Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Schwag Brag Interim: Fillin' Space

I like to do Schwag Brags only after the last one is off the front page, but I'm a little behind on what I wanted to do next, and these are nice and easy space-fillers.  So there!

I've also got a proper amount to talk about, since new things are sort-of flooding into stores, after Christmas (though, not as fast as I'd like).

Like Amiibos, for instance!  They're sort-of flooding into stores, but mostly the first wave.  No one can seem to get rid of those, so the new stuff either doesn't have room, or is bought up on sight.  I got "Toon Link" (Wind Waker Link) but can't find Mega Man; the one I really want.  I don't know if I'll be able to find 'em - we'll see.

The real question is: WHY buy Amiibos?

Man, I don't know.  I buy things, leave me alone.

And speaking of things I'm not sure about buying: Marvel Legends!  Those are back in the table in a small way, because I wanted the current Build-a-Figure of Odin.  Naturally, that sticks me with figures I'm not as interested in.  Hawkeye is cool as a character, but the figure doesn't do much for me.

Scarlet Witch is cool, though (I still don't know if I'll keep her, but we'll see).  She's mostly important because her last figure was with Toybiz, and they built her out of sticks and gave her a five o'clock shadow....so, ya know.  She's long overdue for a GOOD figure.  She's still a tad on the thin side, for me (in the arms and torso, at least), but there's absolutely no doubt that this is a 100% improvement over the last one.

Now someone just needs to stop making female superheroes run around in heels and we'll be set.

One figure I am most certainly keeping is Machine Man!  I only found out about him a year or so ago, but I love the idea that he's basically the superhero version of Bender, from Futurama.  He drinks (though he doesn't need to, unlike Bender), is sarcastic and mouthy, constantly talks about how awesome of a robot he is, and just all around sounds hilarious.  Plus: Extendo arms, just like Bender!  And he's like a swiss army knife, apparently....also like Bender.  I'd be surprised if someone said this WASN'T a homage to Bender.

Anyway, the figure is friggin' magical.  He's got this great metallic purple color scheme, the extendo arms are bendy, and he comes with both fists and hands for holding things.

You can also stack the extended parts for a super long reach!  No robot before him as ever been so able to reach the salt.  I'm proud.  I suppose, if you got the spending cash, you could buy a bunch and make some ridiculously extended limbs.

I'd totally get Machine Man, if you get nothing else from this wave.

Ah yes, and here's what I have of Odin, so far.  I just need Thor, who I will keep, and Iron Fist, who I have no interest in whatsoever.  Technically, one of his arms is for the alternate build - you can build either Odin, or Future Thor (what he'll look like in the future, apparently) depending on the figures you buy.  I got the figure with the Future Thor arms...but The Sentry comes with the normal Odin arms, and I don't want to get him (I already have to deal with Iron Fist).  Besides, I like the metal-arm look!  It's from The Destroyer!

In other superhero news, I decided to try one of the tiny sets from the new Avengers toys.  I may get more, so I can build a tiny Ultron drone army.  We'll see.  They look nice, anyway.  Fury is impressively sculpted, for how small he is!  To tell you the truth: I didn't even realize this until I took the picture.

In case you weren't aware of these: They come up to about the knee of a Marvel Legends, so they's tiny, yo.

Still within the realm of machines: THE MAJOR!  This is Major Motoko Kusanagi, from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (the TV series based on the movies, which I like a lot better than the movies).  She has reached all levels of badass, and uses her extra experience to level up those around her.  Treat The Major with respect.

*ahem* Anyway, this is a Figma of her, and it is DAMN good!  Well articulated, nice accessories, and she looks like she jumped right off the screen.  I highly recommend this to any fan of the show.

Are we still on machines?  'Cause this is MACHINE CHASER!  I pointed him out with a smaller version, in the last Schwag Brag, but this is his normal 6 inch figure and it is AWESOME.  I love every bit of it, and I wish I could go back in time and hand it off to my younger self.  As it is, my brain explodes with ideas for him, in my old stories.  My adult self is also just impressed with him on a Kamen Rider standpoint: He's got everything I love from the usual Rider designs, but half-screwed up with machinery!  I LOVE THAT.

His weapons also twist out from his back into various twisted metal constructs, so you can't get any more METAL than that.  Besides the skull-with-wings symbol on his shoulder.  And the fact that he carries a brass knuckle gun.

I seriously can not get enough of this thing.

Along with him I bought a figure of Kamen Rider Decade, at the behest of my buddy Zach.  He's a big fan of Decade, and I sorta became one once I read up on him.  The figure is a 5 incher, so he doesn't quite match up, but he's a lot of fun, toy-wise.  I don't regret 'em!

....I haven't left machines yet, have I?  Well, how about Transformers?  The current cartoon is featuring a lot of primary colors, so for the orange representation, we have Drift!  He's never been in orange before, to my knowledge, so I can't really see him as anything other than a Bludgeon without the skull.  They took the samurai look from the movie, but not the blue.  Of course, that does make me think that maybe they'll kill 'em off and bring him back as Bludgeon?  I dunno.  Just seems like an interesting color choice for a samurai Transformer when there's already a famous orange samurai (though, perhaps Bludgeon isn't really famous?)

Doesn't matter!  I friggin' LOVE the color scheme.

Plus, he comes with swords, which is a weakness of mine.  It also helps that he has a place to put the swords at his side.  The only thing that would make it better is if the swords were a translucent color.  I love me some energy swords!  The black swords also look a little too plain; like they don't stand out well enough.  If you saw him from far away, they'd just look like sticks.  Swords need to stand out!

And WHOO DOGGIE!  Combiner Wars!  I found them!  All....all of them.  I shouldn't have, but I knew I wouldn't be able to resist.  The limbs are all fantastic figures in their own right, and they combine into THE best combined form in years!  It's solid, playable, easy to assemble and take apart, and just beautiful.  Never before have Transformers interested me so completely.  Everything here just WORKS.  If you haven't been in to Transformers in awhile, then now's the time!  They've already announced a massive new Devastator and other combiners like the one above, so they're going in full-tilt!

Alright, what else?  Ah, Figuarts Luigi!  Ran into him at a Barnes and Noble; I didn't plan to get him so soon, but here we are!  He performs much the same as Mario and works just as well.  Just like with Mario, I kinda wish he had some different faceplates or something, but I'm still very happy with him and his extra set.

And finally, a current TMNT figure!  The next set of variants are called Mystic Turtles, for some reason.  The bios all talk about them hiding out in the forest and finding themselves, so it probably has to do with a storyline I'm not up to date with, yet.  Leo has a cloak and honestly looks awesome, except for the fact that they didn't paint his arms and legs.  Just...at all.  I get that Playmates wants to keep the prices low ('cause they are a freakin' steal, still) but if they could just not leave a HUGE chunk of the figure unpainted....well, I'd pay a bit extra for it.  Either that, or, if they know they can't afford the paint apps: DON'T SCULPT IT.  Then again, who knows; maybe they didn't know they would't be able to paint them until they were already scuplted.

Anyway, Leo is this weird mix of awesome and suck.  His paint is nonexistent; he has a hood, but for some reason, cut a hole in the back of the hood for the back of his bandanna to pop out; he has a place to put his swords, but the sheathes are HUGE and only plug in to his side, where they stick out to a ridiculous degree.  Never before has so many cool ideas gone into a figure in such a crazy way.  You guys have been making figures forever!  How does this happen?

....on the other hand, I still love the figure.  The articulation works, his sword handles are thicker, allowing him to hold them VERY well, and he can actually get a decent pose with the bow!  I guess this is an example of my collector clashing with my inner-child.  This is a fun toy! This is also an ugly toy.  But it's fun!  But it's confusing and I'd like to talk to the designers about it.  But who cares, it's fun!  And so on and so forth.

Alright, that's it for today, folks!  I'll try to get to my next MotUC figure sooner rather than later.  I want to hammer out a few more of those before getting to other toys.


  1. I love these posts, 'cause it's always a bunch of toys I wouldn't even know about otherwise. And man alive Playmates is pushing it with their refusal to paint.

    1. Thanks! I always feel like they're a little cheap; like I can just push them out without my full attention. On the other hand, I DO like going over a multitude of things, and this is a good way to do it while giving a short opinion on the items.

      *sigh* And yeah, Playmates is obviously struggling with their current price range. As I said: I like that they're keeping them cheap. It's a good strategy as TMNT just FLIES off the shelves. I just wish it wasn't so obviously effecting the paint applications. The figures themselves are still nice - they didn't cut any QC or too much articulation - but they just CHOPPED that paint in half; and it was already kinda sparse as it was. It's sad, but I guess it doesn't matter as much, since kids can still have fun with the toys. Just an ugly thing to look at, as a collector.

    2. I picked up Mystic Donatello and I'm pretty disappointed. Not painting the arm and leg bands is really a deal-breaker for me and I doubt I'll buy the rest of the series. I'm still waiting to see how Tur-flytle and Baxter Fly look on store shelves, but if the paint keeps going down hill I might be leaving this line behind, which is a real bummer. I'm just reaching a point where I'd rather pay a bit more and be satisfied with what I get rather than pay less but be left wanting.

    3. Oh hell yeah; I'd relish a price hike, at this point. Just to get some of these paint apps back! I know they've always been sparse, but I've usually been able to look past it. It's getting GLARING now, and I can't look at Toyfair pics and not think: "Well, these look great! Now I wonder what they're going to look like with next to no paint?" Honestly, I wish they didn't even paint their prototypes. I don't want to see what they COULD look like.

    4. They're green bandages and what not because they've begun merging with his Turtle flesh.


  2. Bludgeon is assuredly famous, at least within the confines of the fandom. Dunno if kiddos have heard of the guy - probably not, since most of his appearances have been either in the comics aimed at adults or in the G1/G2 comic stuff. There was a toy of him made during the Revenge of the Fallen movie line. Actually it's kinda funny to me that Drift is now apparently an A-lister, since he started as sort of a run-of-the-mill Mary Sue type of guy in the IDW comics. ("urrrgh, I'm a super powerful brooding guy with swords, I used to be a decepticon, but now I'm not, and I don't use guns, because honor!")

    I'm glad you jumped on the Combiner Wars train - it's not looking like it will slow down any time soon, and Hasbro just keep showers us with new wonders. I keep thinking there must be some sort of catch. Like, "Gotcha! After Combiner Wars, Transformers is cancelled forever, and every toyline from now on will be those 12-inch barely articulated non-action figures that are somehow all the rage."

    1. Well, the way I was thinking of Bludgeon is that he hasn't been a character, in awhile. In the mainstream, I guess. He's had toys, but the toys never corresponded with any screen representation. That's why I kinda hope they make some sorta plotline with Drift becoming Bludgeon, or something. Easy toy to make (unless he is reconfigured into a tank, which will still be cool) and Bludgeon will have a major part in a current toon, which will be cool.

      The crazy thing about Drift being A-List is that....well....how does ANYONE become A-list in the current Transformers universe? None of them are characters! They're just action movie props; running around and shooting out one-liners. I didn't give a rat's ass about a single Transformer in just about any of those movies. Anyone I tried to care about got ripped to shreds. So Drift was in the last movie....I guess that's about all it takes. He was sorta in there, so now he's in the public eye. Maybe. A little. At the very least, it's an excuse to keep redesigning him! I love the orange look, so far.

      Yeah, Combiner Wars is gona kill me. I did that Transformers post awhile back to look through things and get rid of some stuff, but I'll have to get rid of a LOT MORE to feel okay about buying up most of this line. It's nutz.

      Devastator is gona drive me nuts the most, though. See, I've always wanted to build SOME version of him, but none of them have been that amazing (and I honestly can't spend the cash on the third party stuff. I would, if I were only collecting Transformers, but they're out of the question, considering my spending on other stuff). When I was a kid, I got his torso together, but never found the legs. On top of that...I had the yellow G2 version. Sooo....you KNOW they're gona pull some crap with making an exclusive yellow one, but I won't want to risk missing him altogether. *Sigh* I guess the only good option is to get him, and then sell 'em off if they make the yellow one AND if I can actually manage to snag it. We'll see.

    2. Right, Drift's appearance in the fourth movie amounted to "guy who sounds asian and has blades." But even before that it seemed odd to me the level of focus that was placed on him - he got his first toy shortly after his original appearance, his own miniseries, and continued to appear in the IDW comics. He's been pretty well-developed outside of the movie universe thanks to writers other than his creator, so I think he's become a bit more accepted by the fandom.

      I had the yellow Devastator as a kid too! I was a G2 kid. I loved it but I'll admit I wanted the original green ones more. And there is some evidence that yellow CW Devastator will happen - a guy who was at the Hungarian toy fair talked to a lady who referred to a yellow version of Devastator that was on display at the show...no pics, of course, but in any case we'll probably know by the time Botcon rolls around in June.

      You ever been to Botcon before? It's a fun show, and it's hilarious to watch the fans lose their minds during the Hasbro panel when they reveal upcoming stuff. It's in Chicago this year.

    3. Yeah, I think "vaguely Asian" is what they were going for, with movie Drift. It was on a list given to Bay titled "Don't Piss People Off" that he only sort of looks at.

      Anyway: Interesting! I figured we'd get the yellow one at some point. They don't like to waste a repaint opportunity. My only qualms are with the figures themselves - they look like they suffer a bit from the functionality as combiners, unlike the other figures. The dump truck guy was my first of them, back in the day, so he's kinda special. The new version of him has some weird arms, though...

      Nope, no Botcon, as of yet. Probably won't ever try for it, but we'll see. Transformers has always been more of a side collection, for me, but I guess you wouldn't know it from how much I post about it. Would be cool to hit some con (beyond Anime Central, which is also in Chicago) some day, but it's hard to work out with my wife and I sure as heck ain't goin' alone. Almost went to a Joe con one time, but that didn't work out either.

  3. I find it a shame with the Playmates stuff. I bought the main four turtles (two sets of them actually), Leatherhead, Mutagen Man, Wizard Donnie, and like 8 sets of mousers from the new TMNT line, but I just couldn't get into the rest. The total lack of articulation was such a disappointment to me.

    It's a shame, because after He-Man, Ninja Turtles is hands down my favorite toy property.

    1. I still love the line in terms of articulation; mostly. At least compared to Playmates' older ideas of articulation, in the early 2000's. BLEH. They're a lot better now, with only a few hiccups here and there.

      Overall, I still enjoy the line....I'm just getting annoyed with all the lack of paint.

  4. Well, I did army build the mousers. Those guys are super articulated for what they are. I still have all my old TMNT stuff. I'd like to set them up one day and have an army of them marching out of the Technodrome. lol

    1. Yeah, the Mousers fuggin' RULE! I should have covered them a loooong time ago. I only got two packs, but that's enough for me. The best part is how they're just...Mousers. Like, nothing crazy about them - straight up classic Mousers! In the correct size and everything! I would have killed for those things, back in the day, when I would play out my own TMNT video games with the toys.

  5. You know it! I'm always been disappointed Playmates never made a fully poseable classic Foot soldier. I'd love one based on the arcade game you know? Then just keep re-releasing it in new colors with different weapons.

    Hotdog vendor Foot Soldier anyone?

    1. That is my greatest TMNT wish, honestly. Just a whole line devoted to figures from the video games. I want a rainbow of Foot Soldiers with more than cursory articulation, some of the crazy vehicles they ride, Pizza Monsters, and those annoying mono-wheeled bots with the electric whip that screw me up all the time. Ya know what? One Foot Soldier can be completely devoid of articulation: The pink ones with the tonfas, because ALL THEY DO IS BLOCK. They just sit in that stupid blocking position and blockblockblock. They don't need to move.

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    1. [guiltygearannouncervoice]ROMANTIC.[/guiltygearannouncervoice]

  7. Aw man, I would LOVE TMNT game figures! Remember Tora? He was a polar bear guy in the Arcade Game, and I remember loving the way he looked. I think I drew him a few times, back when I used to draw. A figure of his partner Shogun would be cool too, especially if he had his removable head. And I also want a ton of different colored Foot Soldiers, like one carrying a giant weight, or that one that rode the big mouser robot!

    Anyway, back to the post at hand...

    Machine Man is sweet, and I also love his metallic colors. And who doesn't love an extendo-arm? No one I'd like to meet. Nazis, probably. And I have the first Marvel Legends Scarlet Witch, which I remember liking at the time. Now I can't even go and see if she has a five o'clock shadow, because then I will have seen it and can never unsee it. I do like this new version though, high heels and all. I guess I'm just used to female heroes having high heels. Realism, shmealism, that's what I always say. Well, not always. Once or twice. Just once.

    I do love that Decade figure, but it really bites my butt that he's not the same size as the other Kamen Rider action figures. If I want to have my team of personal fave riders (Decade, Gaim, W, OOO, and Fourze) all standing together, poor Decade is going to be staring up at the others. I guess the scale must have changed at some point? Who knows. It just bites me right on the butt.

    And I see you've had a Tony Stark moment here! You say you love something, but then you forget the name. That is Machine Chaser, not Machine Driver. Close, but he'd still slap your face and storm off in a huff. He has shift cars like Drive that gives him his powers. He's got cobra, spider, and bat themed cars, which give him the different tire weapons. He also transformers by... shooting himself in the hand? He probably doesn't actually shoot himself, but he puts his gun to the palm of his hand to transform. Guy's cool, though.

    What else?

    I have two of the tiny Sub-Ultron sets, and I like them, but I haven't bought any others yet. It's hard to find decently painted versions of the Avengers that come with them.

    I just got that Toon Link recently too! I greatly prefer the look of regular, realistic Link, but this Amiibo was just so well done that I love it anyway.

    And Major Kusanagi is looking good too! I only had two Ghost in the Shell comics back in the day and that's as far as I've gotten into the series, but I've always loved the look of the character. This figure looks pretty perfect. Man, seeing Japanese figures is starting to really rub it in my face how crappy our figures are getting over here. Case in point: Mystic Leonardo.

    Now, I'm actually not THAT upset with Leo. Yeah, the arms are plain, but overall he still looks cool enough. I think Don looks a bit worse for the lack of paint, since the unpainted details on his legs just make them look gross. Like he's got some kind of... condition. And it's a shame, because Don looks the best of the wave otherwise. Not that I've seen them here yet.

    And you're right, that arm looks great on Odin! It's cool that it comes from the Destroyer too, though I prefer my Destroyer "alive" and destroying things.

    1. Yeah, TMNT video game figures would be very high on my list of "things they'll never make." I usually try to keep it on the low end when it comes to army building, but I'd break for various video game Foot Soldiers.

      Yeah, Toybiz's Scarlett Witch was worse from figure to figure. The five o'clock shadow is supposed to be blush, I think. It ends up too dark on some of them and makes it worse. Really, though, the figure is all around ugly as hell...looks like a bundle of sticks. Not like a real skinny person, but some sort of human construct.

      The size of Decade would bother me more, if he didn't line up with the recent Power Ranger stuff. For some reason, that works for me. At least ONE Rider is in scale with them, and it's even better that it's the dimension hopping one. Plus: He's just a fine freakin' figure! His articulated hands work WAAAY better than the hands on the other figures. They've got a big of a curve in the fingers so he can really grip a weapon, rather than just relying on friction (that eventually wears out, when you open and close them enough).

      *SIGH*, well I suppose it really IS a Tony Stark thing, 'cause I mostly love Machine Chaser for his body. Friggin' LOVE half cybernetic stuff. I'd get a robotic arm on my own body, if I could. Anyway, thanks, FIXED.

      I've had plenty of chances to get more Sub-Ultrons, but I haven't felt like getting them yet. We'll see if I do.

      I wasn't planning on Wind Waker Link, originally, but his Amiibo turned out so well and...hell, I'm a big fan of Wind Waker. Why not?

      You GOTTA see Stand Alone Complex, at some point. Best Ghost in the Shell stories, in my opinion. The figure really jumps right out of the show, I gotta tell ya.

      Anyway, yeah, I'm not that upset with Leo either. I mean, I KNOW I'd love it without a doubt, when I was a kid. It only bothers me as an adult, I think. You're right, though: Don gets the worst of it. It sucks, because I LOVE the idea of him! He just looks friggin' terrible.

      I prefer my Destroyer up and destroying as well, but he can still do it with one arm! Or maybe someone replaced his missing arm with a fork, or something.