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June, 2017:

Weekly Wednesday Haul – Square Boxes Edition

So last week I didn’t have a haul, and this week, has a few things but it’s not really anything major.  Partially there’s been a bit of a drought for anything I care about, partially, it’s the moving thing.  I did get an alert on CamelCamelCamel that the World of Nintendo Metroid was available for an affordable price, so I snapped it right up.

Still in the bubble wrap.  Mostly because well, moving, that rubber bubble is probably a dirt magnet and the safest way to transport it seems like it will be to just keep it in the box for now.  It will be freed eventually, I’m not some crazy MISB collector.

I also happened upon something else that’s square and box shapped with this pretty sweet Battle Star Galactica complete series set of DVDs.  I kind of wanted to watch this show and it came with this nice Cylon action figure.  It was $6 at a Resale shop, seemed like a steal for the cool box and the Cylon alone.

Lastly was an unexpected surprise, today I recieved a Valvotron figure in the mail from Valvoline.  I wasn’t sure if I’d actually get this guy at all.  Originally Valvoline posted they were running a contest, buy 5 quarts of oil at a Valvoline store, or send in a card, and get entered to win one of 5000 Valvotron figures.  I don’t have a Valvoline store nearby so I mailed in a card.  A few days after I mailed the card, Valvoline changed it to just be “Buy 5 quarts and mail to get one”.  No more contest.  I guess I won anyway, there was even a letter stating as such, so sweet, Valvotron.  He doesn’t transform, though he has bits implying he turns into an oil can.  The figure has 4 points of articulation, hips and shoulders.

Review – Transformers – RiD – Megatronus

Megatronus was the first in a surge of Decepticons added to the Robots in Disguise line.  Poor Steeljaw would no longer have to face the Autobot army alone.  This toy has been released in a few versions, with and without a facemask and a few paint tweaks, this particular version covers the Megatronus release that was exclusive to Toys R Us.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

I have to admit, I don’t follow the show, so I’m not sure where Megatronus falls into the hierarchy of things.  I believe Steeljaw is actually the leader of the Decepticons and Megatronus is not the same character as Megatron, though the former is the namesake of the latter.  Megatronus originally, in the Transformer Mythos was one of the original 13 Primes, and is more commonly known as The Fallen, though I don’t know if that title applies here.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

Despite that he isn’t Megatron, he certainly kind of looks like Megatron, and whether or not he is The Fallen, he also feels “special” compared to the other Decepticons in the line.  Primarily because he doesn’t seem to really have an animal theme, like the other Decepticons.  He’s very much just a tank robot.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

Another sign that this guy isn’t Megatron is his complete lack of a Fusion/arm canon.  Instead, Megatronus comes with a little sword weapon, which can be weilded in a variety of ways.  It can be mounted on one arm as a blade weapon, or held like a standard sword.  The tank most also works both with and without the sword attached.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

Probably the coolest part of this toy is the transformation.  Hasbro has been doing a lot of interesting things lately with Transformations, and Megatronus has some cool tricky that keep the Transformation elegantly simple.  The legs in particular, formed from the treads, do a neat little fold over trick.  Also notable, since the entire torso is the turret of the tank and the treads are the base, he ends up with a fully rotating turret and a usable waist joint.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

The only real issue with this toy is that, given the character and design, he really just feels too small.  Megatronus really is a character who needs to be imposing, not this tiny little tank.  It’s still a nice figure, he just may pair better with the legends scale than the other Deluxes.

Transformers Robots In Disguise Megatronus (TRU Version)

NECA – Heroes of the Storm Arthas (Lich King)

I have a real love/hate relationship with NECA.  They get a lot of interesting licenses, and for the most part, do nice sculpt jobs on most of their figures.  However they use some weird plastic that’s kind of flakey and prone to breaking and often results in stiff or stuck joints.  There are ways to loosen them up but it just feels like a shame that the figures often don’t work too well out of the packaging.  In many ways, they remind me of MacFarlane Toys of yesteryear, when MacFarlane was a huge presence in the toy industry.

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

Fortunately, I didn’t have any major issues with my Heroes of the Storm Arthas.  Well, not issues that could be overlooked.  Probably the only “real” issue is that the articulation is severely limited by his sculpt.  Fortunately, Arthas isn’t really a nimble character, so he doesn’t really need a lot of dynamic articulation.  The detailing on the sculpt is where this figure really shines too, which makes the limitations it causes more excusable.

NECA HotS Arthas Lich KingNECA HotS Arthas Lich King

The detailing across all of the armor is fantastic, there are tons of little greebles and spikes and such everywhere, all of them nice and clean and cleanly painted.  The cloth cape is also a really nice touch and hangs very nicely off of his back.  Some may take issue with how brightly colored his overall design is, this figures is based on Arthas as he appears in Heroes of the Storm, not how he appears int he Warcraft Universe, which tends to be more grayscale.

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

His sword, Frostmourne is very nicely done as well.  The sculpt looks good and works from both sides with the wrap around horns on the hilt.  Someone was also smart too in realizing that the stiff plastic of Arthas’ fists would never flex out enough to let the hilt in, the handle is removable, so you can slide it up in and reattach the blade.

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

This really helps him have a nice solid grip on the weapon, and the peg in the hilt fits snugly into the blade piece without feeling like it’s going to break.  There is very little not to like about this figure, aside from the HotS vs Warcraft pain scheme.  Personally, I kind of prefer it, since it helps accentuate a lot of the detail that would have otherwise gotten lost in an all silver colored design.  His size is very nice as well to pair with other 6″ figures for an imposing undead king.  Heroes of the Storm Arthas is an excellent figure, if you can find him anywhere.

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

NECA HotS Arthas Lich King

Weekly Wednesday Haul – A Plethora of Accessories Edition

So, I had a pre order in at AmiAmi for this little park bench model kit that finally came up.  Shipping a $12 model kit from japan alone isn’t particularly worthwhile, my intention was to toss on MP-32 Optimus Primal on with it, but it was irritatingly suddenly not in stock.  So I poked around a bit and settled on some alternative items since one, I needed something to justify the shipping cost and two, I had the money set aside.  One of those items was a set of Petit Sample Seishun Days Blind Box accessories set.  These are blind boxed, but they were only available as a case, which meant getting one of each set.

The pieces themselves are all pretty amazing.  There’s all sorts of crazy details like removable liquid bits for the glasses, little cassette tapes and floppy disks.  The coffee machine has these little sugar cubes or something that I’ve already lost two of because they are ridiculously tiny.  They are a biiit oversized for 6″ figures but not awful enough to make them unusable as fun little props.

In addition, I found that the Figma Twilight Princess Link was available.  I already had it on pre order elsewhere so i cancelled that pre order and just ordered one now.  I already have the Link Between Worlds Link which is more my “definitive ideal” Link, but I really wanted an “adult Link” to fit in better with other figures, and the Twilight Princess design seemed pretty nice.

Speaking of A link Between Worlds, Amazon had the game in stock for a reasonable (normal retail) price so I picked that up as well, it’s been quite a Zelda time lately.

Marvel Select – Age of Ultron Hulk

As part of my quest to assemble a really solid set of MCU figures, I found that I was really wanting for a Good Hulk figure.  The Marvel Legends version is pretty small and kind of all smooth and wimpy looking.  The Figuarts Hulk kind of suffers from the same issues to a worse degree.  Enter Marvel Select.  Marvel Select is a separate Marvel line from Marvel Legends, that tends to be more available in specialty shops and is put out by Diamond Distributing.  The main difference between Marvel Legends and Marvel Select, is the scale, which runs in the 7″ range as opposed to ML’s 6″ range.  The Marvel Select figures also tent to have slightly more limited articulation, but better sculpts.  The larger scale means a lot of the “normal” character don’t fit in with Marvel Legends at all.  I have the Hawkeye MS, which is a great figure, but he’s be 8 foot tall in the ML world.  Figures like The Hulk however, who are ambiguously large, work really well along side Marvel Legends figures.

Which is why I picked up the marvel Select Age of Ultron Hulk, as my Hulk.  There are several different Hulks int he MS line, this one is specifically “from” Age of Ultron, though it’s a repaint of the earlier MS Avengers Hulk.  I find that the paint apps on this release to be superior to the original version,  the pants are a different color and there is a lot more shady sort of detail going on.

The sculpt is also really nice which is a lot of the reason I wanted this Hulk over the Marvel Legends Hulk.  He’s got a lot of nice veiny angry detail going on all over his body and the face as a particularly great grimace going on.  The joints used on the Marvel Select can both work in favor and against the sculpt, when in their resting postitions, everything looks nice and smooth, but when out of position they do look a little ugly.  Mostly this is an issue in the legs.

The other primary driver was the sheer size of this Hulk.  He towers over the Marvel Legends characters.  His massive size makes him perfect to face off against the Marvel Legends Hulkbuster BAF from Age of Ultron as well.  He’s also very solid, you can definitely feel the weight when posing and moving the figure, which really helps with stability when posting.

The posing is pretty good, though as I said, ML does have some limitations on it’s joints.  I’m generally not a fan of the sort of hips used in this line, DC uses it on almost all of it’s figures, and it usually looks ugly as hell.  On a larger character like Hulk, it works pretty well however, and it a bit less noticeable.  The range on the elbows and knees isn’t amazing, he isn’t going to be kneeling very well anytime soon.

If you’re looking for a good solid Movie Hulk, the Marvel Select is definitely the way to go.  The best part is that the Marvel Select line isn’t really that much more expensive than their mass released Marvel Legends counterparts, especially given how much larger and better painted they are.  The Age of Ultron version is harder to find at the moment but I can’t imagine it won’t get a figure re-release for Infinity War.  Also, just to beat a dead horse, this kind of touches on my wish that Marvel Legends would ditch the BAF gimmick and just make nicer figures.