Category Archives: Movies

Smell Swell Lightning McQueen

Well, the stuff is coming out in droves to the store for the upcoming Cars 3 movie. The $3.99 price tag for the basic cars is way too steep for me. I was at WalMart, and they had single boxes like the old Matchbox cars. All 6 are different versions of Lightning. And all of them had come out before. I did not have the privilege of finding the Smell Swell Lightning McQueen before, so I grabbed him.

These are the same great vehicles that come in the standard packs, but they are just boxed specially. If you collect all 6 boxes, there is art that connects them. I don’t care to collect doubles, just so I can build some art.

Now, for those who don’t know Smell Swell Deodorizers is the first sponsor Lightning ever had. You can tell this is pretty early in his career. He only has the one sponsor. There are no little stickers either. Just the main Smell Swell sponsor and his light stickers. Pretty plain.

Even his “95” is a very plain font, with the lightning bolt running through it. What I like is that as he became better and got more cocky, his lightning became bigger.

This is a fun car to add to my ever growing Lightning collection. There are lots of great cars coming out, and I would not mind grabbing all of them. There is going to have to be a killer sale or price drop before I start collecting all of these though.


Guardians of the Galaxy (comic) Marvel Legends – Entertainment Earth Exclusive Box Set

Way back when the Guardians of the Galaxy movie was announced, I had know who The Guardians were, but not a whole lot about them. I had seen them pop up now and then, but not really that mainstream. I knew Marvel was really taking a risk going all in by adding a team that was mostly unknown. I trust Marvel, and I knew they were going to do a good job. I was all in. Well, the crazy hit, and The Guardians gained more followers. One of the advantages of that is that there are other risks taken when putting out toys.

The comic version of The Guardians was made in the Marvel Legends 6 inch line and was an exclusive to Entertainment Earth. Originally set at about $120, I was not going to be able to get this one. Besides that, it was WAY too high priced with each figure going for $24, if you are including Rocket as one figure, which would be hard to do for that price. Then back in March, I had some money for Amazon, and this set popped up for 30% less than it sold for on Entertainment Earth’s site. Funny enough, it is still available on Amazon for the 30% off, and EE says they are sold out.

Anyway, let’s take a look. That is a lot of stuff in one box of Marvel Legends. The whole team is here. Rocket in uniform. Groot is looking very angry. Star-Lord is looking great in his uniform. Gamora is clad in soft-goods mixed with some plastic. And Drax has some metal hands and is very very bright green.

Out of the box, they look even more dynamic. That is a team I can get behind. I LOVE teams, and this one looks great.

Let’s take a closer look starting with the firecracker, Rocket Raccoon. He comes with three different weapons. He is holding one that fits him pretty well. The other two are gigantic, but you know Rocket, that is the way he likes them. He is also posing with a baby Groot. Not nearly as cute at the movie Groot, but not much actually is. I really like Rocket’s paint. His face is so bright with the black and white face.

Star-Lord comes masked with his helmet and mask in place. With all of the extras, we didn’t get an unmasked version. Too bad. His suit is just fantastic. It has a classic feel to it, with the barnstormer jacket and the brown spats over his boots.

He comes with a pair of pistols. They are really well made with good details. They do need a bit of paint apps to really bring out the details. And some holsters would have been nice, but not the worse. He also comes with the Tesseract.

Drax has a pair of metal hands, as well as his bare hands. He comes with 4 knives. The metal hands do not allow holding of weapons. When the hands are removed, the gauntlets can be removed as well, but he always wears those.

The two big knives that look like big ole Bowie knives with guards for his hands. They are well made and look just right in the big guy’s hands.

The two smaller knives are the same as the pair that came with movie Drax, and they also holster in his boots.

Gamora is so lovely. Her paint is top notch. He comes fully dressed with a head that has a hood up. Her mouth is slightly open. She has the rest of the cape, made of plastic, going down the back.

There is a soft-goods poncho that goes on under the cape. There is one arm hole and a head hole in the poncho.

The extra clothing covers up so much great paint apps on the rest of her body. She is certainly not modest, wearing next to nothing. No wonder she has to wear a poncho and a cape. I hear space can be a cold place. She has a second head that does not have the hood. The hair is a bit more free. She also has a really big broadsword that is two-toned gold and silver.

You can make a lot of clothing choices with her. Her cape can be worn without the poncho, which is actually closer to the art from the cover of the box.

Finally there is Groot. This is not your ordinary movie Groot. This guy is angry. From the neck down, it actually IS the movie Groot, but with a darker paint job. The head is all new, with a look much closer to the comic books, with a much more root appearance.

This is a great team. They look so good together. They have the height, both high and low. They have a whole lot of different fighting attributes to bring to the table. I love teams!!!

And for good measure, the comic team is joined by the movie team. Comparing the two teams based on appearance: movie Groot wins, Comic Gamora. Comic Drax, Comic Rocket, and a tie on Star-Lord. I absolutely love the movie, and I cannot wait to see Volume 2, but for the Marvel Legends, the comic team wins on appearance.

 

As always, these pictures and thousands more can be viewed on my Flickr account.  Click here or on the link in the bar to the right. —>


U-Wing – Star Wars: Rogue One – 3 3/4 inch scale ship

Let’s take a look at something from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

The U-Wing. A starfighter that doubles as a troop transport. It saw a good piece of action in Rogue One. It is too bad it was created so recently, as it could have been very useful in the original trilogy that followed Rogue One. There are a bunch of cool things we saw in Rogue One that didn’t carry over to the original trilogy, but that is to be expected. Today we are going to look at the ship.

It comes in a good sized box. I was surprised to see so much room left in the box. The biggest complaint I saw was how relatively small the body actually is. It seems that they could have gone 10-20% larger and still stayed inside the box.

There are a lot of parts in the box. The body, Cassian with a gun, two super long wings, four engines, and 2 NERF darts. If you read my A-Wing review, you will know I have no love of the NERF gimmick. At least this time around, the blaster can be tucked up in the body, so it isn’t so blatantly annoying, like it is with the A-Wing.

First let’s look at Cassian. It is a typical figure we see in this modern, but not Golden Age of Star Wars. It should be the Golden Age, with figures that have good articulation. But no, somewhere along the line, Hasbro went backwards from the Clone Era where we got super articulation, to going back to 5 points. Ugh.

Well, he is very static with such a small amount of articulation, but I am not terribly worried about it, since I am really only interested in the ship. My figure focus is in The Black Series with the 6 inch figures. He comes with his blaster, and a holster on his hip for carrying his gun.

He comes with a seatbelt. HAHA!!!

Onto the ship. Let’s put Cassian in the…wait a minute. What is this cockpit they have him going into? The cockpit in the movie is big enough for two people and extra space for moving around. This one has room for one pilot and that is about it. This is where the smaller size comes into play, and there are plenty of people bummed about it.

Moving on to the outside of the ship. It has those great engines that connect the U-Wing to the X-Wing in design and function. That was a great touch. It has the fat belly, but it is a bit on the slim side for allowing soldiers to jump out of the door that is way too small.

Other than the size problem, this is a really nice ship. The details are really well done, from the mold lines, to the paint. It does look a little too clean, and could go a long way with a bit of weathering, which I will probably get around to one of these days. There are four landing struts that are moved down by hand. Two are under the body, and two are in the bottom engines. Having four struts really makes a strong platform for the ship to settle onto terra firma.

The biggest excitement for this vehicle when it was premiered in the trailers was the swept wing that stick out way in front, and then sweep back to make the ship very long. It totally changes the look of the ship. If you look at the bottom, you can see the NERF blaster sticking out. It is dark in color, and slides up and down easily. Thankfully it is out of the way for the most part.

Taking a look at the top of the ship, you can see the lever that gets pulled to make the wings sweep back.

Overall, this is a really nice ship. There are issues with size, and adding an unnecessary NERF blaster to the bottom, but those are fairly minor, and the design of the ship is very appealing, and fun to play with. It is big and has moving parts. Can’t ask for much more than that.


Scarif Trooper – Star Wars The Black Series – Rogue One (Walmart Exclusive)

I got done with my look at the new Target Exclusive AT-ACT Driver, and realized that I had never looked at the Scarif Trooper. What an oversight on my part. I had looked at the initial release of the Squad Leader that saw general release, but the troop builder figure only saw release at Walmart. That is a pretty strange way to go about selling toys, but whatever. I don’t make the rules.

Being that finding the exclusives for Walmart are super hard to do, I had ordered them online, since I knew it would be way better to just go that route and not have to travel around to see if I could find any (which I never did).

So my box showed up with 3 troopers (best deal to get free shipping). They are very similar to the Squad leader, but with a different belt that does not have the long blue skirt, but instead has a shorter off-white skirt.

I really like these troopers overall. Their paint apps are random, so they don’t all seem to have the same dirt and scuff marks in the same place. Troop building with these guys is fun.

As of the time of this photo shoot, I had 5 Scarif Troopers, 4 Death Troopers, a Hovertank Driver, and a Stormtrooper. That is a goodly number of troopers, but more than that, it is an interesting looking bunch. If for no other reason, Rogue One expanded the universe of the Troopers, and we have more to look at than just a bunch of shiny white dudes, and an occasional Speeder Bike driver (who I have, but somehow didn’t make it to the shoot. That is definitely my bad on that one).


Imperial AT-ACT Driver – Star Wars The Black Series Target Exclusive

Today we are going to take a look at the newly minted Target Exclusive figure AT-ACT Driver. Now, I am not sure we even saw these guys in Rogue One, since we barely saw the AT-ACT, so this could be totally made up for the toy line. That being said, I am a sucker for action figures in the 6 inch line, and The Black Series figures never disappoint (except for the head sculpts of the women, but Hasbro is working on it).

This guy looks very familiar, and he should. He is made up of the two previously introduced new Troopers to the Star Wars Universe for the Rogue One movie. Most of the parts are Scariff Trooper parts with a bit of Hovertank Pilot thrown in. Since those two figures share most of the parts anyway, it is not too big of a surprise to see them being used again.

What I am surprised about is that Rogue One takes place basically right at the beginning of A New Hope. The time runs quickly in A New Hope, and both movies are considered year 0 B.B.Y. (Before the Battle of Yavin). Therefore, it is 3 years before we see the first of the AT-AT Imperial Walkers. Along with that, in the Rebels series, we see AT-ATs in Season 1, Episode 10 (A Princess on Lothal), which takes place 3 years BBY, and we actually see the drivers. They are wearing the suit and helmet of the later AT-AT drivers. It seems unlikely that the AT-AT and the AT-ACT would be different enough to constitute a completely different outfit and helmet. More likely, they would wear the same outfit.

But, you know how it goes. There are 40th anniversary figures coming out, and everybody wants a piece of the giant Star Wars pie. So, Target gets their special exclusive, and it happens to be a driver we never saw. That isn’t totally a bad thing. The figure is well made. He is another Trooper that fits in with the rest of the Rogue One line, and deepens the ranks for the collectors and photographers.

He is similar to the Scariff Trooper and the Hovertank Pilot, but not similar enough that he should be skipped. The coloring is really well done with white armor, that neither of the other two have. He has red markings that are unique to him.

Overall, this is not going to be a figure I think a lot of people will want to army build. We will probably never have a 6 inch scale AT-ACT, as the 3 3/4 inch version did not sell well. I am looking forward to see what all we get with the 40th Anniversary line. It will be a fun summer.a


Rey – Star Wars Elite Series (Disney Exclusive)

The Force Awakens came out about a year and a half ago. Since it is the first part of the new trilogy, there is more attention being paid to it than there was to Rogue One, which was a one off movie. One place they are being equally represented is at the Disney Store. They get to have their own exclusive editions of figures and clothing. One of the best representations of this is in the Star Wars Elite figures. They are larger figures with real cloth clothing. Some of the figures are taller, around 12 inches while others, like Rey stand shorter, around 10 inches.

I was able to get Rey on a sale, as well as having a 25% off coupon for the Disney Store for my birthday. She ended up costing about $13. That is a great deal for a The Black Series figure, much less a larger figure with cloth clothing.

Taking her out of the box, the first thing I notices was the rooted hair. I was expecting sculpted hair at best. I was not expecting it to be rooted. And it is in her tell-tale triple buns.

Her outfit is the standard outfit she wore through most of TFA. She has a nice mix of cloth and plastic goods. Her outfit is layered, including the arm coverings, tunic and short pants. She comes with her belt pouch attached, as well as a leather strap around her left forearm.

Her boots are molded on, but they have good movement around the ankle. There is a separation there that allows a ball joint. She also has toe articulation.

She comes with plenty of accessories. She has her backpack that is molded in plastic. There are a lot of mechanical doodads that are well painted, along with weathering and straps. She also comes with her staff. It is nice and tall, as it should be. The strap of the staff is molded in place. It would have been really nice to see that staff in fabric, I may go back and build my own staff for her, and give her a proper staff, so she can wear it on her body. She comes with a gripping hand for her right hand that will grip the staff.

There are two weapons as well. First off is the blaster that Han gave her. It seems like it is out of scale for her. It is very larger in her hand. She comes with a special gun hand that can be swapped out for a relaxed hand.

She also comes with Luke’s blue lightsaber. This one seems REALLY out of scale. It is almost as long as Rey is tall. The blade is really thick, and the hilt seems to be really fat and long too. They even gave Rey a lightsaber hand, since the hand for the staff is closed too small for the hilt of the saber. The blade is not removable. So you cannot re enact the end of the movie.

Overall, I really like this figure. It makes me want to get more of these well done figures. I am bummed about the lightsaber and the gun being too big, but it is a minor problem with the overall well done figure.


Nova (Sam Alexander) – Marvel Legends Titus Series (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Wave 1)

 

Sam Alexander is Nova. There are a lot of Novas out there, but Sam is the newest Nova to the Legends team. Why is he a part of a movie series?
Well, I will tell you. Sam’s dad was Nova Centurion. He lost his helmet along with his life. His son found the helmet with the help of Gamora and Rocket Raccoon, hence the connection to the Guardians. On top of that, Sam is a part of the Titus Series, with Titus being the Build a Figure. AND Titus used to be the Nova Centurion too. There are a lot of tie ins to this lineup. He was not just thrown in there.

Now, here is the thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Series. It feels like it is a redo of the original wave from the first movie. We are going to take a look as we move along and see the connections between this wave and the first wave, and see if this was a good move.

This time around, we get Kid Nova as in Sam Alexander. In the original wave we got Richard Rider who was Nova Prime. This was definitely not a copy. There is nothing that is the same about these two, other than they are both Novas.

Sam uses the newer “teen” buck. A shorter, slighter build body. He is clearly teen Spider-Man with some modifications to the body. There was work done to the upper and lower torso to incorporate the gold circles and straps. And there was added bulk to the forearms. In addition the helmet head is all new.

Don’t be tricked by this photo. The perspective of the lower camera makes Sam look taller than he is compared to Richard.

He stands almost a head shorter than Richard Rider, and it suits him. He is a great looking figure. These two look great together, looking linked but different all the same. Where Richard Rider’s suit is shiny and metallic all over, with Sam, only the gold parts are shiny. The rest of the suit and the helmet are matte.

So far, this wave shows similarities from the first wave, but this NOT the same figure. He is a great addition to the space side of the Marvel Universe, and will look great working with the Guardians, or with the younger members of the Spider-Verse.


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