorite female figures that I own. The sculpt captures Amanda Conner’s design perfectly. The proportions, the detailing, and specifically the face sculpt are spot on. The paint is very well done especially for DC Collectibles which hasn’t always had the best track record in this department. The articulation isn’t over the top, but it does still allow you to get some really great poses and it doesn’t interfere with the sculpt at all. I’d love to see an Amanda Conner based Power Girl to go along with this.

1. Disney Store / Marvel.com Exclusive Marvel Select Iron Man Hulkbuster Action Figure (Diamond Select)

Even since Avengers: Age of Ultron it’s been all about the Hulkbuster armor for me. I am really excited for the upcoming AoU Hulkbuster build-a-figure from the Marvel Legends line, but I was equally pumped for this more comic accurate figure from Diamond Select.
It did not disappoint.
First off I have to say that when it comes to a great value on big bulky figures, Marvel Selects is the absolute best. The fact that you can still get these enormous solid figures for around $25 bucks is incredible. A figure this size from DC Collectibles would probably be about $40+ and if it was an import you’d be looking at over $75 at least. So bravo to Marvel Selects for be the best deal around.
As for the figure, this thing is absolutely beautiful. The sculpt and paint are stunning. The articulation is just enough to put it into all kinds of great poses. Sure I would have loved articulated fingers, but that’s just me dreaming and is in no way a deal breaker. Some people say that this figure is too small when compared to MS Hulks, which I can agree with, but compared to Marvel Legend Hulks, it’s perfect. Since I have a much bigger collection of Legends than Selects, this is just fine by me and those are the figures I’ll be displaying it with. I think it’s a shame that this is an exclusive rather than getting a larger release, but I am very happy that I was able to get one. It’s really much cooler in person than in pictures.

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


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