Friday, November 18, 2011

Transformers Prime Arcee Review

With every new Transformers show or movie we get a brand new line of figures and Transformers Prime is no different. Well, I guess that's not exactly true as they didn't give us just figures but rather plastic masterpieces this time around. Arcee is part of the Deluxe wave and stands a tad under 6". She's no longer pink and white like her G1 form but a nice dark blue and silver with some black thrown in.

Right away you'll notice her female form and what a form it is. The sculpt is gorgeous and she has some nice curves, er.. angles. Her face sculpt is really nicely done with sculpted inner pupils that show up when the light piping is activated. Petite hands and feet give her a graceful appearance and there's plenty of mechanical detail on her body that stands out with a little help from the paint apps.

Articulation is spot on. Ball jointed everything, double jointed neck and elbows, jointed wrists, swivel waist, cut biceps/hips, everything on Arcee moves. This means you can get her into some amazing sitting/crouching/leaning poses. There's no ankle articulation but that's not a real issue as her wide high-heels of sorts give plenty of stability in any pose. It strikes me as amazing they got everything to move on her!

Transformation into altmode is easy and part of the engineering masterpiece. Spin this, flip this, fold this, and you're done. She looks like a bike, not a folded up sexy robot. She's almost scaled for GI Joe/Marvel Universe figures, shorter figures will look fine riding her. Arcee's blades attach on to both forms and look pretty cool tho only one side of the blade is painted. Speaking of paint it's crisp and clean looking, her autobot tampo nice and centered like a necklace.

It appears all of the Transformers Prime figures have deceivingly small alt modes that transform into these full-sized robots. It's almost like mass-shifting and I'm blown away by how well it works. Combined with amazing articulation, sculpted, and engineering work, you should already be on your way to buy all of the Transformers Prime line. Our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store has them for preorder.

Something of note by the way, the packaging says "First Edition" and these initial run of figures will be different than the full release of the line in February 2012. There's different molds/versions of the characters and running changes seem to have been made. This First Edition is available to specialty shops and for a limited time at Toys R Us if you're lucky enough to find them on the shelf. The verdict, a must-buy for Transformers fans especially if you like the show!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Batman Arkham City Batsuit figure Review

The line of 6" DC Universe figures is ever expanding and we now have figures from the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Toys R Us has an exclusive grey and blue Batman with the black mask that pays homage to the classic Batman design. This appears to be one of the modded costumes you can wear in the game as well. He doesn't come with any accessories, but his hands are fists so he wouldn't be able to hold them either.

Sculpting is pretty decent. There's a nice carbon-fiber texture all over his main body, the armored boots/gloves are nicely done, and the belt is pretty spiffy looking too. The face/cowl looks stern and the cape hangs well. The packaging does a nice job of displaying the figure and is part of the Batman legacy line that's out. No Build-a-figure pieces here unfortunately as it only has 3 or so figure in it per wave.

Now, articulation..this is where the figure disappoints. The range of motion is exactly what you see in the pictures. Because of the design neither his elbows, hips, or knees, can achieve a 90 deg angle. He has all the points of artic that a regular DCU has but they simply don't work. No ankle rockers and no decent movement forward/back means you can't really pose him walking that well either. You'll have to carve a lot of plastic out of the joints to fix this, if you want to go the customizing route.

Paint is a mixed bag. I'm not thrilled on how bright everything is but that's the classic look for you. Its applied neatly for the most part and there's a light wash over his body that brings out the suit detail along with his belt. The blue doesn't have any sort of wash which is a shame because there's a lot of cool armor detail that can be brought out here.

The verdict? Unless you have some customizing skill and want to carve the excess plastic from every joint (which I did, and it works) he's kinda a statue. The design is cool and there's a black and grey version which you may prefer. Our sponsors BBTS carries all the Batman legacy figures at great prices and Past Generation Toys has some of the Legacy as well.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Figures Review

So the newest craze in video game/collectibles are the Skylanders figures. They're 2"-3" tall statuette pvc figures on bases. You put them on a portal that's a peripheral to whatever game system you have (Xbox, Wii, PS3, DS) and you can play as that character. As the character levels up the figure (some of them if not all) store the information and you can bring them to your friends house. This in itself is a pretty neat idea.

I picked up a few and though I don't have the game/portal device yet I'll just focus on the figural aspect of them. At first glance they're neat little collectibles. Prism Break has transparent crystal sections on him and sports a really nice weathered paint job. The eyes/glowing sections of the characters are airbrushed in and are really well done. Even the bases are hand-painted with washes and brushed-on highlights.

If you were hoping for articulation, sorry, these are little statues. But that doesn't get in the way of their charm. Each one is intricately sculpted, some way more than others. Hair buckles, scales, armor, it's all visible. Chop Chop the skeletal knight has tiny bone sections and a great armor design. For a 2" tall characters this is pretty impressive. His skull-base looks fairly menacing too.

Speaking of bases they can't be removed and that's where the info is stored. I opened one up, they're little foil discs with a tiny microchip embedded in them. On the bottom is the element/faction and surprise, they're made by Activision! For the video game company's first foray into the figure design/production they did a wonderful job. If only they were articulated!

The Skylanders will run you $7.50 or so for the singles, $20 for the 3-packs, and more for the portal/starter sets for your individual gaming system. However the figures can be used for any game system which means you can play on your Xbox at home and take the same figure for your DS on the go.

The verdict? I haven't played the game but lots of other people have and it's apparently works for single, multiplayer, and vs covering all the basic play types. Some characters are inherantly more powerful than others like the Legendary characters and some are store exclusives like Whirwind you see there. So head to Ebay to pick up the game system exclusives like Ignitor and Dark Spyro.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NECA Robocop action figure Review

"Your move creep." Who is Robocop? You should know by now, officer Alex Murphy gets wounded (well killed) in the line of duty and brought back as a cyborg cop. There were three movies, two if you consider the last one a bad dream. Back in the 90's we had Robocop figures that fired strips of caps that ran through their back, remember those? NECA decided it was time to revive the Robocop name with a 7" tall action figure of our favorite cyber-cop.

From what I can tell matching up the figure with the movie designs the sculpt is dead on, so are the proportions. The helmet could be a bit more rounded at the bottom edge but that's nitpicking. THEM LIPS. It's all about the lips. If you don't get Peter Weller's lips down then you should just forget about it. Fortunately NECA blows us away with their ability to produce an excellent sculpt all the way around.

Articulation is pretty decent. Let's remember that Robocop was a slow moving tank in the movies. He punched through walls, shot things, and got in and out of cars. The NECA figure features a ball jointed neck, torso, and shoulders. Then there's hinge elbows, knees, ankles and a cut waist. The hips are kinda V-crotch kinda all joint because of the character design. Pistons on the ankles actually work. He can't punch the street like Iron Man but he looks great when posed.

Robocop comes with an alternate dataspike right hand that's easy to attach. It's hard plastic so careful you don't break it off. Also it can go right through your eye, awesome! One thing of note is that the nose is showing on some of the figures in package. No worries, that's an assembly error. Heat the helmet up and it peels off. Add some superglue and press it down further where its suppose to go. Very easy fix.

Paint is also excellent, a nice glossy silver with fading purple and blue hues that are airbrushed on. The lower face is painted perfectly and the black is all glossy with little slop. So what's the verdict? Get this Robocop if you love the character. It's the best version in a 7" scale and looks much better than its squiggly-lipped smaller Figma clone that was released later. Our sponsor BBTS has him for a great price and if you're really lucky you might stumble on him at a Toys R Us that hasn't sold out.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Walmart Exclusive Sideswipe Transformers Dark of the Moon Figure Review

Strolling through Walmart I stumbled upon a really brightly colored Autobot, Sideswipe. Normally plain silver he's been decked out as a Walmart Exclusive in dark blue and Spawn-eye green. I know what you're thinking, recolors are usually bleh but this one is quite good since he's the Sidearm Sideswipe mold. He comes with two allspark-blue guns and some neat features that make him worth picking up. 

Transformation is much simpler than his previous versions and his head is on a neat spin-n-spring up feature that hides it away in alt mode. Sideswipe has excellent articulation and a head that can look straight up. His knees are a little hindered by the black piston in the back and you can just cut it off for better range of movement. His little crotch pistons don't hinder his movement at all.

Paint is what's new here and man is it nice looking. The lime yellow stands out great against the blue and there's just enough silver and black to blend. Not sure why they made his guns and inner thighs bright blue but it's a minor quip. Sideswipe has Transtech symbols on him! This is pretty cool considering the line got scrapped and replaced by Amada...ugh. The giant Autobot symbol on his hood was a great touch too.

Sideswipe's feet can be spun around to recreate his skating action with his toes serving as hidden balance points in the back. In alt mode the gullwings of the car open up to deploy his guns or store them inside. These along with the hide-a-head gimmick make him really neat to play around with. However you'll have to find him first. He's a Walmart Exclusive so check there first or just save time by snagging him at Past Generation Toys seeing as he's been out for a while and everyone has snagged him up. Ebay is another option to find him. There's a repainted Bumblebee in the same exclusive wave but he's pretty forgettable seeing how he's based on the first movie mold we ever got.

Dr Who: The Silent, closed mouth action figure Review

The Silent (or group Silence) are one of the scariest monsters in Dr Who history and were created by producer Steven Moffat. Based off the painting of Edvard Munch's The Scream these creepy tall men were also explained as the 'Men in Black', causing people to forget they had seen them as soon as they looked away. Underground Toys' makes the Dr Who figure Silent with closed mouth.

Right away you'll notice the excellent sculpting on the head and hands, full of winkled alien texture. The suit is well done too with plenty of wrinkles and folds to it. The Silent's beady black eyes are deep set into the sockets giving it a very creepy look. There's different versions including one with an open scream mouth and one with lighting attachments like they zap people with in the show.

Paint work is really well done on the alien skin and make the Silent look withered with deep shadows and highlights. The suit is all one color, black of course, except for the inner shirt. Articulation has much improved with this figure and it's almost on par with DCU. Ball shoulders, hinged hips, cut bicep/thighs, only thing it doesn't have are ankle joints and the head is just a swivel. But that's a minor nitpick seeing as how they don't do any running around in the show.

The Silent is 6" tall so he fits in perfect with your Marvel Legends/DCU while the other Dr Who are unfortunately only 5" Halo sized. Watch the episodes The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon if you missed those to see these guys in action. BigBadToyStore has both versions in stock and you can find them loose on Ebay for a decent price.