Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

NECA's Resident Evil 4 Series One Ada Wong.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

NECA's Resident Evil 4 Series One Verdugo.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

NECA's Kill Bill Series Two Beatrix Kiddo.

Another new link

Jonathan from pointed out his own blog in the comments of the last post, and I checked it out and it's really worthwhile. Compiling news from around the web about comic and comic action figure related stories, it's more up to date and comprehensive than most toy news sites.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

New Links Section

Over to the right you should find a new section of links labelled "Other Collectors." I thought it would be interesting to link to other amateur websites dealing with the hobby. I know most of the people running the sites and they are each very different looks at the field.
is probably the best organized photo archive of Marvel Legends figures on the web. Fwooshnet's archive is pretty good but it has holes here or there. Waiting, the man in charge, is an inescapable "elder statesman" kind of figure on the various Marvel Legends-themed boards, and he really knows his stuff.
is the website of Divebomb, and it's *the* destination for fans of Art Asylum's minimates after the Art Asylum messageboard itself. With interesting and insightful reviews of pretty much all minimates, Divebomb is the unofficial archivist of the minimate genre. is a brand new site from Art Asylum board member Jatta Pake, this one devoted to Minimates as well. However he is not content to simply re-cover Divebomb's ground, but instead JattaPake's website is shaping up to be a combination news source and humorous look at the figures. isn't focused on any one product line, but is a more personal site chronicling one fans enjoyment of the hobby. Should lead to interesting things.

I'll feature more web sites as time goes on, but do yourself a favor and take a minute or two to check out the websites featured above, they're worth the effort.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Buying into a new scale

Well, in retrospect I should've known it was coming. 12" scale, aka 1:6. I'd long admired it and somewhat feared the breadth of licenses available in it - perhaps the most diverse range of licenses at any scale. I'd been put off previously by the size, the cloth clothing, the price - but one by one those objections splintered. The cloth clothing of Sigma Six broke that taboo, and scale and size sort of took care of each other - the figures are more expensive, so I can't afford as many. Heh. But what broke my resolve? Well, look for yourself:

Yeah. Star Wars. My bane, my curse: it reignited my interest in 1:18 scale earlier this year, and began what will no doubt be an expensive dalliance with 1:6. Damn you Sideshow! This Jedi Luke Skywalker figure is pretty damned closed to perfect - and others seem to agree. The Sideshow exclusive version sold out in less than three hours the day it went on sale - 1250 pieces. Less than a week later the 6500 regular editions had sold out. I was lucky and preordered from before they pre-sold out. I dunno what kind of audience I'm reaching here, but I looked a bit and found a few sites still allowing preorders($49.99 MSRP):

Action Figure Express at $49.99
Dark Figures at $49.99
Most Wanted Collectibles at $49.99
Northside Collectibles at $49.99
Cotswold Collectibles $49.99
Legends Action Figures at $59,99 Canadian(around $50 US)

I've never ordered from Most Wanted Collectibles or Northside Collectibles, but I have the other three, and consider them reliable. If you wait till release, you'll probably end up paying a premium price on EBay - so consider carefully. BTW, I have no connection with any of these sites, you find a better deal take it.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

SOTA's Street Fighter Round Three Balrog (Player One).

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Weekend

SOTA's Charmed Series Two Leo Wyatt.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

SOTA's Street Fighter Round Three Gen (Player One).

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

McFarlane Toys' Movie Maniacs Series Seven Robocop.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

Mezco's Realistic Scarface The Player.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

NECA's Cult Classics Series Two Tallman from Phantasm.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

Joyride's Halo 2 Series Five Steel Spartan.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Marvel Select Thanos Review!

Diamond Select Toys' Marvel Select Thanos action figure.

Excellent. This figures look like he stepped right out of the pages of the Infinity Gauntlet. One of my favorite artists is Ron Lim, whose work on the Silver Surfer made that my favorite character, and Thanos one of my favorite villains, and the sculpt on this figure captures the look of Lim's art while adding necessary three-dimensional details to keep it interesting. Just look at the comic art sampled on the packaging - this is the ultimate Thanos figure.

Poor. Pains me to say it, but it pains me even more that they gave paint apps this poor to such a great sculpt. I saw two in the store, and chose the better one, and even this one is sloppy. The wash on his face is too thin and unevenly applied, same as the rest of his body. Much of the gold detailing bleeds over. This is not the kind of paint application you expect from a $20 figure. It'd be passable for a $8 Marvel Legend, but at this pricepoint it's a huge disappointment. The abject failure in this category flat out drops this figure from where it deserves to be - the best figure of the year.

Very Good. Here's where the extra money comes into the figure. Thanos is a big figure, and he's HEAVY in that lovely thick plastic way. He makes a thump when you put him down kind of heavy. Solidly built, the first comment I'd heard from someone who owned this figure was that he broke, but I can't see that with this figure, he's thick as thick can be. His plastic also doesn't feel cheap like Marvel Legends, it's certainly a higher grade.

Very Good. I tend to judge within a line, by the standards set within that line, so while this figure doesn't have Marvel Legends levels of articulation, it is well-articulated by the standards of Marvel Select. And realistically(a dangerous word in this hobby) Thanos doesn't need much more articulation than he has. He is only really missing an ab crunch and boot swivel cuts. What he does have is: Ball neck, ball shoulders, bicep swivels below the ball, pin elbows, forearm swivels along the glove line, waist swivel, ball hips, thigh swivel below the ball, pin knees, pin ankles. I count 18 points of articulation.

Excellent. Marvel Selects in the past have usually come with bases, but lately they've been gravitating towards two-pack scenarios. With this figure instead of a base they decided to include a character most would never expect to see, Death. One of the core mystical beings in the Marvel Universe, she's a very important background character that rarely comes to the foreground enough to draw much interest from fans in terms of toys. There are better resources that will tell you her connection to Thanos, but it's pretty major. In any case, it's a great idea for a pack-in. She has no points of articulation, basically just a figurine, but she's very nicely sculpted, and comes with a human-face mask, that unfortunately looks kind of fakey when she's wearing it. Still, nice effort, and since it's meant to be a mask and happens to look like one, no harm here. Thanos also has an alternate open hand with the Infinity Gauntlet on it, a very specific and important accessory for the character.

Very Good. Wow, so close to being my favorite figure of the year - hell it still might be. The disappointing paint apps naturally vary from figure to figure so I'm sure there are some out there with perfect ones. In that case I think this *would* in fact be the best figure released this year from my point of view. Unfortunately with my particular figure this is not the case. Still very high in the top ten, no doubt.

Favorite Toy of the Weekend

Diamond Select Toys' Marvel Select Thanos.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

SOTA's Street Fighter Round Three Guile.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

Toybiz' Fantastic Four movie Series Four Astronaut Ben Grimm.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

Hasbro's Sigma Six Heavy Duty.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Astronaut Ben Grimm Review!

Toy Biz's Fantastic Four movie Series Four Astronaut Ben Grimm with Face Change action figure.

Very good. I don't recall if it's accurate to the design in the movie but it looks really good as it's intended design: a spacesuit. I've wanted a realistic-looking 6" scale Astronaut figure for a long time and Toybiz delivered here. The likeness of Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm is very good, on par with the better face sculpts of the other characters. The alternate side with the Thing face is okay, not the best sculpt but far from the worst in the line.

Below average. There's not a whole lot of paint apps on this figure so it's not terribly apparant, but what there is pretty poor. Nothing distractingly bad, but nothing I can honestly call decent. Passable at best.

Excellent. This is a new category, meant to judge the durability of a figure. Basically, can you handle it without fear of it breaking? Can it be thrown against the wall and come out intact? Well, depends how hard you throw it, but I imagine it'd fare pretty well. It's a real "toy" toy, meant to be played with. I can see a kid getting a lot of use out of this figure before damaging much more than the paint.

Excellent. An action feature doesn't marr the articulation in this figure in the least. For this, kudos to Toybiz. It'd have been quite easy to get away with minimal articulation on this figure due to the spacesuit, but Toybiz took the opportunity to pack it on. He has ball shoulders, bicep swivels below the ball, pin elbows, pin wrist, pin knuckles, waist swivel, ball hips, thigh swivels, double-hinged knees, pin ankles, pin toes. Not counting the action feature neck swivel because it's not adjustable other than switching the heads, I count that as 27 points.

Good. He basically just comes with this matching gun/missile launcher thing. Toybiz wasn't stingy here either, giving us three missiles.

Very Good. It's a minor dream come true to have an articulated 6" scale NASA-style astronaut, and Toybiz really delivered with this figure. Is it the be-all end-all? Nah, but for $7 and tax it's a lot more fun than you'd think. I'm glad they managed to work this into their line plan, I've been generally pleased with Toybiz's Fantastic Four movie line. There've been some silly variants but they've given us good versions of all four main characters, and variants like this are both legitimate variants and just plain cool to own.

Favorite Toy of the Day

Hasbro's Sigma Six Duke.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

SOTA's Now Playing Series One Darkman.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Favorite Toy of the Day

Hasbro's Sigma Six Spirit Ironknife.