Tag Archives: Disney

Jackson Storm – Cars 3

I was not expecting it to be so difficult to get my hands on Jackson Storm when the Cars 3 vehicles first came out. But then I saw the $44 8 pack at Target, and knew he would be in a holding pattern along with the gold foil wrapped Lightning McQueen. Get the people to buy the expensive set first. Nope, I can wait. And then they hit at WalMart, and I was swimming in Storms.

There are a lot of cars that do have updates from the previous movies. All of Lightning’s friends look to be the same. At least enough of the same for me to not need to get them. But there are some newer Next-Gen Piston Cup cars that are out that are pretty neat looking.

Jackson Storm is all dark grey and blue. He is clearly the bad guy, or at least the antagonist of the film. He is like Chick Hicks from the first film, but an actual threat to Lightning.

I am happy with what I see in the previews so far. I think this is what Cars 2 should have been. The world trotting with spies and all of that was fine, but it didn’t have what gave the first movie heart. I think we will be back to that in this installment, and I cannot wait. I know if I go see it by myself, my wife would kill me, or at least disown me. Neither of which sound like good options. But we were on our camping road trip, and didn’t get a chance to see it when it came out June 16. So now I am behind and ready to go!

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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.


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.


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.


First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter – 3.75 inch scale – The Force Awakens

I was able to do a hard pass on most of the 3.75 inch Star Wars toys. For the most part, I love them. Before, we would get really good vehicles and lots and lots of characters to play with. I have a whole bunch of figures from Episodes 1-3, as well as some other figures that came out along with those. Somewhere along the way, Hasbro went back to the old 5 points of articulation. That saves a lot of money, but the figures were still the same price. On top of that, they came out with The Black Series 3.75 inch figures that did have all of the good articulation, but the prices are insane. With the lack of good figures, and really high prices on the vehicles, it was pretty easy to pass on the vehicles.

Today I found the First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter at ROSS, marked down from $30 to $16.99. That is a great markdown, and at 40% off, that was the right number to get me to pull the trigger.

I could tell just pulling the TIE out of the box that I was going to really like this vehicle. It comes in a lot of parts. The old TIEs just had the wings removed. This one has two wings, the body, the cockpit hatch, the bottom gun mechanism, two firing blaster bolts, and the antenna array.

First off, I busted the TIE Pilot out of the box. He looks rather TIE Pilot like. He has his all-black suit with matching black helmet and chest-mounted breathing apparatus. The helmet is an update from the Imperial TIE pilots, this time around looking more similar to the First Order Stormtrooper helmet. He comes with a blaster. Always nice to have if you actually survive being shot down on one of these things.

Looking inside the TIE before it is put together, you can see two seats. Since they made the pilots without knees, they had to have them sitting with their legs out straight. That will not work to have them sitting back to back, so they are side to side, with their legs facing opposite directions. All of this could have been more realistic to the movie, had they given the pilots knees. Then they would have had to do the same for Finn and Poe, since kids would also want them to play in there too.

In the canopy, there are tabs that allow the pilot to store their holdout blasters. What a great touch. Many of the older ships have guns rattling around in there, since there wasn’t a place to keep them. Now there is. And a place for two, so each pilot can have a gun. Nicely done Hasbro!

The details on the solar collectors is amazing. The colors are backwards from the old TIEs with the body parts being black, and the solar collectors changed to a grey color.

Once together, this is one fantastic mode. It is easy to see where the upgrades to the new TIE/sf are located. The original TIE/LN models did not have an antenna array, and they were strictly a one-seater. When the First order updated the TIE/LN to the TIE/fo, the armaments and shields were upgraded. For the Special Forces, they needed something a little extra, so that is where the TIE/sf came in. The first designation is the bright red patch on the left side of the cockpit. This is reminiscent of the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing that flew TIE Interceptors with a red stripe on the wings.  You can see very robust attachment points from the cockpit arms to the wings. That is a lot stronger than the standard TIE configuration.

The TIE/sf is equipped with the same chin-mounted laser system as the TIE/fo. It then has the addition of a turret that can fire forward or backward.

The greatest gimmick that the TIEs ever came with were spring loaded wings. This one is no different. What they did though was hide the buttons better to blend in with the body. On some of the TIEs that have the spring wings, they tend to kind of fall off. These really pop off well, and add to the playability.

The antenna array folds down as well as swivels. I am sure there is a kid out there that will love the little extra play they can do with this.

Looking at the back end of the TIE, it is clear that there is a lot of new stuff going on from the standard TIE. First off, there is a window. The gunner can actually see out the back, rather than relying on weapon systems alone. There are engines back there, but they are more robust than the old engines that looked like tiny openings. That is because these are capable Hyperdrive engines. A new touch that the standard TIE did not have. If you were left behind, when the capital ship left, it was a long ride back to wherever you were going.

 

This is a great ship. If I can find any others from this line at the discount stores, I will be all over them. I would love to get the standard TIE/fo, to be able to see them side by side. There are also a couple of X-Wings I would not mind having too.


Hovertank Pilot – Star Wars: The Black Series – 6 inch scale – Toys R Us Exclusive

The Hovertank Pilot is just one more of the mass of new Stormtroopers coming out for the lead up to Rogue One. We are getting some really nice looks at the new characters, and the variations of the Stormtrooper are really well done.

The Hovertank Pilot is very similar to the upcoming Shoretrooper. They wear the same armor, with a different helmet. The two sets of troopers are going to be set in two different locations. The Shoretroopers will be on Scarif, while the Hovertank Pilots will be on Jedha.  One of the most deviating items with the new troopers from the original Stormtroopers is the lack of armor on the upper thighs. They are wearing more baggy type pants.

I like the sligthly off-white color of the outfit. Hasbro did a good job of adding some details to make them more used and dirty looking compared to the squeaky clean look we get from the Stormtroopers of ole’ and the super shiny Death Troopers. It is clear that these pilots are used to working hard in dirty places.  The articulation on the figure is pretty good. The new troopers have all lost the double joints in the elbows which is a bit of a shame. The look was a bit more dynamic with the extra bend. It is not a total loss as they probably have some trouble bending too far in their armor, but they will never be able to scratch their noses.

The Hovertank Pilot comes with a standard E-11 Blaster Rifle. It is not a big surprise that they would have a generic rifle that we see across the galaxy with the Stormtroopers. The only other variation I may have expected was a holdout blaster since I doubt a Hovertank Pilot has a lot of need for close combat weapons, unless they were making door to door sweeps, which looks to be quite possible in the small streets of Jedha.

imperial_hovertank_on_jedha

The Hovertank Pilot instantly made me want to scratchbuild a Hovertank, but how big would that thing be in the 6 inch scale? It would be a massive vehicle to be sure. I will have to wait to see if I can get some better reference material on this one. It could make for a great diorama piece here in the future. Guess I gotta go get me a second Pilot.


Mr. Incredible – Thinkway Toys

It has been a long time since I bought a Thinkway Toys toy. Mr. Incredible went on sale a month or so ago, and made it a reasonable price to pick him up and see if he is any good.

He is a one-off figure in the Disney/Pixar line of figures. I looked at Wall-E a very long time ago, and I really liked it. Since then, I was waiting for Bruce, from Finding Nemo. After years of waiting, he popped up in stores, and he was very small and I was unimpressed. But since this one was on sale, I went for it.

Well, Mr. Incredible is okay, to say to most. He is as top heavy as you would think, with that giant torso. and fairly small legs.

He comes with the claw from the giant robot that Syndrome let loose on the city. it has moving fingers that are really well articulated. The hand also has a pair of clamps to allow Mr. Incredible to wear it as usable tech.

Of course in the movie, it attacked him, then he turned it back on the main robot with help from his family.

This is a nice figure, and one that looks good with other 6 inch figures. Being a one-off figure, there is not a lot you can do with him, but display him with other Disney stuff. Unless you want him to fight some other 6 inch figures. Versus Superman perhaps? I think it was a good deal at $10 off the original price, but he is awfully expensive at $18.99. And he has been warming the pegs since mid-2014. Time to cut bait on this one and move on. I don’t understand what Disney has done to get Target and Toys R Us to keep these things in stock for so long. They take up some pretty good real estate, unless it is all a placeholder for something better in the future. Seems there have been a lot of Disney and Pixar films that could have had toys in those spots. I am definitely keeping my hopes up for some good figures when Incredibles 2 finally comes out, but that is not until 2019, so we have a ways to go until that one.


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