Tag Archives: movie

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.


Marvel Legends – Dormammu Wave – Dr. Strange (Movie, Astral, and Comic Versions)

Well, it is no surprise that we would end up with a few different Dr. Stranges in the Dormammu Wave of Marvel Legends based around the Dr. Strange movie. Today we are going to take a look at the three Doctors that came in the wave. Let’s start with the movie version.

The outfit is fantastic. This has some of the best detailing that we have seen in the Marvel Legends movie figures. There are a lot of layers to this outfit that we see Stephen run around in, so they had a lot of work to do. The colors are really well done, with lots and lots of variation. He comes with his cape. I would really have liked to see it come in soft goods, but we don’t see that much in this scale, so I was not really surprised.

The good doctor comes with his shield that he can make with the magic. It is a really good looking piece. It was a bit bent coming out of the box, but with thin items like this, that is generally the case. The colors are well done to give a bit of a look like something that is glowing. There is a handle on the back for the doctor to hold onto. I think it would have been a better touch if it looked a bit more like it was coming out of his and as energy, and not a physical shield. But in the movie, it was out in front of him, and that would have been rather hard to pull off.

Dr. Strange comes with a second set of hands with mimic when he is using his magic. That was one of the best things they could have done for us. The hands are very important for the movie, and we needed them.

In the movie, Dr. Strange is sent out of his body, and and into the Astral Plane.

To accomplish this in the figure, they used the same body as the movie figure, but colored him with pearl white. There are actually some color variations in the white.

This is not probably going to fall onto anyone’s top 10 list of best figures, but it is still really well done. He comes with the necklace, and that is the only accessory he comes with. He has the magic hands, and no cape.

This is one figure that will probably make it into people’s collections just since they need the part to complete Dormammu. I would have skipped him too, but I also wanted to complete Dormammu. I am glad I was able to get him for a pretty good price on Amazon.

Finally we have the comic Dr. Strange. This is a reuse of the body of Dr. Strange we got back in the Hulkbuster wave. They gave this Doctor new forearms, a new red paint design on his chest, and a cape.

They had to give him the cape this time around, since it was a big part of the movie.

He also comes with the energy effects we have seen a lot of recenly. This time the energy effects are in orange to match the movie version’s colors.

This is a pretty good start to the wave. Not the most creative, with one figure used twice, and a reissue of a figure we had not that long ago. It could have been better. I don’t see why they didn’t include some of the other key characters from the movie. There were plenty to choose from.

Well, next time we will look at a few more of the figures. More movie and comic figures to come. Plus one thrown in for good measure who does not really tie into Dr. Strange.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Movie Figures

I had to finally get my hands on some of the Ninja Turtles for the upcoming movie.  After the great showing of figures for the cartoon, I didn’t have high hopes that these would compare.  And in a lot of ways they don’t.  I wanted an array to look at, not willing to get all of them at once, in case they are really terrible.  Thankfully they are not terrible, they are mostly good figures.

April O’Neil:

I grabbed April, knowing it would be harder to find her later.  She absolutely looks like April O’Neil.

April is a fairly straight forward figure. She comes with her camera bag, a nice camera, and two sais, which I am guessing actually belong to Raphael. She cannot hold the sais very well.

She has good motion in her arms, though she doesn’t have any elbows. What is it with TMNT, and having humans with missing articulation?  She has the same motion in her hips, no knees. Her head has a joint, but it doesn’t work well with her long hair.

Leonardo:

I had to get Leonardo.  He is my favorite Turtle, so I figured, he would be a good one to look at first.  Leonardo comes with his katana blades. They fit into sheaths on his back that can be removed.

He is fairly back-heavy of course, sporting the big shell. He needs to stand hunched forward. This is only a problem since he looks down at the ground. His neck is only a swivel joint. It would have been so much better if it had a pivot as well.

Donatello:

My third choice was Donatello. He has so much going on. He is covered in tech, from goggles to a backpack that looks like it is out of Ghostbusters.

He is a lot thinner than Leonardo. I really like that they made the figures look so different from one another.

I think the figures could use a lot of touch-up with more paint colors.  There are a lot of unpainted straps and pads, as well as some areas that could just use a wash.  I am inclined to pull out some paints and see if I can get these guys looking even better.

I like the figures.  They are not my favorite, but I think I will have to at the very least get the last two Turtles.  It is not a huge wave of figures, so I won’t have to break the bank getting all of them.  I think they are a good deal at under $10 too.


Preview review of How to Train Your Dragon 2

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Happy 400th post. Today’s is very special.

Sometimes it is pretty cool to have friends who have awesome jobs. My friend Ann, works for Drramworks, and she got preview tickets to Dragons 2 for this morning.

What a fun experience to hang out at a movie theatre in Redwood City with tons of Dreamworks employees.

Now for the movie. Nothing short of amazing. The story picks up 5 years after the first movie. This way it is able to also fit in the TV series.

We join the village of Berk in the midst of prosperity with a happy world where humans and dragons live together in harmony.
But, of course, we need a plot twist to move this story along, so in comes a dragon master who wants to protect all dragons, as well as a dragon warrior who would like to use dragons for world domination.

It is a power struggle where lives are changed forever. Can’t go to much into it without giving away some great secrets. You are just going to have to see it for yourself.

It is so fun to see the characters aged 5 years. There are new life changes for the kids that are now in their early 20s.

I highly recommend seeing this one in the theatre. There are many scenes that are huge in scale and really need that big screen treatment.

We also got to see it in 3D. I don’t think there is really anything that makes the 3D that much better. You can probably save the few extra dollars and go with the 2D version.

Go see it next, opening next Friday, June 13th.


Star Trek Into Darkness

I went out to see Star Trek Into Darkness last night.   We are getting to that time of the year where we get a new movie that I want to see each week.  Going for a Tuesday night showing meant a better chance of seeing it in a quiet theatre.

Star_Trek_Into_Darkness_32I really liked the movie a lot.   If you liked the first movie, this one will not disappoint you.  If you are one of the people complaining about rebooting the series, then there is nothing I can say that will make you want to see this movie.

It  is visually stunning.   Of course, everything JJ Abrams touches comes out sparkly and clean.   I think that plays to the movie’s advantage, since as the Enterprise gets banged up, it looks that much worse.

I cannot help but to wonder how expensive a starship like the Enterprise would be.  Huge in scale, and capable of amazing feats of engineering and transport.   And we seem to see the ship get destroyed, or mostly destroyed in every movie.  And it doesn’t matter if it is Kirk or Picard, the Federation always gives them the ship back in the end.

The storyline was really well done, with good twists and turns.  Some good surprises and good character development for this timeline’s characters.   They are packing into a movie, what we were able to observe over the time of a TV series.   Not an easy task in the least.

If you liked the first movie, go see this one.  You will like it.  If  you like bashing the first movie, you know you will see this one anyway at some point, even if it is to bash this one too.   So, you might as well go see it in the theatre to up the box office totals, so they will green light the third movie, cuz I wanna see it!

 


Transformers goes NASCAR

If you are a fan of the Transformers movies, I am sure you have seen the pictures of the NASCAR vehicles driving through a city.  I think they are going to be a fun part of the upcoming movie.

Anyway, I have two figures for review today, Topspin and Roadbuster.

Topspin:

Topspin, or Autobot Topspin on the packaging, is not really in disguise.  I don’t think he will trick anyone with all of the guns and extra pieces hanging off.

Based on the Lowe’s #48 car, this is a pretty good interpretation of the car in some kind of battle mode.  He comes with an additional weapon as all of the figures in this line do.   It has a bit of a cross-bow design to it, and can be mounted on any number of ports around the body.

If you are looking for a more traditional NASCAR vehicle mode, look no further than Roadbuster.

A very good representation of the #88 Amp car, the only thing missing are the sponsors.  He comes with an interesting gun that becomes a chainsaw.   This weapon can be mounted on the roof or on either door in hidden ports.

These are two very nice vehicles.  You get one traditional race car, and one that looks to be in battle mode.  Now for the robot modes:

In robot mode, all of Topspin’s weapons go up on his shoulders.   Some of the yellow is on his other body parts which is a nice touch.   The exhaust on the shoulders is pretty cool too.    I like how solid his lower body is.  He has a really nice stance.   I am not crazy about the arms.  I tend to lean more toward hands over claws.  Overall a nice figure.

Now, Roadbuster has some nice weapons in robot mode.  He has two shoulder mounted rocket launchers up there that really give him a mean look, and a lot of bite.  He has a very classic set of feet, not typical for the movie characters.  I do like the use of the roll cage in the leg desings.  He has good movement.

I really like how similar these two guys are.  Their bodies are very different in design, but they have the shoulder mounted weapons which tells us there is something the same about them.  Team mates or even brothers, I don’t know, but they are going to work well together.

Up next for my special two part series on the Transformers racing vehicles, we have two more Wal-Mart exclusive figures with very special racing paint schemes.  You will not want to miss this.


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