February 20, 2011

Collectible (02-19-2011 & 02-20-2011): Indulgence (DCUC Wave 16 + Transformers: Reveal the Shield, etc.)

Filed under: Uncategorized — fairplaythings @ 11:01 pm

We have a lot to get to make up for the weekend. Easiest way forward I think is to break the two allocations of toys into their respective groupings, with summaries of each toy within said summary below the heading. Like so (with pictures to follow in the next few days with apologies)…

DC Universe Collection: Wave 16
Build-A-Figure Bane Wave

February 19, 2011: 20th through 26th in a series
Toy Line: Mattel DCUC
Region, Year: North America, 2010
Essential Weblink: http://www.dcuc.info/category/wave_16/

The Rundown: First, a bit of background on the DCUC line. As you likely know, the line is the creative output of the Four Horseman, one that often re-utilizes standard body types to keep costs down. The cannibalization of existing moulds has the advantage of keeping the toys looking like they come from a unified assortment or universe. The downside of course is that you are basically getting a number of moderately altered repaints. This is much more noticeable in earlier assortments (which I hope to get to eventually), but, for DCUC Wave 16, it really seems to be primarily focused on the Riddler and marginally the Creeper. Usually, I would say this was a cop-out and deduct mental points to how I see the figure, but I am a sucker for consistency of scale, so it’s not a bad thing for me.

Jonah Hex: Because I’ve opted to describe figures in their lot assortment order, Hex goes first, a new sculpt with a rubbery shotgun and pistol. Good points for having holsters on his back (shotgun) and hip (pistol) for his accessories, although would it be too much to have solid plastic weapons? Hex has the best paint application of the line in terms of the cool colour pattern on his jeans that is not simply a solid and gives the figure a real world look. Is Hex a character I was chomping for? Not really, but when I saw him I still had to have him. If he’d been a favourite character, he’d be a sell out for sure. Nice job!

(for Completist, Design, Value, Zing)

The Creeper: Oh to go from highs to lows. The Creeper is neither a character I was chomping for, nor is he a particularly interesting rendition. Honestly, I think both the Batman: The Animated Series and (very recent) DC Direct versions are superior. The latter is highly problematic because, frankly, the History of the DC Universe line from DC Direct (from which their Creeper comes) is not a terrible fit for DCUC scale. So unless you love the Creeper, or (like me) you wanted the Bane bits, keep on creeping.

(for Completist)

The Ridder: Given the Riddler is essentially a repaint of the standard base figure with a remodified Wave 5 head (or possibly just without the hat - I cannot actually remember if the hat came off or not) and cane, he really has no right to rank high. In fact, even though the Riddler is not among this toy addict’s favourite characters, I really should be more than happy with the Wave 5 version. But who can not love a Riddler suit that heralds back to the days of Frank Gorshin. He’s simple, beautiful, and mine.
(for Completist, Design, Zing)

Robin: Robin is the variant of the assortment, and a strange one at that since difference between angry Robin and happy Robin (and I am presuming this is Jason Todd versus Dick Grayson) are not significant. Honestly, what I wanted was something like what they did with Starman in Wave 15 and give us a radically different rendering. Like Earth Two Robin or at least the Tim Drake version. I’m not a Batguy generally, and not even the completist in me saw enough value in getting a second of the red and green bird. Otherwise, I’m mostly okay with Robin himself. What I don’t like is, like Hawkgirl, Mattel has given him no place to store what are mostly useless accessories (so he always has to hold them). And, quality wise, my Robin has a stain of some sort on his upper left leg.

(for Completist, Design, Zing)

Mercury: I never knew how much I loved the Metal Men until DCUC (and Batman: Brave and the Bold) started releasing figures of them. I love my Iron and now I love my Mercury. This would be (and should be) a perfect toy for me, right down to the interchangeable hands and sister form THAT ACTUALLY OPEN AND CLOSE. Except that the quality of the plastic and size of the legs are such that my poor Mercury’s right leg is mishaped by the packaging experience. So close, DCUC, so close!

(for Completist, Original, Design, Zing)

Azrael Batman: Here’s another reiteration I was looking forward to. Even though I have the old DC Direct version, I love what is essentially a significant variation of that toy and a totally brand new mould for DCUC to boot. And if it wasn’t for the fact that my black bat emblem was only partially coloured, he would be a sell out for sure. Really it just means I have to redouble my attention to packaging details. Also, can I say again how bad it was that the variant was Robin? It should have been a pre-Batman version of Azrael! Just saying!

(for Completist, Original, Design, Zing)

Bane: Bane’s a free figure in the sense that I didn’t have to pay anything extra for him. But given the less than stellar review of the Creeper, he was at least the $20 it cost me for the Creeper to complete his body. So there is a cost to him after all. And there is an expectation here, even if Bane is not a key or unique character for me. In fact, other than the likely explanation that DCUC is running out of big characters to rendering the collect-and-connect format, I was puzzled as to why he was the build-a-figure because his size should not be much more than those of other characters, muscles aside. And sadly i am disappointed. He’s a decent figure with a head that seems too small for his body. And pretty ordinary. Maybe the Creeper wasn’t worth it after all…

(for Completist)

Transformers: Reveal the Shield and Revenge of the Fallen

February 19, 2011: 27th through 35h in a series
Toy Line: Transformers: Generations, Revenge of the Fallen
Region, Year: North America, 2009 and 2010

The Rundown: So new Generations characters are finally making it to retail, just as the better part of Revenge of the Fallen are arriving as well. So it looks like we’ll have a few good months of Transformers before we go into a number of reiterations of Dark of the Moon characters.

Perceptor: Let’s start this party with a bang! In Perceptor, we finally get the notable Autobot scientist, but we get a glimmer, in his alt mode, of what could have been if Transformers: Animated had been allowed to continue. The only thing that could have made this character better is a slightly modified face (the prototype looks much nicer than the rendering I received) and some crazy snipper rifle as found in IDW’s reimagination of the character (but then there’s Drift’s for that). However, that the mould is getting re-purposed as Reflector (based on what we’ve seen at Botcon 2010 and fingers firmly crossed), Perceptor is all win.

(for Completist, Original, Design, Value, Zing)

Dirge: Dirge is a tough one for me because he’s one of my favourite Transformers. Such that I actually grabbed the limited Henkei release with the crazy wing colours (and which I actually quite love, even if they are not show-accurate). And of course I have the “will the controversy ever end?” Botcon 2007 edition, with its show accurate repaint but Ramjet wings. So I didn’t really need him. And in fact he and Thrust cause troubles because I now have three of each of them and only two Ramjets to go with them. What to do, what to do. Anyway, he’s here, I’m happy with him, I don’t hate Botcon forever for putting him out first, and I am very happy to have unloaded my extra earlier on.

(for Completist, Design, Zing)

Bumbebee: Confession: I love Bumblebee. When I stopped collecting Transformers I was still collecting Bumblebee. And yet do I really need a third rendering of the same cast of the character (after the orignal North American classics and the clean Henkei version), particularly one that is not far off the Wal-Mart Legacy of Bumblebee three pack which I have (thus far) avoided? Probably not, but I bought him anyway. Completist. That said, if Hasbro or Takara-Tomy would redo the deluxe Cliffjumper with a new head and accessory, all would be forgiven.

(for Completist, Design)

Tracks: Before saying that Tracks is pure win (and he is pure win!), I want to say that he was so much easier to transform than his Alternator cousin. Wow, those toys are tough. Of the flight mode, all you can really say is keep trying Hasbro. And the paint applications for the Henkei version will be really interesting I suspect. And his head makes him resemble DC’s Knight character (the British Batman you know). But still? Pure win!

(for Completist, Original, Design, Value, Zing)

Scourge: Scourge should be a winner. I mean we finally get an official new mould release that is in scale with Galvatron and Cyclonus. And yet I still think I’m better off with the Titanium and Botcon releases. I love the face sculpt but I hate the jet mould. Also hurting Scourge is his weapon. While Cyclonus got a targetmaster, Scourge’s weapon is merely collapsible. Would it have been so terrible to include Fracus? The gun even looks like he should transform which only compounds the disappointment. And he can’t even wear the gun in jet mode! That said, credit where credit is due, his arm transformation is pretty genius. Still, it should be easy enough to round out a set of Sweeps for him…

(for Completist, Design, Value)

Optimus Prime (Generation Two): The Generation 2 version of Optimus Prime is an interesting choice. Interesting because it is nice to see a new idea come to mind, and also because the G2 look is very reminiscent of the Movie look. And Prime gets a sword this way. I like this toy a lot but it has to take a hit in one place, which is the face. I just don’t like the head mold. Otherwise, it’s a good call. I can’t wait for the fan community to reproduce a trailer.

(for Completist, Original, Value, Zing)

And now onto the Movie toys…

Axer: I am pleased as punch anytime an original Action Master figure is turned into a transforming figure. And I love how Hasbro redesigned Transformers: Animated Lockdown to fit into the Movie-verse (and by extension Generations line). So a reissue of the same mold, with a new weapon and head, is just fine with me. I really like how when I transform him, the gold part of his upper legs actually turn, that they are actually independent pieces of plastic as oppose to paint applications (let’s hope the toy doesn’t suffer from gold plastic syndrome…). And I love the light-up eyes. So win!

(for Completist, Original, Design, Zing)

Smokescreen: Okay, I admit it. I only bought Smokescreen because he was priced at $10 and I liked the repaint, even it I was not all that fond of the Jazz mold the first time around (hate those arms!) But what is really terrible is that Hasbro did Smokescreen, from a different Jazz (Fast Action Battler), in very close to G1 colours, and he looks way better than this. But the biggest problem with this version? I managed to break his right arm first transformation. Yup! Get out the crazy glue, we have a winner. Stupid arms…

(for Completist, Zing)

Rescue Ratchet: For the first Movie, Hasbro did a number of exclusives based on classic Generation One colours. So I’m not all that surprised they decided to do it again with the new Deluxe scale Ratchet. And you know, I really like it. I want to get a second one and swap out the head with a Universe Ratchet and see the results. Anyway, he is a toy I was excited about, so not a bad way to end this epic list.

(for Completist, Design, Zing)

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