Tag Archives: Amazon

Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade) (Amazon Exc) and Elite Praetorian Guard Comparison

Since Amazon was ready ahead of time, the exclusive Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade) was sent out early. So, now that I have it in hand, I wanted to compare it to the standard Elite Praetorian Guard #50.

First off, the helmets. I was expecting the figures to be the same except for the weapons. I am happy to see that there is a different helmet for each of the types of guards. The Heavy Blade guard is in the left, with the upswept mask, while the standard figure on the right has the longer mask.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the figure too. First up is the standard guard. He is VERY red. The only spot of color are the black pants hidden under the skirt.

Now that is a lot of red, but the figure has a lot of texture going for it that allows for some variation. There is a leather texture on the skirt as well as the around the neck. The arms have layered armor that allows for color variation in the highlights and shadows. And the mask itself is shiny.

The details included are really well done. From the leather material to the fine lines of the body armor. They even have cool double jointed knees with the big knee pads as the main part that separates the two parts of the leg.  he guard comes with a pretty nasty looking bladed weapon. It is interesting that these guards have bladed weapons as opposed to the long range blasters that the majority of the characters use. It will be interesting to see how these weapons hold up against weapons like the lightsaber.

Heavy Blade guard has the heavy blade that has a pole as tall as the guard and then there is a massive blade on top of that. It is a formidable close-combat weapon. He also comes with a spear or pike of some sort. The SHFiguarts Heavy Blade Guard shows that this weapon separates to become a whip. Seeing him in hand really gets me excited to see these guys in action. Unlike the Emperor’s Royal Guard, we should see these guys in action.

The only real problem with these guys are the elbow joints. The joints are lost behind the layers of armor, so they cannot bend their arms very well. I have seen some fixes that I may try.

The director of The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson said that he wanted these guards to look more like samurai than the Emperor’s guards. He wanted them to look like they could fight if they needed to. I think they succeeded in the desired effect. I really like that there are different helmets and weapons available. There is one more guard out there. The “fingernail” guard with a wide brim on his helmet that looks like a big fingernail. It is part of the Gamestop Exclusive 4 pack that comes with 3 other guards going back to the Republic days. It is way too expensive for what it is, so I am going to hold out hope that Hasbro will put out a single pack with the 3rd Elite Guard. I am also interested to see what the numbers of each type of guard are for the movie. There are supposedly 8 of them.

Thunderbirds are Go! – vehicles, 1, 2, 3, 4, and S

Back in the mid-1960s, there was a show called Thunderbirds. This was a marionette type show about a family of pilots who flew around in fantastical machines to save the day. Move to 2015, and we get an updated version of the show. It is created in CGI, but the charm of the marionette type filming still exists. I was able to see the show as a part of Amazon. I loved it instantly, and watched every episode. I am glad that they are coming out with a second season. Even more impressive was when toys started to show up on the shelves of Toys R Us a few weeks back. I feel like I have a finger on the pulse of the toy industry, but occasionally I get surprised, and this was a nice surprise.

Thunderbirds 1, 2, 4, and S all have buttons or twists. One is for sounds with pilots and mechanical sounds for that vehicle. There is also a moving gimmick of some sort.

Thunderbird 1 has a button for sound. The engines twist to rotate the wings out. There is not a lot that Thunderbird 1 does in the toy, since there is not a lot it does in the show either with the exception of an opening bay door and a grappling hook.

The details are really well done, with nice panel lines and details on the engines.

Thunderbird 2 has the most going on. It comes with Thunderbird 4 in the single set as well. This behemoth is the heavy transport of the team. It sits low to the ground on wheels that roll. The wings fold down when it is ready for takeoff.

The details on this one are amazing. They look good on 1, but 2 has a lot more going on. The back end with the engines looks amazing.

Getting into the gimmicks, we have to look at the legs first. These fold down from the body when a button is pushed on either side. That is three buttons so far, including the sound button.

Once the legs are down, the 4th button is pressed and the cargo hold from the center of the ship is released. It drops to the tarmac and the front door can be folded down to release the cargo, or in this case, Thunderbird 4.

Thunderbird 4 does not have any sounds or gimmicks. It is too small for any of that. The details on the submarine are really well done though.

Thunderbird 3 is the space faring vessel. The grey center part can rotate to make the sounds of the engines, grappling arms, as well as the countdown to takeoff.

When the engine is pressed on the bottom, the three arms are released around the body. There are further arm joints that can be moved by hand.

This 4-pack is outstanding. I am really glad I saw it as opposed to getting each individually. This is one team that is greater than the sum of their parts. Each ship has a use, and they make a great team.

For us in the US, we are getting Thunderbirds Are Go! through Amazon. The first season for us was only 12 episodes, so we did not even get to the episodes in the original first season that showed the Thunderbird Shadow, or Thunderbird S.

This vehicle is piloted by Kayo, the spy friend of the team. This is less of a rescue vehicle compared to the rest of the International Rescue team.

The jet has a great futuristic and stealth look. It has front-swept wings and long engines that are connected with a tail. In my research for this vehicle I found it was designed by Shoji Kawamori, who is known for his designs of Macross jets. Unsurprising, he is also the designer of many Diaclone figures that turned into Transformers. Any resemblance to Cyclonus? Oh yes there is!

There are two buttons. One is for sound. The second is to releases a motorcycle. Two vehicles in one.

The size of the Thunderbirds is great. They are not to big, or too small. They fit in fairly well with the Deluxe scale of some of the Transformers. Some of the Transformers vehicles fit right in.

Thunderbird S looks like Cyclonus. Thunderbird 2 looks like Scourge. Didn’t they want to give any props to the Autobots?

I will definitely be keeping my eyes out for more of these guys in the future. They are a lot of fun, and now I am off to watch the second season, just released on Amazon.


Toy Hunting for Deals

Inspected Sticker

I am a toy hunter, not a box hunter.  I have found a few toys over the years that I had been scouring the stores for, only to find one that has been pretty badly damaged.  I know I probably only scored the figure since someone else was looking for a nice box.   Sometimes, when we go through online retailers, we don’t get a say in what we buy.  The items usually show up in good order.

Recently, as in Monday, I was looking at a Power Ranger from the Super Samurai series on Amazon. $54.99 was a bit much for me at the time, but I noticed that there were some selling for a LOT less.  Generally these are hit with pretty hefty shipping charges that end up not saving any money at all, but I thought I would give it a try.   Clicking on the link, I noticed one that was a lot less, and with free Prime Shipping.  It stated it was an Amazon Warehouse deal.   The box was in bad shape but the items inside were inspected.   A markdown from $55 to $41 just for a bad box?  That is my kind of deal.  Well, it took a couple of extra days to get here, but here is what I ended up with.

Samurai MegaZordSamurai MegaZord in all of his 5-Zord glory.  From the front you can see that the box is a bit tattered on the top left side.   It looks like it had been crushed inward from the edge.  Mind you, there is nothing up there to get damaged.

MegaZord DamageIt is rather superficial, and just what I was hoping.  I get all of the important info off of the back, but with a lower price.   Not to be one to miss a deal, I had seen a second Zord that also was a Wearhouse Deal.  This one going from $14 to $6, I was hoping for a double shot at a great deal.  And here is how it came.

BeetleZordThis one I actually had to laugh at.  There was one plastic tab that had slipped out of the tape, and a crease on the back.  I have found more damage on regular items shipped to me.

So, if you are like me and don’t care about the packaging, make sure to do a little looking around before you click on the Check Out button.  There could be some nice savings in it for you!

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.


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.


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.


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.

Kotobukiya – Bishoujo, Tekken Asuka Kazama

Does your change work for you?  You know, you go to the store and buy something with cash (that is the paper money people used to carry around with them).  When you received money back, it was in the form of metal coins, referred to as “change.”  It took a long time to warrant enough change for me to do anything with, so when I finally did, I went down to a Coinstar and turned it in.  They have some sponsors that allow you to change your money without being charged a fee for making the deposit.

One of those sponsors happens to be Amazon.  So, there I was with a receipt in my hand with a series of letters and numbers that did not mean anything to me, but it meant spending money to my Amazon account.  The hunt was on.   What to buy with all of my loose change?  I wanted to go with something that I could not get elsewhere.  Something special and then I saw it.   Going along with one of my favorite collectibles, the Bishoujo statues.  I have a few of the DC statues, and a Marvel statue.  I wanted to move away from them and go with something completely different… video games.

So, I bought Asuka Kazama from the game Tekken, or more specifically, Tekken Tag Tournament 2.  I will be honest with you, I do not know anything about Tekken other than it is a fighting game akin to Street Fighter.  And that is where my knowledge ends.   But what I do know is I really like the design of the Bishoujo statues.  This one does not disappoint.

Here is a fun little touch.  You can choose your base art.   The Tekken logo, the box art of Asuka, or the signature of the project leader.

Asuka has been posed in a winning stance.   Saluting the fans while relaxing with her top layer of clothing around her waist.   Her standard top has been changed to look more like a bikini, of course with the zipper part way down.   She has great details from her hair to her face to all of the little details in her arm and leg pads.

The great thing about the designs from Kotobukiya, is they can be viewed from any angle.  Each way the statue is turned reveals more and more about the figure.  Every sculpted line of the body is flawless.  The outfits are designed in a way that allow for the body to be shown, but not to make it overtly sexual.

All the way around to the back, her outfit, hanging around her waist, has great wrinkles and details that really look great.  Her bikini is tied in the back, and peeking out from under her hair.  There are so many fine details.

She is thin, but in that tough sort of way.   She is not skinny because of lack of food.  She is thin because she is going to kick someone’s butt.  A good buy for sure, for a bunch of spare change sitting in a drawer in my bedroom.   But now I have a new problem.  I think I might need a few more in this series.

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