Monthly Archives: January 2015

Mystic Turtles – from Season 3, Episode 8 – Vision Quest

This was an amazingly fast turn around from show to toys. The show aired on TV probably one week before I saw these in the stores. I still haven’t seen them again in the week since, but I am sure they will be making a comeback.

I loved this episode. If for nothing else than the fact that the Turtles are finally getting their acts together and getting prepared to get off of the farm and back to New York.

I was very excited to see they were made these figures. They looked so cool in the show. Well, there are some short comings to each figure and it has pushed me to want/need to try my hand at customizing. It has been many moons since my model car days, but but I am ready for the challenge. I want them to look as good as the show.

Donatello:

Donnie might be the best prepared figure of the four.   He comes with his giant axe that he uses to bring down a mountain.  He also comes with a sledge hammer and a rope.  I assume the sledge hammer is supposed to represent the large hammers the foot soldiers used to try to bring rocks down on Donnie’s head.  Well, close but no cigar.  The hammers they used were much more crude and rudimentary.  He was never actually seen “climbing” the mountain, but I guess that is what the rope is supposed to represent.

IMG_3620I went back to the show to grab some reference photos the fastest way I knew how… camera phone.  The main details of Donatello are there.  There are just a few changes needed.  The colors are too bright on all of the purple.  He is missing a bunch of detail colors on his wraps as well, but at least they are all there.

Leonardo:

Ever since waking up at the farm, Leonardo seems to have a thing for the bow and arrow.  I was so happy to see that they actually went ahead and moved his swords to his hip as they were in the show.  They are gigantic though.  They seem way out of proportion.  His bow looks pretty good.  Maybe something can be done about both of them.

IMG_3627He has got all kinds of stuff wrong with his coloring.  What is up with the blue pads and belts?  Ah well, we will work on that.   And look at his sheaths on his left hip.  Those are pretty skinny and allow his arms to fall to his side.   I think I am definitely going to have to do something about that.  And it looks like the last part is the quiver on his back.  He can’t fight with only one arrow.

Michelangelo:

The head sculpt on Mikey is killing me.  He has such a chubby little face.  And smiling?  No, no, no!  This was not a time of smiling.  He has all of his wood bark armor, which is a great start.   He also has both of his kamas that he used so well in his spirit fight.  He was pretty hard core.

IMG_3615Overall his coloring is pretty good.  The orange is a bit bright in his head.  In the show it was much more of a peach color.  Something also has to be done with his pads.  And his Kamas need to be recolored as well.

Raphael:

Raphael might be the roughest of all.  He is going to take the most work to get into fighting shape.   Thankfully, once again all of the main details are there.  First off, he has a giant red thing around his neck.  I don’t know what the flat brain substance is, but it is NOT on his costume in the show.  That has to go.   He also has a flame thrower that doesn’t exist.   They gave him wraps around his arms that hold the tubes the flames came out of.  He never held anything like that in his hand.  Speaking of holding things in his hand, the Tegaki is terrible!  The main shape is sound, but it is made of rubber, and it is near impossible to get straight in his hand.  Besides that fact, he only came with one.  He needs two, so it will be easy enough to make two new ones as it would be to try to match the one that is already made.

IMG_3607There is also some work to be done with the fuel packs on his back.  They will need at least some paint, if not also some details.   Tubes will have to be made to go from the tanks to his wrist launchers.  One high point is that he came with a belt that has loops for his sais.  Now all he needs is a pair of sais that will fit in there.  I think that was a nice touch, since it seems Raph loves/needs his sais at all times.

Well, there you have it.  Four new Turtles.  They are a great starting point.  They look really good overall.  I would generally be happy with just putting them on my shelf, but I have that nagging feeling that they could be better.  So they are going to be my test subjects to see how well/if I can get them up to par.  Here goes nothing!

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Power Rangers – Dino Charge – Pink Ranger, Fury, and Vivix

In August of 1994, the US was introduced to The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  22 Seasons later, we are at the dawn of Dino Charge.  This latest iteration of the long running show has toys pouring into the toy aisle of stores near you.  Ready or not, Dino Charge is coming on Feb 7th on Nickelodeon, but first I am going to take a look at the 5 inch figures.

Pink Ranger:

Looks like we are starting with only one girl this time around. Shelby Watkins is her name, and kicking butt is her game.  On the MMPR Wiki site, they claim there is going to be  a Purple Ranger later in the series.

One of the problems always faced by the female PR, and especially the Pink Ranger is the lack of leg articulation due to the skirt… as if we didn’t know she was a girl from the pink outfit, and clearly female body. Oh well.  She has slight movement in the hips, knee bend, and ankle twist.

I had to get her first, as most toy companies generally short pack the girls because clearly boys don’t like to play with girls.

The details in the sculpt are really nice.  She has a great torso, with a good mix of pink and silver.   Her arms are a different color pink, but that seems to match the outfit she will have in the show.   As always I am super bummed when they feel the need to print something on the back of the legs.

Villain Fury:

The packaging lists him as Villain Fury, but he will be known as Fury.  I think that is the funniest of all.  He certainly does not look like a good guy.  What kid would buy this guy and then later watching the show get upset that he ended up with a bad guy?

Fury is a big boy. He is considered a General. In other words, the big bad guys that generally run around causing massive amounts of havoc on the Power Rangers.

He is only about half a head taller than the Pink Ranger, but he seems so much bigger overall.

He has some really good articulation. Swivel in the neck. Movement in the shoulders, elbows, and “wrist.” He also has a bunch of movement in his legs, including ankle articulation, which we don’t generally see in the Power Rangers.  His rubber skirts are separated, so it allows for the good motion in the legs.  I wish we got some of that action in the Rangers themselves.

Fury comes with a pretty menacing looking sword.

Villain Vivix:

Think of the Vivix as the Putties from the original show.  You know the guys, the basic foot soldiers. A massive number of bad guys that give the Rangers a little bit of trouble for a while before only because there are so many of them.

This Vivix has great articulation. It is so funny to see bad guys with more articulation than the good guys.

The picture on the front and back of the packaging show the live action Vivix with weapons. No weapon for this guy. Boo on that. It looks like a very important part of the character.

Overall, a good start to the toy line.  I have all of what I think are the short packed characters, though I am not positive.  Getting these three were my musts.   The rest I will go after in the next few days.  I wanted to just get a taste for them and see how they are as toys.  Solid, good articulation, and fun to play with.  Can’t ask for much more than that.  I have my TiVo set for the show’s premiere on Feb 7th.


Powerglide – Combiner Wars – Legends Class

Yup, that is Powerglide.  Different scale or not, a red A-10 Warthog jet turned into a robot is clearly Powerglide.   This guy does not seem to change much with each reiteration, and that is fine with me.  One of the things that stands out the most to me is his giant Autobot symbol on his chest.  He is not afraid to let everyone know his affiliation.

Here he is with the Legion class Strongarm.  He is in a slightly larger scale, to go along with the other Legends Class figures we have had in the Generations line.  Of course he is a large figure, so he doesn’t really work too well in the Legends Class, as with some other figures that have in some of the other more recent waves.  He sure does with well, playing with the Legion Class figures though.

As a jet, he is okay.  He looks like the A-10 Warthog that we know and love.  He does have the big arms hanging off of both sides, which does detract from the overall design of the jet mode, but what else can you do with the arms when he is in the smaller scale?  Not much.

A top-down look at him.  There are a lot of moving parts on this one, and he tends to sag a bit in the middle.  I think it is the usual problem of making a triple changer.  Robot, jet, and big gun.  Something has to give.  This time around, it is the jet mode.

Jetfire is lending us his Leader Class hands to show us how Powerglide looks in gun mode.   I don’t know, but I have not seen any of the Deluxe Class figures in the store yet, so I may never be able to fully build Superion.

Here are a couple of Powerglides.  The CW version is standing with the DOM Commander Class Powerglide. I definitely like the feel of the new one much better.  He has more of the G1 feel to him.  The more I look at him, the more I like him.  His robot mode is the best.  By far capturing that G1 look, with better overall appeal and definitely better articulation than the original G1 toy.

I will be looking at some more of the Legends Class figures coming up.  One of my favorite guys, Thundercracker, and Windcharger are both repaints of previous releases in the Generations Legends Thrilling 30 line.  Can you really go wrong with a whole collection of Seekers?  Starscream, Acid Rain, and now Thundercracker.  That would be 3 down and only, what 11 more to go?  Guess we will see how far they go with this one.


Hasbro 2.5 inch figures for Age of Ultron?!?!

Really Hasbro?  You have to go and price up the 3.75 figures to $12-13, and pretty much insure the end of the Marvel Universe line.  Now you are going to go out of scale for the new Age of Ultron figures.

avengers-age-of-ultron-hasbro-toy-war-machineSo now we are looking at less articulation and a scale that is now NOT the same as the millions of Marvel figures already out there. The only saving grace is that these new 2.5 inch figures fall in line with the recently released Guardians of the Galaxy figures and vehicles.  I guess that way we will actually get some pretty movie accurate vehicles.  I will reserve final judgement until I see them in the store, and see the price tag attached to them.


Cyclops – Marvel Legends (Jubilee Series)

I grabbed this figure since I know I like Cyclops. It was the only one I have seen in the wave other than the bajillion Wolverines that come without any parts to Jubilee. I am not a huge fan of Jubilee, so I was not actively trying to get my hands on her.

This is a nice figure. He is quite different looking than is yellow/blue standard look. Cyclops looks much tougher in the black/red look. Overall, what you would expect from the good overall quality of the Marvel Legends line. NIcely done with good paint.


Rumble – Transformers: Prime – Tomy Takara AM-30

I picked up a new Prime figure off of Amazon.  Rumble.  If it wasn’t from Takara Tomy, I would be totally freaked out about getting a Transformer without being able to see the paint application first.  Quality is quality.  I only have one other Tomy Transformer that I also got for a good deal online.  It was a great addition to my collection, so I figured, this guy was a great deal, I would pull the trigger, even though I already have the Hasbro version of Rumble.

Bare naked.  He comes with a set of metallic stickers that really help out with the bare look of the car. Headlights, tail lights, and of course the Decepticon badge.He comes with a parts tree that makes an “octopus” figure named Dago R.  Dago R will become a baster in his alternate mode, as well as being able to connect to other weapons to make some super weapon of some sort.   Too bad I don’t read Japanese. I would love to be able to read about the other figures too.

Here is Dago R in all of his “octopus” glory.  Rumble is also displayed without any of the stickers attached to his torso and knees.  He looks a little on the plain side without the stickers, giving a large black area for the chest.

Stickers for both Rumble and Dago R.  It helps a lot.  It also helps that the stickers are high quality, and look good.

The stickers help Rumble’s chest the most.  The metallic gold looks great, and it takes away from the Gurren Lagann chest-face look that the Hasbro Rumble has.

Don’t mess with him when he is holding a blaster the size of his leg. I do get the irony of Rumble coming without his pile drivers.  No rumbling for this version.

The two Rumbles.  Hasbro Rumble on the left, and Tomy Rumble, on the right.  It is funny that they made the Hasbro Rumble blue.   Originally in G1, Rumble was red, so Tomy gets the points there.  They also made a Frenzy (blue), but it would be redundant to have two blue cars, even though Frenzy is a darker blue.  I am not sure why Frenzy is more expensive online, but I will stick with these two for now… unless the price drops.  Even then I will have to be persuaded, since Frenzy also comes with the same Dago R octopus.


Protectobots 2 and 3 Packs (Evac Squad and Emergency Response)

I got these on Amazon for a super low price.  I am glad is was so low, because most of them are terrible.

Protectobots 3-Pack – Emergency Response

First Aid, Groove and Streetsmart.  These three Protecobots are repaints of Prime Series Figures.

 

First Aid: A repaint of Ratchet (Prime), he is no where near as dynamic a character as the original.  I was really excited to be getting a first version of Ratchet, as the original has some great transformations.  He looks okay in vehicle mode.  A little bit white.

Here is where things really fall apart for First Aid. Firstly, he is very white. He has the same detail paints as Ratchet, but with them all being blue, he is a very stark white color.

The real problem comes with his legs. For some reason, when they made First Aid, they remade the knees in rubber instead of the hard plastic. What we end up with is a very drunk First Aid. He cannot stand up straight, or he starts to sag under his own weight. Ugh!


Even his knives are wonky. They were shoved in a section of the box that was too small, so the tips are bent.

Nothing beats the original.  He is better in all aspects.

Streetsmart:

This was the guy I was really after in this set.  I love Smokescreen, and I was so happy when we finally got him under the Beast Hunters subgroup.  And then we got another version of him as Prowl with a new head.

Well, following the police theme, Streetsmart has Prowl’s head.  Just like with First Aid, Streetsmart is awfully white.  He has just a few touches of blue here and there.  Some red really would have helped him out a lot.

Boy is Streetsmart white.  Even compared to the mostly white Smokescreen, it is apparent that even a few touches of color here and there would have helped a lot.  I mean come on! Even the G1(1986) version of Streetsmart had red on him.

Groove:

The worse of the 3-pack.  A repaint of Arcee, this is basically just Arcee with some white paint here and there.  When “He” is transformed, it is really just Arcee.  The Legion Class figures are the smallest and generally the lightest on detail, but there were parts on this one that were falling off.

The entire cowling of the motorcycle on Groove’s back fell off.  It was missing something to hold it in place.   No wonder I passed on the Legion Arcee the first time around.

There you have it.  Streetsmart is pretty good, if not a little too white, First Aid is a drunk with wobbly knees, and Groove is a lady-bot. Even with all of the problems, you can’t beat the $12 on Amazon for these three.

Protectobots 2-Pack – Evac Squad

Hot Spot and Blades.  These two could not be more different from one another.  Hot Spot (Repaint of Grappel) is a big burly crane truck.  Meanwhile, Blades (ROF Blazemaster) is a skinny little helicopter.   I think the problem with this 2-pack that was better in the 3-pack is that these two are not from the same Transformers lines.  One was from the Generations line, while the other is a movie figure.  It starts to really show a difference when they are in robot modes.

Hot Spot:

I am a huge fan of the Solar Storm Grappel. He sits on my nightstand in my bedroom. The only Transformer with that prestige.

I was excited to get my hands on another version of him, as the Generations blue Hot Spot is still eluding me.

This version of Hot Spot is really close to the original except for the crane instead of a water cannon. I think a guy named Hot Spot should be a fire truck, not a crane, but oh well.

Blades:

We had a great version of Blades back in the 2008 Universe series. This is not that Blades. This is a horrendous attempt to get a helicopter, and they reused Blazemaster, who was a horrible robot too.

Just look at this guy. Top heavy, with a sunken head, arms with no hands (though he does have thumbs), and chicken legs with little toes. Not even the blades on his arms would decide which direction they should face. This is NOT a quality piece. He is being transformed back into the helicopter where he will probably remain for the rest of his days.

Hot Spot, win.  Blades, lose.  At least this set only cost about $13 on Amazon, and it looks like the price is going down.  So $13 for a Voyager Class Hot Spot is pretty good all things considered.

 

So, if you see something you need, head over to Amazon.  They are both being sold for less than half the price, and it makes for good deals if there is one you really want in each set.  Just be warned, they are not great sets, and there are some real stinkers in here.


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