Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The January Review: Favorites of 2017

Welcome back to the January Review!  I knew this would become a regular thing, because I'm a lazy sack!  Alright, that's not all it is.  Y'all know I gots a kid and blah blah blah - time flies!  I can't cover it all, but thanks to Instagram, I have some (many) pictures of my favorites from throughout 2017.  So here we are in January of 2018, lookin' back.  Join me, won't you?  WON'T YOU?!

Let's start with a constant for the past couple years of it's existence: MYTHIC LEGIONS.  They are still awesome, and every new release either brings me great repaints, new figures, or new parts for me to swap around.  Above you can see a neon green skeleton called Scaphoid. He's a neon green skeleton. A highly detailed, armored, neon green skeleton.

My god, the toy world we live in today. Just magnificent.

Anyway, we also got some great basic knights, like this dude:

I bought the owl a year before hand, anticipating this forest knight. It worked out great, and matches him perfectly! The knight has hooves, so he's got this mystical quality to him.

Some other newbies to the show are the dark Orc and the barbarian knight (on the right).

With this batch also came the excellent Knight Builder set, with a ton of knight parts to build your own stuff.

Like this guy! Minus the cloak. That's from something else. The parts (along with some other parts from previous figures) also allowed me to make my own personal knight:

Red and silver, just like I like it! In the end, I had some left over parts, so I took the blue items from the Knight Builder set and slapped on some bones:

The point, as you'd expect, is that Mythic Legions have continued to be awesome, and they're only getting better.  You can preorder some select fan favorites now, at the store.  They're only up until February 9th, so get them orders in. If you get nothing else, get some basic skeleton legion builders.  You won't regret skeletons. Ever. THEY ARE INSIDE YOU.

Now, let's see...what else has continued to be awesome last year?  

Ah yes, Marauder Task Force!  The last time we talked about these, I had mentioned that the Valkyries had finished, but I was only able to show off a few.  More of them trickled in last year, with new colors and accessories.

And, as always, new ways to shuffle around those friggin' awesome parts.  You can never go wrong with Marauder, so check 'em out if you get a chance.  They've got so, SOOOO many parts available.  Make your own toys!

Let's move along to something that has been making a dent in my collection once again...

...Marvel Legends.  The past few years have been getting better and better, and with recent upgrades to the face sculpts, I dare say these are some of the best figures in the 20 dollar price point in a long time.  

Case in point for face sculpts: HOLY SHIT, would you look at that likeness to Krysten Ritter?  It's crazy!

I can't believe how much they've improved in this area.  The faces used to be the killer when it came to real likenesses (not comic figures).  I own so few movie figures mostly because the faces rarely look much like the character in question.  That's all over and done with!

They just JUMP off the screen!  Amazing work being done here.  If you're not into Marvel Legends, or were at some point, then now's the time to either get into them or get BACK into them.

But hey, let's not leave out the masked and comic book figures.

If I had to pick a favorite for Marvel Legends recently, it would be Spider-Man's homemade suit.  Not only is it just an awesome design, but the figure has spectacular articulation, just the right amount of parts (fists and thwipping hands, along with up-or-down hood parts), and I love him dearly.  That's why you should buy him.  The depths of my love.

Hey, the basic suit was cool too, though:

Maybe not the best Spider-Man I own, but certainly worthy of note.  He does everything you need him to (though the web-pits don't stay on very well), but he get's edged out by the homemade suit because of the uniqueness factor.

Movie-land Hasbro also did a damn fine Rocket this time around (since the first movie's Rocket was just a....sad raccoon man).  

What was good outside of the movies, though?

How about finally - FINALLY - a new symbiote Spider-Man using the new Spider-Man body?  YES SIR!  Yes, please and thank you.

If you own any of the recent comic book Spider-Men, then you know what you're getting into.  If you don't: He's able to pull off all those classic back-breaking poses, and then some.  If I had any warnings, it would be that the shoulders need to be braced a bit better.  I've heard of them breaking off on a few, though I haven't had a problem.  I'm just happy to finally have a good black-suit Spidey!

And Shocker!  Can't forget Shocker.  I wasn't sure if I was going to add him to this favorites list, since he's not in the classic suit, but I picked him up off the table again and DAMN is he fun!  The suit still evokes the classic scheme, and he does everything you need him to - plus - they added a little character to him with the one-eye-squinted thing.  

Shocker's one of my all-time favorite Spider-Man villains, so I can't help loving the figure. He came out great, even if the included vibro-blasts were oddly colored and didn't work great.  What you see him with in the photo above is from an awesome dude who runs Can of Beams.  He makes all sorts of blasts and beams and blood and just EVERYTHING.  Check him out, though keep in mind that his creations take time, so he doesn't always have a ton to sell at any given moment.  Following him on instagram will keep you updated on his projects.

Let's see...what else, superhero related?  OH, I know!  Supervillain time:

Sometimes Mattel actually does something good (well, they used to, but recently they've made a lot of trash in the collectibles area), so here's Dark Knight Returns Joker!  He's a pretty visceral image in my brain, 'cause I used to flip through the Dark Knight Returns before I could even read - leading to a LOT of confusion.  Why was Superman dying?  Was he a robot?  Where was the Joker?  Wait, THAT'S the Joker?!  Seriously though, I love the weird-ass look, and still do. The figure came out so well, also works for other things.

Technically MotUC heads don't fit, they just kinda rest on there, but that's all I need for pictures.  It's wonderful.

Alright, last thing about superheroes!  I was just making fun of Mattel for being crap at collectibles lately, but you know what they do best?  Plain old fun toys!  There's been a recent cartoon for Justice League called "Justice League Action", and the toys are pure 90's over-the-top-accessories goodness.

Batman has a big batarang and a backpack launcher, Superman has an utterly pointless shield and giant claw, and Wonder Woman has a shield, spear, and a backpack for launching said spear (when you separate it).  It's awesome!  I mean, maybe not to most of you, but I've always got a soft spot for those ridiculous accessory days in the 90s.  These figures bring that back in spades - plus - you can mix and match the accessories, AND the toys are pretty damn nice!  There's a decent amount of articulation there, and they're only about 4-5 inches tall.  Definitely worth checking out for kids or adults.

Alright!  Let's move it to another corner - similar to this one.  The 20-dollar-collector's-figure market is slowly involving more than just superheroes.

That's right!  Bandai is cutting into the 6-inch scale and 20-dollar market with Dragon Ball Z (and Super) with a series called "Dragon Stars."  The offerings are....mildly disappointing, so far, but Frieza is pretty damn nice!  I dare say his face looks better than the first Figuarts version (though the second Figuarts version fixed it up nice).  His articulation isn't bad (if a little loose) and Bandai's ridiculously stupid decision to make drop-down-hinge hips doesn't effect Frieza as badly as it does with the other figures in the line.

...seriously, beware, if you buy the other figures in the line.  They're nice, for the most part, but the legs DO NOT move forward.  Like, maybe a little.  Barely at all.  The hip articulation is the dumbest point of articulation I've seen since angled cut joints for elbows.

DO buy Frieza, though!  I want this line to do well.  We seriously need a nice, lower-priced DBZ line, not only in general, but in the US!  Easily obtainable.  Bandai just needs to step it up and get rid of those awful hips, and they're golden.  Show your support by at least buying Frieza!

...*ahem* Oh, and why we're talking about DBZ...I found this tiny Vegeta figure.  He very much deserves a spot here in my favorites of 2017.  

He's freaking adorable.  Just don't tell regular Vegeta about th----

Oops. Too late. Ah well. It was fun while it lasted.

Alright, one more DBZ thing:

Friggin' Nappa.  He finally got a Figuarts!  He's pretty badass, though I don't have a ton of these guys to be able to really compare him.  So far that I know, he's firing on all cylinders and can pull off most poses that I want (I.E. Goofy-ass ones).  He can also pull off the classic poses as well, so I suppose that's the important part.

I've got Nappa posed in the Saiyan Pod above, but he can't actually fit in the thing, sadly. It's a third-party Saiyan Pod by a company called Dragon Summon.  It's pretty big, so I was hoping it would fit an eventual Nappa, dice.  At least he looks good outside of it!

Now, let's move away from DBZ and----

Hey!  I said no more DBZ!

Alright fine, this is C-3PO from the Star Wars Black series.  I'm not sure why he's a favorite.  I guess I'm just happy to finally have one that has a ton of articulation (for the most part.  No elbows, but EH, who cares).

Now he can do all sorts of dumb stuff!

One more Star Wars thing: They finally hit the AT-AT Pilot in the Black Series.  He always felt like a special trooper to me, back in the day, so I'm glad they made him in the series with all the articulation so he can pull off cool action poses in the snow. I guess.

Now THIS is favorites material!  If I was a guy who liked putting things in numbered lists, I think these would be way up there.  In past posts I've shown some other NECA TMNT exclusives (like in the last January Review) but I had been unable to get the actual Turtles.  The previous exclusive used these molds to make SNES versions of the Turtles, painting them all pixely, and I had thought that those were the end-all-be-all.

I was wrong.

It's these.  They're supposed to be based on the cartoon, but they end up being all-around amazing TMNT figures.  Granted, they technically don't beat out Playmates' Nickelodeon Turtles - mostly because the Nick Turtles are so playable - but in the collectible range, you can't beat these.  I know a lot of folks put the NECA comic Turtles higher, man.  These are amazing.  I'm going to overload this post with other pics, so I won't post any more of these, but I'll make a separate post for them later.  They're spectacular. The set they came in was massive, containing not only the Turtles, but Krang, Shredder, and two Footsoldiers, all styled after the 80's cartoon.  I'd save up for these, if you get a chance at them.

...because, you know, they were exclusives and they're probably impossible to even SEE, much less touch or afford.  Just like last time I talked about NECA's TMNT exclusives; I have to mention that they're exclusives and they're hard as hell to get.  It's a terrible thing, but Playmates apparently doesn't want anyone using the license in a way that butts heads with their own stuff.  Bah.

Moving on!

Since we're talking about expensive collectibles: Here's Mezco's Space Ghost, from their rapidly expanding monster of a toyline, One:12 Collective.  If you're somehow unaware of this series' existence, I'll explain: It's a series of 6 inch figures styled after detailed 12 inch figures like Hot Toys and stuff like that.  So you get a 6 inch Marvel Legends scaled figure with a real cloth outfit, realistic headsculpt, and tons of accessories.

Space Ghost is no different, and even though he's the only One:12 figure I have, I can tell - with just him alone - why this series is so popular.  He's amazing.  Moves well, poses well, the accessories are varied and numerous, and he is freakin' SPACE GHOST.  The only thing that would make him better is if he came with a mug of coffee and some cue cards.

Now I didn't rush out and buy other One:12 figures after this, but it's enough to make me consider each one that comes out now, 'cause he meets all expectations and exceeds them.  If the other figures match this (and reviews usually say they do) then I'll be happy to pick up more.

...eventually.  They're expensive, and for good reason, but it also means that I'm not gona fill my toy room with them, either.  If you're wondering about picking up your favorite character though: Go for it!  Or just ignore all those superhero wanabes and pick up your main man Space Ghost. He had his own talk show!  What more do you need?

This is another one that'll need it's own post sometime, so I'll keep it simple.  This is a 6 inch version of a previously 12 inch toy called a Synthetic Human, from a company named 1000toys.  This, I think, is from a manga called "Biomega."  Doesn't matter!  Just look at it!  The articulation is nuts.  If you can do it, then so can this figure. They're sadly not easy to get, but if you do, I'd try to get them directly from 1000toys.  They fetch a pretty penny anywhere else.

They only come with some gun-holding hands and a separate skull face, but it's all you need.  The gun-holding hands are perfect and can hold anything, and the skull face and regular face both have posable eyes, so the creep factor is HIGH.  I mean awesome.  It's all awesome.

On top of that, there's also this "Collared and Reprogrammed Body", which is like the Synthetic Human, only weaponized for combat.  NINJA COMBAT. I won't go too far into these now, so look 'em up and see the majesty.  They're amazing, and deserve a spot on anyone's favorites list.

Next up is Gundam!  I'm amazed that these rarely show up on favorites lists - especially mine.  I've got a million Gundam figures, but since my beloved Mobile Suit in Action (MSiA) line died, I never found a suitable continuation of that line.  They replaced it with Robot Spirits, and I bought a handful of those, but they were never quite as sturdy and playable as the MSiA figures.

That has changed!  Robot Spirits has sort of split off into a series called "Ver A.N.I.M.E." (the acronym stands for nonsense that I can't remember) that covers the Universal Century from the original Mobile Suit Gundam.  Somehow they've managed to rebuild Robot Spirits from the ground up, creating a much sturdier, smoother, and accessory-laden figure than before.  I'm hoping other Robot Spirits are following the same route as Ver ANIME, because they've blown me away.

Above is the Full Armor Gundam. It gets me not only a posable Full Armor Gundam, but - when you remove the armor - a basic Gundam underneath, in green.  So I got a good look at the basic Gundam and how it works with added armor, and good god man, it's awesome! If you're looking for the basic RX-78 Gundam, get your hands on the Ver ANIME one and look no further.  In that same vein:

Get yourself the GM as well.  Best GM in a loooong time.  Hell, since the MSiA v2 GM.  The extra effect accessories (like boosters and bazooka blasts) are mix-and-match between all the Ver ANIME figures, so every new figure is more accessories for the whole line.  If you're overwhelmed by the amount of Gundam toys to choose from, just forget it all and jump into the Ver ANIME series.  You won't regret it.

Alright, let's get into video game stuff!  In the Capcom land of Mega Man X, we have the NXEdge Style Mega Man X.  Lemme tell ya, if you're into the cheaper collectibles, then this is your figure.  It's small, stylized (although he kind of looks like the proportions from the SNES sprites), highly articulated, and 30 dollars or less.  That is a STEAL, for what you're getting here.

I can't recommend this highly enough.  If you have no other Mega Man X figures and you can't afford the big-time popular ones, then GO FOR THIS.  Don't hesitate.  Spectacular little figure.  There's also a Zero in this same series that just came today, but I'm already looking forward to ripping him open.

Speaking of Mega Man: These two were technically supposed to be 2016, but they didn't get to me until 2017, so here they are.  4 Inch Nel Super Mega Man (the Rush adapter Mega Man from Mega Man 7) and Cut Man.  They're another couple of expensive exclusives, but no less awesome.  You know, save for the fact that they're probably impossible to get now.  Ah well.

You CAN get the 4 Inch Nel Mega Man X, though! He's more for your jump-right-off-the-artwork kind of fan, where the NXEdge Style version is for your stylized fan.

Also from 4 Inch Nel last year, is the Mega Man Legends version of Mega Man (or Volnutt).  Another great figure in this series, and one of the few ways to get a physical representation of him, nowadays.  The 4 Inch Nel line is a little pricey for the small size, but it makes up for it in articulation and great paint apps.

Keeping with video game toys: Meta Knight, from the Nendoroid series!  Just like Nendoroid Kirby, this guy is a ball with limbs attached by magnets.  It was brilliant for Kirby, and it works almost as well with Meta Knight.

The reason I say "almost" is because his limbs are a tad heavier than Kirby's, so you can't move him around as quickly without a little droopage.  It's not really a complaint, though.  He holds together well for most poses, and he just looks fantastic.  If you're a Meta Knight fan, you'll want this one.

If you want a Meta Knight that moves; this'll be the only figure you can get, currently.  Otherwise, it's all little collectibles.  You won't regret dropping the cash on 'em, though!

Alright!  Final entry, I promise.

The Titan Returns line of Transformers was friggin' awesome, and I could honestly add any one of them, but if I only choose one, it's this guy: Topspin.  He's not only an all-around awesome toy, transformer, and spaceship, but he's got the added superpower of nostalgia, for me.

There he is, next to my original: One of my first Transformers, ever.  He has stuck around for a long time!  Long enough to even see a total remake of him, down to the last little detail.  They couldn't have knocked him out of the park any more without launching him into space - and hell - they did!  If I had to choose one guy from Titans Return to suggest to people who don't even buy Transformers, it would be Topspin.  Awesome figure.

OKAY.  Whew!  I know this was a big one, but thanks for sticking with me. I don't have the time to make the same kind of posts that I used to, so I know I'm shoving a million pictures in there at once and doing a ton of tiny reviews.  There was a lot of good stuff last year, though!  I've already got great stuff coming in now, honestly.  I'm sure next year's January Review will be just as jam packed.

Stay tuned for some more collections of Instagram pics with some reviews.  Certain things were so good that I took a LOT of shots for Instagram, so they end up being long enough for a review.  Why not use them, ya know?


  1. I knew I would forget something! Truth is, I didn't get much in the way of HACKS last year. I got one knight, and while he should have totally been on here, I still have to say that I kinda burnt myself out on HACKS by going all-in on the original kickstarter. I'm still swimming in them! I would have loved to jump in to the medieval stuff, but I hit Mythic Legions HARD, so my medieval jones is fulfilled. The real meat, for me, is when Boss Fight starts releasing the sci-fi stuff. I'm gona be all over that!

  2. Welcome back! I gotta get in on this Instagram thing...

    Topspin is definitely one of the best TR figures, in a line of many many standouts. What a great toy.

    1. Thanks man! I'm gona try to get back to it as best I can. I'll probably be using a bunch of Instagram pics from last year. And YES, you should try the instagrams! Anything bad you might have heard is from people posting about their lives and what they eat or whatever. The toy photography community is wide and inclusive, and I've met alot of awesome people on there. It's a lot of fun!

      Yeah, I feel like Topspin gets my vote because of the added nostalgia, 'cause there is a LOT of great stuff from TR.

  3. God, I feel like a dick. I didn't realize you started posting again. All of these toys are awesome (I need to open my Topspin), but the neon green skeleton man is my favorite. And what a bunch of great photos! The Jessica Jones At The Bar and Space Ghost Surrounded By Assholes (maybe I relate to both?) photos are my two favorites. They're fantastic.