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September, 2016:

Recap – Agents of Shield S04E02 – More Ghosts than you can shake a stick at…

The second episode brings a few answers to some of the questions from last time, though they aren’t all complete answers.  What’s in the box (hint, it’s not Brad Pitt’s wife’s head)? Who is the new director?  What’s up with SHIELD?  Why is Daisy feeling guilty?

Before getting into all of that, I want to say, Ghost Rider is looking really good.  The first episode was good already but it really feels like they managed to step that up a bit even more.  There is also quite a bit of decent action in this episode despite that the plot isn’t real fast moving.

Anyway, on with the spoilery part.

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Weekly Wednesday Haul – Decepticons Edition

Everything’s coming up Decepticons this round, from a couple of different lines.

Titans Return Galvatron

I’ve been kind of hemming and hawing on Titans Return Galvatron.  On one hand, he’s a mostly really good update to Galvatron, who has been sorely in need of a decent update since forever.  Even the original toy is a pretty mediocre representation.  On the other hand, he has a couple of pretty glaring flaws.  First is the cannon placement on his arm, which completely negates the elbow.  I can mostly live with that.

More of a problem is his ridiculous head.  Specifically, the shoddy limited movement crown that flips up and sort of… hovers, in front of the Headmaster head.  I don’t really care all that much about the headmaster gimmick in this case, I’m tempted to either paint the appropriate parts of the headmaster purple, and forget the flip up crown, or to simply cut the crown off and permanently glue it to the headmaster face, so things look mostly better, and the neck joint becomes useful again.

Titans Return Galvatron

Then there are his alt modes.  There’s a neat idea in there.  The cannon is appropriate, but the cockpit kind of screws it up a lot.  The space jet is neat, but it kind of barely holds together.  I don’t care much about his alt modes really, so these problems are less of a problem than the robot issues.

Titans Return Galvatron

Robots in Disguise Scorponok

I have to admit, I have not watched nor do I really care about the Robots in Disguise show.  Initially I was pretty convinced I would end up skipping the entire line actually.  I ended up picking up every single Decepticon so far however, once they started putting them out.  For the first 3 or 4 waves, there was one mediocre Decepticon in the whole line.  Which was a real tragedy because the Decepticons of the show had this fun and interesting animal theme going for them.

RID Scorponok

The latest release is Scorponok.  I almost ended up with two Scorponoks but decided to pass on the second.  There is a repaint of this Transformer that’s exclusive to Toys R Us.  It’s purple with a head that greatly resembles Beast Wars Scorponok.  I decided to pass on it.  It seemed a little silly to get the same figure twice in a row, I think I’ll hold out hope for an actual “Classics Beast Wars Scorponok”.

RID Scorponok

Anyway, this guy is pretty neat.  I’d say he’s definitely one of the more interesting and fun Decepticons of this line, though I think Fracture is probably a bit cooler.  The way his shoulders work is different, but the result is that his claws are essentially static, which kind of sucks.  He makes up for it a lot with his awesome tail.

Weekly Wednesday Haul – Sylvester and Tweety Edition

I have to admit, I was a little worried that the Giant Man wave was never going to hit retail in mass.  I’ve only ever found Iron Man, which was sort of fine, since unlike say, the 1000 Captain Americas, Iron Man has a built in excuse for owning 1000 versions, especially different ones.  It helps that I like Iron Man and Tony Stark and the whole mech suit concept.  It’s not a super amazing wave admittedly, White Nick Fury I could give or take since I prefer Black Fury,  Russian Cap seems fun a as a joke level concept so I kind of wanted one.  Nuke I could give or take, he was in the Jessica Jones show, but unlike others, he’s not as interchangeable design wise with his comic counterpart.  The Cap is… well, he’s yet another Captain America.  The real desirable character in this wave is Black Panther (and to a lesser extent, Giant Man).

I had been hoping this wave would get a second push with the Civil war DVD release, since it’s the “Civil War wave”, fortunately, it did.  So I managed to snag up a Black Panther to go with my MCU collection.

As a bonus, I’ve also added the much needed Falcon.  Cat and Bird, hence, Sylvester and Tweety….

Marvel Legends Falcon

There’s quite a few pretty key players missing from the MCU related Marvel Legends, Falcon has been a favorite since The Winter Soldier.  I imagine the main hold up is that his Wings are kind of huge, which makes him hard to fit into the budget of a regular release.  Wal-Mart has gotten a couple of exclusives with Falcon and a Bucky with better paint apps, I guess they took the BAF budget to give him wings.  Honestly, it’s kind of a good argument for getting rid of the annoying BAf concept entirely for better single packed figures.  The Bucky that is Falcon’s wave mate looks much much nicer than Rocket Raccoon Bucky from the Winter Soldier wave.

But I didn’t get Bucky, I got Falcon, and his magnificent wings!

Marvel Legends Falcon

The wing pack is very nice, the wings are definitely nice and huge.  I kind of wish they had a bit of articulation, but it’s kind of forgivable since they are removable and can be attached a couple of different ways for either swept forward or swept backwards.  It also would be pretty simple to add a few extra holes to let them sweep up or sweep down.  Out of the box the pegs on the wings for “top and bottom” are slightly larger and smaller than each other.

He also includes his little bird drone which showed up a lot in the Civil War movie.

Marvel Legends Black Panther

Marvel Legends Black PantherThen there is the Black Panther.  Black Panther is quickly becoming one of my favorite Marvel characters.  I’d read up on him before, King of his own country, yet also a hero.  He’s kind of got this Iron Man thing going on with his panther armor.  His position as royalty and a world leader gives him an interesting dynamic in the whole scheme of things.

A few months ago I bought a bunch of Civil War comics through Comixology and read through those, one of which was a Black Panther book.  Across these books, my interest in this character was increased more.  Early on he’s shown as part of a sort of secret council of the more influential and powerful characters in the Marvel Universe.  The book itself later follows Panther and Storm globetrotting around trying to convince all these bad asses like Doom and Iron Man that the path they are on is a bad idea.

It really helped solidify the idea to me that this guy is pretty awesome, despite being a little low on the “on paper” power level.  He’s kind of just a really good fighter in armor, he doesn’t even fly or shoot things like say, Iron Man.

The figure itself is nice.  He’s got a lot of nice little details and sculpting going on like his neck details, claws, and toes, that make him more interesting than just “Guy in a suit”.  The pose ability is good as well, which a character like this really needs.

Recap – Agents of Shield S04E01 – More Questions than Answers

At last, the constant media push can end, Ghost Rider, has come to Agents of Shield.  Spoiler space, I suppose, though he shows up within 5 minutes of the show open and every ad for the past month has been pushing Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider!

So did the hype pay off?

Well, the CGI didn’t come off anywhere near as ugly as expected, though there were a few points where it might have looked a little iffy.  I’m not complaining, a flaming, moving skull is kind of tricky.

As for the rest of the episode, well, there will be a few more in depth thoughts and spoilers from here on out.

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Weekly Wednesday Haul – Faces of Evil Edition

I mentioned int he last installment picking up Demolition Man/Scourge on clearance at the local Wal-Mart.  I was waiting on the others to finish up Onslaught, since they didn’t seem to be selling at all, even at $15.  I stopped in for other errands and found they had been knocked down to $10 now, though they didn’t ring up at that price.  I passed on Wolf Cap though, I don’t need another damn Captain America and I can live without onslaught having his cape.

I did opt for …. THE FACES OF EVIL!

On a side note, I really have no idea why these get packed this way, with silly groupings instead of their names.  It’s not like there are multiple case assortments where one case has character A and the other character B from the grouping.  They don’t share BAF parts either, you still need both of them.  In case you’re wondering what I’m rambling about, Cottonmouth and Whirlwind come packed in shared packaging, their boxes are the same and instead of names they are listed as “The Faces of Evil”.

Moving on…

Cottonmouth

Marvel's CottonmouthOk, so, researching a bit on these guys, as I like to do, it seems there are two different people named Cottonmouth in the Marvel universe.  One is a Luke Cage villain, which could be fun, since Luke Cage is getting a Netflix series and that little corner of the Marvel-verse in general is getting a lot of light lately.  The other is this joker, Burchell Clemens.

This guy is… pretty much as nobody as it gets.  He’s a member of the Serpent Society, a bunch of villains named after snakes, and he got shot by Deadpool, who also pretty much has shot everyone.  He has a bionic jaw that opens pretty huge to allow him to chew on heads and steal beams.

It’s a neat-ish design, the guy in the snake mask looks pretty crazy to be sure, he’s just, not really anyone important.  He makes for some alright generic villain fodder I suppose.

Whirlwind

WhirlwindWhirlwind is slightly more interesting than Cottonmouth (though not much).  His design makes me think “Iron Man Villain” but he’s not, he’s actually mostly a Pym Ant-Man and Wasp villain but he’s gotten around the Marvel Universe a lot.  His power also isn’t quite what i expected just looking at him, he basically spins and moves really fast, and becomes a tornado (hence Whirlwind).  He’s palled around with several other villains, including some other recent lower tier villains like Tiger Shark and Blizzard.  He’s also got a thing for Wasp.  The point is, while he’s not Red Skull or Doctor Octopus, he’s also several levels above Cottonmouth on the who’s who list of villains.

The Human TopAlso while checking into who this guy is, I found a ton of pictures with “Tornado legs” which really makes me wish he had come with some sort of sap out parts accessory.  I found something similar in my parts box but the best I could do is fake it since I’m not going to break the waist apart on this guy just for some pictures.

The only other thing that seems worth noting here is that his helmet is not removable but his little buzz saws are.

Onslaught

Still want more faces of evil?  How about Onslaught, who gets two faces all of his own.

I don’t personally understand what’s going on with Red Onslaught or why Red Skull is Onslaught, as originally designed.  It’s also hard to find any good information on Red Onslaught since the search results all show up Red Skull, who has a long and full history that doesn’t really include “Being Onslaught”.  From what I gather this guy is actually a clone of Red Skull, maybe fused with some Xavier bits who went evil then got captured and something about Inverted Avengers.

Red Onslaught

Regular old Onslight however, I get that.  Xavier and Magneto merged into a super mutant for Xmen to fight, I can get behind that.  Thankfully, the X-men wave gave us an alternate head for Red Onslaught to use the body as regular Onslaught.

Marvel Onslaught

He’s nice and big and beefy and works well for a BAF.

Rocksteady

TMNT RocksteadStill need more?  Have a bonus face of evil, in the form of Rocksteady here from TMNT.  I’m not exactly sure what this line is called, TMNT Classics?  These are larger 6″ Turtles figures with fancier articulation than their normal counterparts.  I’ve been keeping an eye on the listings for Rocksteady and Bebop over on Amazon hoping to catch a deal, and eventually Rocksteady did drop down below the ridiculous $50-$60 price these seem to go for these days.  Frankly, probably not worth that.  He lacks any ankle joints, his accessories have no paint (including his helmet which needs it), the packaging is a lame bubble which isn’t reusable.  All of this is kind of excusable for the original $20-$25 price, not so much as an after market premium.

He’s actually a bit small if you pair him with the Turtles of this same Classics line.  I don’t actually have any of those turtles, but since all of the figures in this line up are the same height, he’d be small next to them.  Which is fine, since I intend for him to go with my non Classics line up of Turtles.  The Turtles are all supposed to be around 4′ tall anyway, a 6″ Rocksteady works great with the 4″ turtles as well as any crossover action with Marvel figures.

He does seem kind of lonely without Bebop, but like I said, not worth $60 at all.

Weekly Wednesday Haul – LEGO CMF Edition

I have this love hate relationship with LEGO CMF’s.  Most of the figures available are pretty cool.  They tend to have a little more detail and unique accessories.  They also get to be great one offs that don’t necessarily fit in a set.  On the other hand, they are blind packed.  I despise this entire concept.  Sure, LEGO can generally be felt out, if you want to spend 30 minutes looking creepy and being loud in the toy aisles, groping little plastic bags.  Generally, I go through maybe one round of feeling bags, where I pick out 3-4 of a wave, then later I decide it’s not worth feeling bags and it’s not worth chancing duplicates, so I just say screw it.

So I ended up with three from the most recent wave (Series 16), two I picked out and one that I haphazardly picked out but was wrong about.  I picked out Banana Guy first, he’s easy, he’s a long tubey Banana.  I also picked out the Ice Queen, also easy because she is the only one with a solid sloped leg piece.  The third I was hoping was the Babysitter, but it was Hiker Guy.  Hiker Guy is still pretty cool though.

LEGO CMF

Marvel Legends Cable and… Other Guy…

IMGP0992In continuing with my current round of picking up X-Men, I got Cable.  There was also a Jean and Iceman, the last two I’m looking for but I’ve got a pre order coming in soon (potentially) so I passed.  I feel like, of the entire wave, those two will be easyish to find later.  Deadpool, Wolverine, and Cable here are definitely the most popular of the wave.  It’s pretty solid, I may have been wrong about Deadpools odd weapons belonging to Cable though.  His shoulders kind of look odd due to his armored flack jacked thing.

I also picked up… this other guy, on clearance at my local Wal-Mart.  I say “This Guy” because it’s not clear who he is.  The box says Demolition Man, though Demolition Man looks like Wolverine with a giant D on his chest (literally).  This figure looks like Scourge.  Doing a search on Scourge suggests that Nuke (from the Giant-Man wave) is Scourge.  One review I found online suggests that Dennis Dunphy, aka Demolition Man, has been running around the comics dressed as Demolition Man.  Or it could be one of those lame name copyright issues that come up a lot in Transformers.

Whatever the case, since I have an Onslaught Head, I’m kind of feeling like I want to actually build the Onslaught BAF, and my local Wal-Mart had most of the wave on clearance for $15.  This guy seemed like the coolest and most likely to be hard to find if these get cheaper, so I started with him.  At the very least, he’s a nice “Generic Solder” sort of guy.

Titans Returns Rewind

IMGP0993One of the pretty major holes in the Lost Light crew (see IDW’s More than Meets the Eye) is a decent Rewind.  We got a disk based one a few years ago, but it’s a spring loaded gimmick with no real joints that doesn’t look like much.  Titants Returns is revisiting Soundwave and Blaster again, along with their cassette bots, this time in a less gimmick hindered format.

Which gives us a pretty nice Rewind.

He has an annoying lack of heels and some huge forearms, but otherwise all three modes are pretty decent and he has a nice interesting transformation.  I really dig how his arms fold open and his head flips into his chest.  I know it doesn’t seem like a lot but on this size of a figure, as a triple changer, it’s pretty slick.