Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Action Figures I Don't Like: ReAction Skyfire

 Similar to my entry on Monday, it's not so much the figure I hate, as the value of the figure--or lack thereof.  ReAction is a small company that makes old-school figures from popular properties like Alien, Halloween 2, Child's Play 2, Ninja Turtles, Thundercats, Robotech, and Transformers.  They also do other stuff like wrestlers, rock bands, and cult movies like They Live.  An ad for the Transformers figures showed up on my Facebook feed and when I saw the second series included Skyfire (the cartoon version of Jetfire) I went to their site and bought him and the Alpha Trion figure.

And a couple of weeks later or so the figures showed up.  I hadn't really done enough research on these because I didn't realize they really don't have much articulation or anything.  The detail is OK but they just move the shoulders and top of the legs.  They're basically like the old Star Wars figures from the late 70s and early 80s.  No bending elbows or "kung-fu grip" like the GI JOE figures and their ilk.  So there's not really much you can do with them.

What's worse is they're $18 apiece!  Almost the same price as Marvel Legends, Star Wars Black Series, GI JOE Classified Missions, or McFarlane DC Multiverse figures that are more than twice the size.  And obviously those figures have a lot better articulation and accessories and stuff--except the ones I mentioned in my previous entry.

I get they're a small company and these are small batches so the price needs to be higher, but it still just kinda sucks.  I will say the artwork on the boxes is nice and I love, love, loved that the Alpha Trion figure has a vinyl cape like the old Star Wars figures.  What I didn't like was how easily I could twist his hand off when I was trying to put a weapon in it.  I glued it back on recently, though it'd probably come off again if I drop it or try to put anything in it.

Vinyl Cape!!!

Anyway, I do like the look of the Skyfire one, especially compared to the Robotech Veritech ones they made that had a weird top-heavy look.  It's kind of neat to have him on the shelf with my other Jetfires and you can see he's the same size as the Generation 2 one I bought for probably less than $6 in the mid-90s.

It's just like my previous entry where sometimes you really need to consider the value of what you're buying.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Action Figures I Don't Like: Rocket Raccoon & Spider-Ham

To be honest, I love Rocket Raccoon and Spider-Ham.  Raccoons have always been one of my favorite animals, so Rocket has always been a neat character to me.  And Spider-Ham I thought was neat just because the idea of a Spider-Pig (predating Homer Simpson's by about 20 years) is pretty funny.

What I really don't like is paying $20 for a 3-inch figure.  That's pretty fucking ridiculous.  Though I only paid $5 for Rocket because the Five Below in Westland had a bunch of GOTG2 figures so I wound up getting him and Death's Head II.  The Spider-Ham, though, I paid full price from Meijer in Waterford because I figured if I didn't get him then I'd never see him in a store again and he'd be even more expensive from Amazon or eBay.  Besides the 3-inch figure you get a Venom Build-A-Figure chest and an alternate Venom head that's a pig.  The Rocket one came with a baby Groot and the leg of a full-size Build-A-Figure Groot.

The 6-inch figures in the background give you an idea of scale.

Since I was never going to get all the other figures to complete the Build-A-Figure it was pretty much a waste.  Hasbro does the same stuff with some of the Star Wars ones like droids, Yoda, Jawas, or Grogu (aka "The Child" from The Mandalorian.)  As much as I might like these characters, paying $20 for a half-size figure just seems ridiculous to me.  On clearance or as part of a two-pack or something would at least give you better value.

Unless you have tons of money to throw around you can either buy one regular-sized figure or a half-sized figure.  What do you do?  #ToyCollectorProblems

What sucks is I could have waited until this year (or next year) when they came out with a Spider-Gwen that includes a smaller Spider-Ham from Into the Spider-Verse.  Not that mine is bad; it just makes me feel like a chump paying $20 for half the figure.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Action Figures I Don't Like: Marvel's Cannonball

 This entry is a little different as it's an action figure not actually in my collection.  It could have been, though.  I was at the Walmart in Bay City last February and I saw this figure in the clearance bin for $4.50.  Ordinarily I'd pounce on a deal like that, but there wasn't anything else I wanted to buy there and the figure looked so profoundly stupid.  Look at this:

It's basically a statue because the dude has no legs.  He doesn't come with anything except a Build-A-Figure piece either.  It's not like I play with my action figures anymore, but it's nice to have the option to pose them if at some point I so desire.  What are you supposed to do with this asshole?  I could hang him up like some of my other figures like Spider-Man, Batman, and Iron Man, but that's about it.  It really isn't worth even $4.50, let alone the $20 it retails for on Amazon.  It seems like there must have been some other X-Force characters they could have made instead of this.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Action Figures I Don't Like: Green Arrow (McFarlane CW TV Show Version)

 Two of my three McFarlane DC Multiverse figures were featured as Action Figures I Like:  Superman (Action Comics #1000) and Azrael (Curse of the White Knight).  The third one I bought, though, I don't really like.

I liked CW's Arrow for its first three seasons and then the whole annoying Ollicity thing dragged it down in the fourth season and I just stopped watching.  There was a Green Arrow figure from the series as part of Mattel's DC Multiverse line but I never saw it in stores and it was too expensive to buy online.  So I was stoked to get the McFarlane version.

If you look close you can see where I scratched at it with a knife to whittle it down to fit in his hand.

And then I was really disappointed.  The likeness is good but unlike the Superman and Azrael ones he doesn't stand all that well.  The quiver on his back turns around easily and the arrows can fall right out.  But the thing that really sucked was his bow wouldn't fit in his hand!  It was a figure that really needed movable fingers because the bow would just not go in his hand.  To make it fit I had to get out a knife and start whittling down parts of the handle until he could actually hold the thing.  It was really annoying and for me pretty dangerous too.  At least I did sort of get him to hold his bow, though maybe not exactly in shooting position.  Close enough!

It was a misstep for the McFarlane line but as they say in Bad Santa:  They can't all be winners.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Action Figures I Don't Like: Luis

 To celebrate 10 years of the Marvel Universe, Hasbro did a bunch of two-packs of Marvel Legends figures that related to different movies and TV shows.  I didn't buy any at first since they retailed for like $30-$50, but eventually some of them were marked down on Amazon so you were essentially getting two figures for the price of one--if not less than one.  

The thing about these two-packs is that one figure seems to have a bunch of accessories and maybe an extra head and the other one comes with almost nothing.  Like the Captain America: The First Avenger one the Captain America figure has two shields, two guns, a helmet, and an extra head while the Peggy Carter figure has...a gun.  Or the Luke Cage pack has Nurse Claire Temple who has two different sets of hands and Luke Cage has...nothing.

A two-pack for Ant-Man and the Wasp featured the villain Ghost and Ant-Man's buddy Luis.  It was a little more even than the other two packs as the Ghost figure has her masked head (with a separate hood) and a normal human head while Luis has...a miniature version of Hank Pym's building and an oversized red ant.  Neither of those things are really that connected to him personally.  And of course Luis doesn't have any powers or anything.  He's just a guy in a suit.  He doesn't even have a gun!

So while he's a good likeness of Michael Pena and the articulation isn't bad, he doesn't really do anything.  Actually on the shelf he looks like he's guarding the rest of my collection.  It's pretty lame.  Definitely the kind of figure I would never buy on his own unless he was only like $5--maybe not even then.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Action Figures I Don't Like: Mystique (Marvel Legends)

 Like the Kingdom Come Superman one this is one I bought a couple of months ago.  In this case I got it from Target as they had a BOGO 50% Off sale.  I got the movie Venom which is pretty neat and since there wasn't much else I got Mystique.  

I'm not sure if this Mystique is the Rebecca Romijn version from the first movies or the later Jennifer Lawrence one.  The likeness to me seems more like the first one, but maybe I'm wrong.  The figure is fine in the standing and articulation.  What annoys me is all she comes with is one white flesh arm.  Why just an arm?  She's a shapeshifter, why doesn't she come with another head?  Like a normal Rebecca Romijn or Jennifer Lawrence head?  Or some other regular human head.  I mean even Zartan in 1983 or so came with a normal bearded face as a disguise.  It just seems like a huge oversight to me.

But what I found out is that her head does come off a lot easier than Kingdom Come Superman's.  I didn't need to boil her or anything.  I just popped it off.  A few months earlier I bought the Gwen Stacey figure that also came with a Mary Jane Watson head.  I put the Mary Jane head on her so I had a Gwen Stacey head free.  It was just the right size to pop onto Mystique so she has a regular human head and arm.  Sweet.  I tried a couple of other heads but the only other one that's the right size is the Ghost head from Ant-Man and the Wasp.  The Mary Jane head I'm sure would also fit if I popped it off her body.

You can pop her hands off and I found Claire Temple's hands fit in there, so she has one hand with sort of Wolverine claw-looking things and another wearing a blue glove.  It's too bad you can't pop off the legs easily or maybe I could switch legs with someone.

It's nice when you can fix the toy company's oversight, though the consumer shouldn't have to do that.  In this case it seemed pretty obvious to me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Action Figures I Don't Like: Kingdom Come Superman (Mattel DC Multiverse)

This was a recent addition to my collection.  I had bookmarked it on Amazon for a few months and finally one was on sale because it was an Amazon Warehouse special--the packaging WILL be damaged!  (Which always makes me imagine someone at Amazon has the job of beating up these Warehouse items to make sure the package is damaged.)

Kingdom Come was a seminal graphic novel from the 90s by Mark Waid and art by Alex Ross.  I think I've mentioned it on this blog before.  The story is set in the future, when younger superpowered people are getting out of hand, led by the brutal Magog, so the aging Superman and those of his generation take them on.

The Superman from this book has white in his hair and his shield is black-and-red because he's in mourning over Lois Lane.  After the book and I think a sequel, Geoff Johns had him come over to the main DC Universe to join the Justice Society of America for a little while.  (This was around the same time as he also added the Stargirl that was the basis of the TV show.)  Last year former Superman Returns star Brandon Routh played a version of the character in the Crisis on Infinite Earths thing on the CW.

How It's Supposed to Look

Most of the figure actually isn't all that bad.  I mean it has decent articulation and the black-and-red shield and red trunks.  The problem is the head doesn't look right at all.  The gray in the hair is barely visible and the face isn't really wrinkled.  It looks like a normal Superman head with the barest amount of gray sprayed on the sides of the head.  It's just not right at all.  If I had some white paint or maybe even some of that old liquid White-Out stuff I'd try to recolor the hair myself, but I couldn't really do much for the wrinkles.  Since this as a pretty recent figure (one of the last waves before they changed from Mattel to McFarlane) there's not much excuse for the bad likeness.

I decided to try a little experiment to "fix" this figure.  Last February I bought a crappy Flash from The Dark Knight Strikes Again (whatever the second shitty one was called) from Ollie's and it came with an old Bruce Wayne head.  That head has more pronounced lines and gray hair.  So I took a black marker and pen and colored the top and part of the sides black.

The problem is that I couldn't get Superman's head off.  But from a Toy Galaxy video I remembered there was a way to swap heads.  I looked it up on YouTube and watched some British guy's video where he dipped a figure in a coffee mug of boiling water for 3 minutes and the head popped off.  So I boiled some water and filled a cup and dipped Superman for 3 minutes.  I wrapped a towel around him and POP! off came his head!

The problem then is that Superman's head peg is smaller than Bruce Wayne's head.  I filled Bruce Wayne's head with some Elmer's type glue.  It's not really great but for the moment it's on.  As long as you don't move him around too much it's OK.  It's a little big for his body and the expression is a little too angry, but he definitely looks more like a guy in his 50s or 60s than the original head.

Now who's going to be the first to say they like the original better? 😡

Monday, January 4, 2021

Action Figures I Don't Like: Mikasa Ackerman (McFarlane Attack on Titan Figure)

I talked about the figures in my collection I like.  But for all the hits, naturally there are going to be some misses.  Not tons of them, so there won't be as many of these.

The first one is Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan.  I don't watch that show or read the manga or anything but I saw her in promos and thought she looked cool.  I first saw the McFarlane action figure at the Sterling Heights Walmart a couple of years ago but didn't buy it.  Later I thought I ordered it from a 3rd party seller on but it turned out to be her brother!  Since it wasn't actually Walmart selling it I had to pay to return the thing, so I basically paid $10 to NOT get a figure.

I eventually got the right one from eBay I think.  Except it turned out to be a disappointment.  First off it's one of those where the legs don't move much; the knees bend but the tops of the legs don't really move so it limits how you can pose her.  Then she has all these accessories that don't really stay in place; the sword thing there doesn't really fit in her hands.  But the worst is that her left arm came out of the socket and won't really go back in.  I'd probably have to glue it into place.

For the effort it took to buy the thing, I was really disappointed with it.  I hope they make a better one so maybe someday I could get that.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Action Figures I Like: Batman of Zur-en-Arrh

The Batman of Zur-en-Arrh was originally a story back in the 50s that like most 50s stories was pretty goofy.  There was an alien on another planet who for some reason idolized Batman.  He made his own weird costume that was red with a purple cape.  Eventually he brought Batman to his home planet and they saved the day together.

Back in about 2008 for the Batman RIP storyline, Grant Morrison reused the Batman of Zur-en-Arrh, only it was different.  When the evil Simon Hurt was trying to destroy Bruce Wayne, something snaps in Bruce and he ends up on the streets making a homemade Batman costume and wielding a baseball bat.  He also starts to see Bat-mite, a 5th Dimension imp.  So he's basically crazy hobo Batman.

It was one of those weird Morrison ideas that was pretty cool, especially when you learned the history of it.  When I finished reading the Batman RIP story in 2012 I looked for a Batman of Zur-en-Arrh figure but there wasn't one--yet.  That didn't come out for another year or so.  It took me another year to get it off Amazon or eBay or wherever.

He is a pretty awesome representation of the character from the Morrison story.  You've got the mismatched colors, the ratty cape, and the stitches on the cowl.  He came with his baseball bat, a crappy radio, and Bat-mite so he was pretty much complete.  He stands pretty well and has good articulation.

All in all, a pretty neat figure and the one that I guess for now I'm ending this on.  

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Action Figures I Like: Spider-Girl

I wasn't really going out of my way to get a Spider-Girl; I was actually trying to get the rest of the pieces for the Abomination Build-a-Figure I had parts of.  A seller on eBay had a couple of the parts I needed.  He also had a special where if you bought 2 things you got a third free.  Since I was already buying 2 things, I might as well get the third thing for free, right?  I looked through his inventory and saw a loose Spider-Girl Marvel Legends figure and so for the hell of it got that for my 3rd item.  She might not technically have been the free one but whatever.

I've seen her in a few comics, both the Ultimate Marvel universe and the regular one.  She's a different character than Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman, though obviously they both have spider powers.  Spider-Girl has what looks like the 80s symbiote suit Spider-Man wore, only I don't think hers is a symbiont.   

I was Googling for a comic book picture and found someone's much more comprehensive review of the figure if you want to know more about it.

Other than a Build-a-Figure piece, I'm not sure what she was supposed to come with.  Just the figure is good enough for me.


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