Sunday, November 25, 2007

Marvel Legends Series 3 - Holy Headsculpts!!!!

Seeing as we've yet to see Habro Marvel Legends Wave Two here in Australia (don't get me started on the totally sporadic and nonsensical distribution of toys at retail over here!!!!!), I've had to eBay for the figures I wanted from Wave Three. Last week I got Marvel Girl, Black Knight and Cyclops in the post.

Seeing as I presently don't have a display space for my Marvel Legends figures at present, I'm not taking these out of the pack for the moment, however I am really impressed with Black Knight and Cyclops. Very clean sculpting and paint apps. Nice costume design for Black Knight in particular. These two figures would stand well alongside the rest of the ML collection.

The main area where Habro seems to be falling down is with headsculpts, and Marvel Girl is a perfect example of this. The bottom line is the dodgy work on her headsculpt, especially the giant-sized earrings, makes the whole figure look cheap. The headsculpts on Captain America and Bucky from this wave are the reasons I passed them over - and Bucky in particular is a character that Hasbro really couldn't afford to screw up.

Overall I am pleased with these but if the 'Blow can't get more consistent with their QC in the headsculpt department then the future of this line is questionable at best.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Laser Beak Man Rules!

Not an action figure (at least not yet), but a very different type of superhero. Laser Beak Man is the creation of Tim Sharp, an 18-year old Australian chap. I found out about him today at the "Eternity" exhibition at the National Museum of Australia.

The amazing thing about Tim is that he is autistic. When he was young his parents were told that he was beyond hope and the best thing they could do was to put him away and forget about him. When he was 11 drawing was discovered as a way to focus and help him, and the creation of Laser Beak Man gave him a way to begin to develop communication skills.
I was incredibly moved by hearing his story and seeing his work. Laser Beak Man has a website and some merchandise. It really is worth a look.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wrath of Khan Wave "1"

Art Asylum / DST has had a few bumps in the road with its Star Trek line recently, specifically scale and QC issues in the Next Generation line, but its Wrath of Khan Exclusives were spot-on, and now Wave "One" of the Wrath of Khan Series is out and pretty much making the grade.

Paint apps and the quality of sculpting and production are excellent on these figures overall. I usually love the headsculpts on the DST items, and while the Kirk and Terrell sculpts are well done, the Khan headsculpt has a pretty vacant stare which is a disappointment.

With the promise of Spock, Uhura and Saavik in Wave "2" this looks like it will be a very fun set to display, but I'll hedge my bets by keeping these MIB until the next set is out and in scale, thank you!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

JLA Cover to Cover: Wonder Woman

Spoils from AFB's birthday stash continue with this really lovely JLA: Cover to Cover Statue featuring Wonder Woman. It's based on the Jiminez art from the cover of WW #181.

Sculpting and paint apps are beautiful on this very nice piece. You can see her both on her own and with the other statues in the series. I like how the matching bases give them a sense of connection, however the WW base has a twist with the skull from the cover art, just like Flash's base has a bit of the water he's running through.

I was worried about how sturdy Diana's sword would be, but it's made from a very flexible plastic so it won't be breaking off anytime soon!

My only complaint is that we're still waiting for an announcement of any further entries in this series. Surely we should at least complete the Big 7, if not go further??

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Long Live the Legion!

Once again my great customising friend JackKnight92 has come to my aid in my quest for a complete Silver Age Legion. This time the new team members are Light Lass and Dream Girl. All I can say is that I really thank DCD for the Super-Lois figure from the Silver Age Superman Wave! It may have been a dodgy figure itself, but it makes great custom fodder for the cookie-cutter style female SA Legionnaires.

I apologise for the fuzzy pic - a better camera and some lighting are on AFB's Christmas list!
I am getting closer and closer to the complete team that DCD will never give us! You can check out Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl and Shrinking Violet, Matter-Eater Lad and Element Lad and Bouncing Boy and Chemical King.
Next up? Karate Kid and Princess Projectra!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Super Friends from a Super Friend!

Being a toy collector here in Oz has many challenges, one of which being having to choose between enduring long waits and spotty distribution for retail items like Marvel Legends or Mattel (Diamond doesn't sell these items to Oz) or roll the dice on eBay and play inflated prices and inflated shipping to get items at the same time as US collectors.
Patience is not my strong suit when it comes to such things, so I often roll the eBay dice, but it's great to have connected friends like my buddy JQ (well he has a million tags but that's the most common) who got me a few goodies recently.

I have actually seen the Superman and Batman Superfriends! figures in a Toys 'R Us a few weeks ago but nothing else, so I was very happy that JQ tracked down Aquaman for me. Love this one as a great addition to the growing Aquaman shelf!

Cannonball and Domino from Marvel Legends have been bagged out across the boards, and having been less than impressed with what I've seen so far of Hasbro Legends I was bracing myself, but these are not anywhere near as bad as I had imagined, in fact Domino may be one of the better Legends female figures. Paint apps on both of these are spot on, and they stand up well next to their Toy Biz comrades. I'm not a fan of the Legends overarticulation but these are both easy to pose in spite of having joints everywhere. I do wish Cannonball had been done in a different costume tho!

It pays to have friends in the right places - thanks again JQ!!!!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Batman and Son

There's this trap I fall in every time I only want part of a DCD wave. My LCS can only order in full sets but because they're such a good shop (and I'm such a good customer) they will break up sets for me, however they're also very good at either a) setting out the unwanted figures to tempt me and / or b) making such a good deal on the full set so that I can't really say no. And then sometimes they do neither and I crack anyway.

And so it was that I came home with the full set of the Batman and Son wave when I hadn't intended to get them all.

Well, here they are. Enjoy a pic of the whole wave and also Bats and Robin with their respective teams.

Not alot of comment. Man-Bat rocks. Joker is pretty groovy (although I really don't know how many Jokers I need). Everyone has been complaining about the long capes on Batman and Robin, but I like them, particularly Batman's.

I've also heard complaint about the Robin figure, but this is an artist specific wave and this fig is very true to the Andy Kubert art in the series. Sure's I'd rather a BVP of Robin's new costume, but the fig itself is true to what it's supposed to represent. One QC warning - I had to go through a couple to find one that didn't have some paint rubbing on his right fist, with a bit of red paint showing through on the ones I discarded.

And did you notice I didn't comment on Damien? No comment on Damien.


Doing what DCD can't

Jeez, a lead line like that certainly could lead to alot of topics, couldn't it?

Well, here it's character selection and team completion.... ring any bells..................?

Thankfully we have great customisers like Lars. Grab one of his eBay items if you can - of course you'll have to fight me for them!

My latest wins have helped me towards complete Titans and JSA teams. First of all there's this fabtabulous Tempest figure:

A secondly great Lars versions of Damage and Wildcat to go along with the Stargirl I've already bragged about.

Happy happy happy..........

Friday, October 19, 2007

Nightwing - Not Bad!

Long time no post – AFB’s “real life” has been a bit too “real” lately!

Back in January I was pretty unhappy (along with most of the collecting community) about the solicited headsculpt for the 13" Nightwing. This was adjusted by DCD, but unlike most of 13" line I didn't place a firm order for this one at my LCS.

Now October is AFB's birthday month (mark your calendars for next year please....), and with not much else happening DCD-wise around my birthday I decided to at least look this one over when it came in.

The verdict? Well, it's far from terrible. In fact, some aspects are pretty good, and the longer I’ve had him the more he’s growing on me.

A nice range of useable accessories are included, no plastic cats here. The highlight of these is the inclusion of both blue and black masks which attach easily and tightly. From inspection it doesn't look like they're magnetic like the Hal Jordan mask, but they’re not going anywhere. The headsculpt really is a genuine improvement over the craptacular one solicited, but it still doesn’t really evoke Dick Grayson.

On the not so great side, the plain black body suit really accentuates all the negatives of the 13" body sculpt. The funny ridgey leg thing (sorry for the technical terms) doesn’t look great on any of the guys, but it really sticks out here. Bleccch.

The packaging design is pretty pedestrian, a far cry from some of the more creative and eye-catching design work done on the Shazam! and Aquaman packs for example. The "action" shots look like something some Year 9 IT students did up in Photoshop in one lesson. Perhaps the good graphic designer was sick that day?

The bottom line is this looks great alongside the other Bats 13”ers, (thankfully my friend Shaun at The Fortress of Testicular Fortitude as taken some great shots and they look quite good together) but on its own it’s an average effort. Weird then that for some reason I quite like it. Just goes to show that collecting isn't all rational!

Oh hey - I totally forgot to mention that this is first 13"er I've taken out of the box to have a better look at - I definitely like this one better out of the packaging - maybe when Mrs AFB comes through on her promise of moolah for anti-dust display cabinets he can be out permanently!
Until next time.....

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Custom Fun for September!

My two favourite customisers, Jacknight 92 and Lars, are adding more to my collection than DCD are at the moment. When I started collecting DCD I thought I was too anal to put a custom in amongst the DCD product, but need for complete teams has overridden that and I've really discovered the joy of customs now.

First up are my two newest Silver Age Legionnaires courtesy of Jackknight92: Bouncing Boy and Chemical King. Jack really has captured the essence of the SA Legion in the way he produces these customs. They blend in so beautifully with the figures DCD did produce. One of the things I really like about these as the collection grows is that they really remind me of the Legionnaire statuettes that Superboy had in Smallville which the Legionnaires used to call him for help.

By the way, for those who have asked for a wider picture of the Legion collection, I am working towards getting a better camera soon which should help me to get a good pic of this. Photography is not an interest of mine I'm afraid, just a means to an end, so I am only learning how to get good shots.

Next up on the Legion front: (from Jack of course) Light Lass and Dream Girl.

Secondly, another very happy auction win from Lars: Geo-Force. Here he is with his new JLA teammates. As a huge fan of the original Outsiders this is one figure I've been hanging out for, and I think you'll have to agree Lars has done an excellent job with Brion here.

I have a couple of other wins from Lars on the way here and look forward to showing them off soon!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

September's Travels - DCD

Before the month gets away from me, I thought I'd better get the blog up to speed with this month's purchases and acquisitions.

First up are the Reactivated! Super Friends figures. I have some of the originals but they are still MIB and I saw this as a great opportunity to get some additional figures for various displays. I passed on Batman however, seeing as I'd already picked up the one from the Batman Through the Ages set and all the Bats I saw in the Reactivated sets had the same issue as the ones from the Through the Ages set: one misformed bat prong/ear thingy (sorry to get all technical with the Bat anatomy on you there). A shame they couldn't fix that bit of the mold in between waves.

As for the rest, I think they're quite excellent. Unlike some of the other Reactivated! figures these look as good as the originals. The Superfriends Wonder Woman has always been one of my favourite figures, simply because she's such a dead ringer for the cartoon version. The addition of a Flash figure is a nice touch, and again he's a great likeness of his TV show counterpart.
I quite like the packaging on these as well, funny but they look exactly as I thought they would.

Secondly are the Hawkgirl and Scarecrow figures from the latest JUSTICE wave. Shockingly I passed on the Armoured Batman and Green Lantern, and it looks like everyone else did as well seeing as there are stacks of them warming the pegs at both my local LCSs.

All I can say about Hawkgirl is that I think I am in love. This is nothing short of an outstanding figure. The extra head is the making of the toy - not just by making the Shayera look effective but by allowing the best Hawkgirl look as well - if only this had been done with the Hawkman figure to avoid that bizarre shrunken-head look.

Hawkgirl's wing assembly is much more straightforward that Hawkman's as well. Certainly a much easier to assemble than the ordeal I went through having to boil the JSA Hawkgirl's wings to make them malleable enough to pop in! - good to see DCD does some reflection!

Scarecrow is another impressive figure. The Jonathan Crane head (sorry no pic) is a nice touch as well. A shame we couldn't get a whole wave of actual characters of this quality as opposed to the wretched armoured dreck.

At least DCD has acknowledged that people don't want them and flagged that the next JUSTICE wave to be solicited won't be besmirched by any armoured characters.

September's haul should have included the 13" Nightwing as well, but for whatever reason we haven't seen him and my LCS can't find out what's going on with him - good old DCD communication!

That's the month DCD-wise. Next up - new customs!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Custom Happiness Continues......

Let's hear it for Jacknight92 once again, with these awesome Matter-Eater-Lad and Element Lad customs. My Silver Age Legion is two steps closer to completion!

Interestingly, Jack tells me that Matter-Eater-Lad is the most requested SA Legion custom. Go figure!

Next up: Chemical King & Bouncing Boy!

Thanks again Jack!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

No need to be Crushed - this Wave Works!

Firstly let me say.... gee it can be challenging coming up with clever/alliterative/cute post titles! I don't know how people who blog every day do it!!

To the task at hand: I picked up Beverly Crusher, Wesley Crusher and Captain Beverly Picard from DST's Star Trek TNG line on Friday. Q is the case figure for this line so I'll wait til the excitement dies down and grab him on eBay eventually.

There was a fair bit riding on this wave in terms of the credibility of the line after the disappointment of the Data / LaForge line which had major scale issues (DST sent the final versions to be used for molds instead of the pre-shrunk versions. Shrinkage, in whatever form, is just a killer.) On top of this, the paint apps were disappointing in comparison to the previous waves and the black elements of the uniforms were shiny instead of the previous and much better looking matte.

I'm pleased to say then that DST has addressed these issues with this new wave. The figures are back in scale with the previous waves and the paint apps are back to their previous quality.

Both Beverlys (Beverlies? A bevy of Bevs??) are very good. The traditional TNG version is quite a good likeness, well sculpted and comes with a good range of accessories including a laptop and what looks like a dermal regenerator. Her hair is very well done - the parts that rest on her shoulders are made of soft plastic so that it doesn't restrict the movement of the head. DCD could certainly take a page out of this book!

The All Good Things Bev is good, and wins points for being quite a different sculpt, not just a different headsculpt. There is a bit of red blotchy-ness on her face which is a slight detraction. (Sorry about the dodgy pic for this one folks, Andy is saving up for a new camera......)

Wesley doesn't look anything like Wil Wheaton (which isn't a totally bad thing, hey?). Good thing I couldn't really care less about this particular figure.

The only bad thing I'd say about this set is that it really points out just how bad the Data / LaForge / Barclay figures were in both scale and QC. I wonder if there's any chance we'll ever see them reissued as the should have been?

On the good side the return to quality with these figures makes me much more excited about the upcoming DS9 and BSG figures from DST.
Also pleased to see that in the upcoming Previews we are getting another TNG wave that includes Nemesis Beverly, Nurse Ogawa, Chief O'Brien and an Exclusive Ensign Ro. Baffling tho that we are getting all of these characters and still no Tasha Yar??
Until next time!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Oh my Stars!

Besides my main customising man Jacknight92, it's always to fun to manage to get something from Lars, and I went all out to win this amazing Stargirl on eBay. I decided I'd rather spend more for an amazng custom I really wanted than give DCD my money for less than average stuff I never asked for. (And yes, to my heckler from a few posts down, I do know that everything DCD makes isn't about me, but this is MY BLOG, so I'm talking about my collecting tastes.... ;0))

The base is a Birds of Prey Black Canary and I think you'll agree it's an awesome job. Almost feels like I have a Modern JSA Collection......

Thanks Lars!!!!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Early Father's Day to meeee......

Here in Australia Father's Day is the first Sunday in September. Plays havoc with my chances of remembering Father's Day for my US-based Dad. Every year I forget and then have to endure the ensuing guilt-trip. (My mother has a Masters Degree in guilt trips). On the plus side, with my birthday in October, having Father's Day at the start of September starts a nice four-month present buying run. I buy all the presents in our family, including mine, seeing as The Wife wouldn't know where to begin with my little hobby!

I've already got two of my Father's Day presents for this year - the JLA Cover to Cover Flash Statue and JLA Wave 1.

I am very new to the statue world, but the JLA Cover to Cover Series is something I can see working for me. The Flash statue, shown here with Green Lantern, is a great addition to the line. I really like that these are packed in nice boxes that aren't too huge which means that you've got room to hold on to the box in case you ever need to repack the statue.
These figures a very nicely done, not too huge but you still like you have a full statue, not a mini-bust. His running pose is well captured but the statue is very well-balanced. I hadn't planned on picking this up, but I'm very happy with the purchase!

Then today I picked up my set of the JLA Wave One figures, which IMHO range from outstanding to pretty disappointing. Red Arrow is really excellent. His hair colour has been fixed from the solicited blonde to the correct red - hooray! Roy's arrows are actually loose, which is a really nice touch, but they're quite pointy, so watch them around any little people!

Something else I'd be watching around the young is the enormous busoooms Vixen is sporting. Talk about somebody losing an eye! Despite these she is a great figure. An excellent headsculpt, really nice job with her hair, etc.

It's nice to have a MA Black Canary to replace the Turnerised version from a couple years ago, and while this one is a huge improvement I'm not wild on her stance or her slightly vacant stare. Apart from the eyes it's another great headsculpt. The fishnets are real, bit it's a shame they can't find a way to do this without the hideous large seams at the back of the legs.
I hadn't planned on keeping the Superman, but he actually looks much better than the solicits, in fact he makes quite a passable MA Supes, so he's a keeper for this version of the JLA.
The big disappointment here is Black Lightning. As if getting a MA version without having the classic isn't bad enough, this is not a great figure. It's quite different from the solicits, and while the body seems and improvement (less Turnerised and without the weird pointy finger) the headsculpt is just yuck, especially the replacement of the solicited clear goggles with opaque yellow globes that give him a somewhat bumblebee appearance. Not happy.
The packaging of this wave is quite nice. Much better than the JSA packs which looked like they were thrown together at the last moment.
Not sure what Father's Day present #3 is going to be: (one from The Wife and one from each offspring - almost makes a third tempting but then I think of the nappies.....) but I'll let you know when I work it out.
Makes being a Dad all worthwhile.......... :0)

If I worked at DCD....

..... I would take one look at these photos and fill my pants. Really fill them.
I was very skeptical that the Mattel / DC Universe agreement would bring us something really significant, but now that we've been the first two waves of Mattel's new line I am allowing myself to hope.

We haven't seen anything truly stunning in the character selection department (although the Metamorpho BAF comes close), you just get a feeling that something amazing like a Catman or a Reverse Flash or come out of the bag soon!
In the meantime, Mattel has produced sculpts that put the DCD versions of some of these characters to shame. This Aquaman outstrips anything DCD has done by a longshot.

The big challenge of course will be to see if Mattel can manage the QC to produce figures that live up to what the prototypes are promising.

If they do manage to pull that off, I'm going to be sending a big shipment of diapers to DC Direct HQ.....

Monday, July 30, 2007

More Custom Goodness

My great mate Jackknight92 has done it again, taking me two steps closer to a complete Silver Age Legion of Superheroes with his perfect renditions of Triplicate Girl and Shrinking Violet. Huge props to you, Jack! Thanks!

Next up I believe are Element Lad and Matter-Eater Lad. You'll see them here first!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Khan Exclusives? They are Mine!!!!!

Being a keen collector of the Art Asylum Star Trek figures, it was a major bummer to learn that the second wave of the Star Trek: Wrath of Khan figures were going to be SDCC Exclusives. Some folk on my favourite message board have spoken about dropping the whole line because they wouldn't be able to get their hands on them. It seemed like a very odd move.

For myself, I was resigned to not having the Khan set, since I wouldn't want it unless I could have them all.

With this in mind, you could have pushed me over with a (very, very, small) feather when I got an email from my LCS today saying that they had two sets of the SDCC Exclusive Wrath of Khan figures IN THE SHOP, and would I like a set.
Now, you do know I am in Australia, right?
I managed to find time in my schedule to race over the the LCS after work and couldn't believe my eyes. My favourite person at my most wonderful LCS told me that they'd ordered a couple of sets from a shop in Melbourne for a couple of their customers who they knew were keen collectors of the line.

So here I am, on the other side of the world, before the SDCC has started, AND I HAVE THEM! ALL OF THEM! And I didn't have to eBay for them and get ripped off for international shipping and wait for ever for them! BWAAAAHAAAAHAAAA!!!!

Hey guys, being over here and trying to collect all this stuff can be a royal pain in the bee-hind, so you just have to allow me this moment, 'kay?
I couldn't get a good pic of the back, but it shows the first wave (Two Kirks, Khan and Capt Terrell) which hasn't come out yet, and the "second wave" : Spock, Uhura, Saavik, and someone I can't remember but can't be bothered to get up right now to find out.

Extra nice was that when I explained all my garbled excitement to The Wife, she actually understood that this was a good thing and responded very supportively. All is very, very, happy.

But I still want those Legion toys......

Something nice from across the pond....

Oh, boo. I'm a mad Legion of Superheroes fan, so it's been a bit frustrating being here in Oz when the new cartoon is airing elsewhere (snippets on YouTube don't cut it and I would never like, download it or anything.....).

As if that's not bad enough, now McDonald's US is doing Happy Meal Toys with LSH Action Figures, including first-time ever representations of at least one Legionnaire (Bouncing Boy, not sure if Timber Wolf has ever been done before) and some villains.

Seeing as the show isn't airing here I doubt we'll get this promotion. Any AFB readers from across the ocean that are moved to pick these up for me, send me an email. I am sure I can find something to swap. You like koalas? They're very cute.

At least they're not making Phantom Girl. Then I would have to buy a ticket......
EDIT: Michael from the very awesome Legion blog The Legion Omnicom has pointed out the McDonald's has an interactive site up an running for these toys. Check out the Omnicom at and check out the McD's site at Thanks Michael!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New God Goodness

Always happy to give credit where it's due. DCD - thanks, but please don't leave us hanging with one wave of these babies. We need the set. Kalibak, Desaad, Granny and a decent Barda at least before you finish up.

See, we don't ask much..........

DCD Throws Up Again......

Haven't had a good 'ol rant for awhile, but can't look past the DCD solicits for March '08, which includes DCD Regurgitated Wave 4, featuring... the Super Squad????

Looks like DCD can add "Recycled" to the slang for this series. It's not bad enough that so far in four waves we've seen the Big Three plus a hanger-on each time, we are now seeing the SAME SCULPTS recycled for the SAME CHARACTERS in the SAME SERIES!

Points for effort with the cowled Hawkman, and while I'll buy him for the JSA shelf, no points for execution here. Another case of waiting so long to get something only to find you wish it had never been made. And what is he a "Reactivation" of anyway? I'm not even going to ask what "Super Squad" is supposed to mean........

Mark this day as a new low point for the DC of D folks. They're obviously so over any shame of selling you different versions of the same three characters over and over, they'll now just sell you exactly the same dreck time after time.

Are people really stupid enough to keep buying this stuff?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Of Cats and Kittens......

So I wasn't getting the 13" Catwoman. I said it in a previous post here, maybe even two. I wasn't doing villains (yeah, she's an anti-hero now...), I wasn't that inspired by the promo pics, you have to draw the line somewhere, blah-dy blah-dy blah.

I saw her in my local comic shop on Friday and I didn't cave. I looked her over, came up with lots of reasons against and put her back on the shelf, and even resisted her when the shop attendant tried to coerce me, seeing as I always buy the 13" figures. I got in the car, impressed with my own resolve.

It lasted about 24 hours.

Anyway, now that she's home and in her proper place, what was I thinking??? This cat is awesome. I haven't totally unpacked her (see previous post for future 13" display plans) but I did take her out of the box in the tray for better photographing.

A few comments: Love the detail in this line. The leather bodysuit is really amazing. The zipper works (hey, I had to try) but doesn't feel overly robust, so we'll leave it up (makes everyone here happy anyway...). I'm not that keen on her facial expression (eyes I think) but I plan to display her with the goggles on and they look great. She seemed a little bow-legged but I was able to adjust that even with her still in the tray. From what I've read she is a bit shorter than Batman so that bodes well for Robin and future teen / female figures.

Funny that when we went to pick her up my eldest (all of 6) told the shop attendant she's very worried about when the "big Wonder Woman" is going to come out. What is going on DCD??

Now to another amazing feline: the Bowen Kitty Pryde Mini-Bust. I know it's not DCD, but anything Kitty crossed my radar. This bust is awesome, and frankly puts the Women of the DC Universe to shame. She's on a bigger scale than the DCD busts, the paint apps are amazing and the detail is great. Despite the thin arms and Lockheed's wings she's very sturdy. An A+.
I'm very happy with her and am planning on getting the Thunderbird and Banshee Mini-Busts that are coming out later this year. Enjoy!
And by the way, I am definitely not getting the 13" Nightwing...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Favourite Martian

I have to say that DCD has outdone itself with the new Martian Manhunter 13" figure, especially since he's been the cause of a much unexpected turn of events in my collecting journey...

First to the figure... I've been a huge fan of this line to date, but was uncertain about how they were going to handle the task of bringing J'onn J'onzz to 13 inches, what with all the bare green flesh and such. The result is more than pleasing. Certainly the weaknesses of the 13' body sculpt (cut arms and thighs) are exposed, but it doesn't detract from the overall effect. The extra pair of hand and extra Martian head are very nice touches. They've done a nice job with the box design as well. Needless to say this stands up very well against the rest of the 13" line.

..and that leads well into my unexpected event.... when I got him home my kids were interested and The Wife came over to have a look and even made an admiring noise. At the moment I have all my 13" MIB and I commented that I was going to have to take them out of the boxes soon to make room, to which the wife commented that we should really get some proper display cabinets for them so that they don't collect dust.

Now to understand the significance of this you need to understand that just a couple of years ago my collection was allowed nowhere nearer the house than a large number of plastic containers in the storage shed which has a suspect roof and threat of leak or storm damage. In this short time they have worked their way from plastic tubs to on display on very basic shelves in my study, and now I'm getting proper display cabinets and I didn't even have to ask for them.

Just finished reading New Avengers #31. Starting to the The Wife is actually a Skrull, but I'm not going to skewer her to find out.

Then I won't get my cabinets.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Infinite Indifference

I think I may have cracked DC Direct's strategy. With a couple of recent exceptions, the amount of effort and QC put into a figure is in inverse proportion to how much anyone cares about it. Stunningly clever, ain't it?

Take this week's Infinite Crisis Wave Two. Hands down, Firestorm is the figure of the bunch. See him here with his other newcomer friends. He's well sculpted with excellent paint apps. His fire base is exceptional.

On the other hand, the Wonder Girl and Donna Troy figures, ones I expect were more widely anticipated, have been pretty much botched in my view, The Wonder Girl figure doesn't look too bad with some of the Classic Titans (pictured below), but I wouldn't suggest putting her next to the Contemporary Titans or putting the Donna figure next to any version of Kyle Rayner - Scale Issue City.

But it's in the individual inspection of the Donna figures that they really fall down. First up, we have some majorly freaky arm construction here. They're far too long and almost appear to be on backwards, making for a very awkward stance. The hips and waist are also clunky, although the loose fitting belts help cover that up. It appears as though a pinkish plastic has been used as opposed to flesh coloured paint and the effect is that they look more like something you'd find in the cheap toy section at the supermarket rather than what should be a quality collectable. More strangely on the Wonder Girl figure the flesh pieces of the upper body are raised above the uniform as though they were different pieces. On the plus side, the head sculpts for the two figures are quite different and fitting.

As for the big three, these are great(ish) ideas that fall short to varying degrees. I'm definitely more of a BVP person but when it comes to Superbat, how many BVP's do you need? I actually quite like the shredded uniform Bats. The detail is excellent here, down to little scratches etc., but there is some sloppy paint work on mine and what appears to be paint spatters on his flesh. Wonder Woman has the same cheap-pinky flesh thing as the Donnas and also the same weird waist and hip thing which me no likey. Supes just doesn't work for me at all. Really hate the head sculpt, and as you can see the only way he'll stand up on his little peg thing without pulling the base over is to put the base sideways which is annoying. As for the claims that you can put these in a plain pose? Not likely.

I don't have a problem with Firestorm II getting a figure. He's had his own series and obviously a base of fans, so good for them. It does seem very typical DCD however that in a line-up like these it's the newcomer and least likely to be remembered that gets the corker of a figure, while the others get progressive levels of blah and blech.

That's a way to keep you fan base, isn't it?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Forbidden Fruit

So a quick confab with the domestic coordinator confirmed today that I will not be owning the 13" Power Girl if I want to keep my marriage, my collection and I think it was implied, my willy.

Something to do with the gratuitous representation of women in comics and the fact that we have two young daughters and (you know that sound that all the adults on Charlie Brown make when they speak? Yeah, that's what I heard)

Currently seeking one centrally located friend who will allow me to keep this one at his place and come to look at it often.........
Oh, and to the self-righteous prick who always complains when I post anything about my wife, she, unlike you, has a sense of humour.........

Custom Heaven

I'm not just an rabid Legion of Superheroes fan, I'm a major Phantom Girl Phanatic, so it's always been a point of desperation that DCD pulled the plug on their SA Legion cookie cutter series short of PG and the other early Legion Ladies.

I fret no more, because my amazing customising friend known on many a board as Jackknight92 has produced me this extra fine custom which fits in unbelievably with her SA friends.

I'm still at that stage where I get a little tingle up my spine every time I walk past the shelf and see her there (which is an improvement since when I first put here there I was so excited I'm pretty sure I peed a little bit).
It's an excellent job, but also shows how easy it would have been for DCD to have finished off this line. Grrrr.
At least DCD's current output is making it easy for me to have enough money to commission more customs.
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