Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Littlest Gladiator

GladiatorIt's only in the world of comic books that you'll see a mohawk combined with a flowing red cape. Purple skin and pointy ears seem like a natural addition as well.

I've always thought that the Marvel character Gladiator was pretty cool, even if he did seem to be a Superman ripoff of sorts. Cool enough in fact, to convince me to give the Marvel Universe line by Hasbro another try.

I haven't been in love with the line for quality control reasons, as most of the figures seem to suffer from genuinely terrible paint jobs. But given that neither Toy Biz or Hasbro ever put out a 6-inch version of Gladiator in the Marvel Legends line, I felt it was worth grabbing this small one.

Gladiator looks great packaged, and I was tempted to leave him that way at first, but what fun would that be? The thing that attracted me to the toy in this case, was the great paint job. Yeah, I said it... this figure has a very good paint job that features a lot of really nice detail and shading. The choice of paint colors is fun also. The bright red contrasts nicely with the metallic gold and blue paints that make this figure unique.


The overall sculpt is good, and though the figure's articulation could use a little tweaking here and there--an articulated waist would be nice--I've no problems with the play value. Well... there is one thing. As much as I like the look of Gladiator's cape, the length of it is a bit annoying. The thing inhibits the poses that you can put the figure into, because it's as long as his legs. If they'd gone with a cape that came to about mid-calf, it would have made a big difference.

All in all, I'm happy with this toy, and I'll admit that even though I'd love to see them continue to improve the overall quality of the Marvel Universe line, Gladiator is a winner that's got me interested in what Hasbro is doing here again.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cool Ranch Green Lantern

Doritos seem like a fitting brand to couple with a promo for a comic book inspired movie. In this case the idea is to text or enter a code at a Web site to see if you've won movie tickets.


Doesn't look like I've won the tickets, but now I'm apparently entered to where I might be drawn into a Green Lantern comic book or cartoon. That, and I've got a big bag of chips to eat.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lantern Critters

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that someone at Mattel might either be a genius or a lunatic. If the DC Universe line has been doing well with completists, then nothing will do better than a Green Lantern line where there could be thousands of different Lantern figures.

A perfect example is this set of three ring wielding tiny creatures from wave two of the DC Universe Classics Green Lantern line.

B'dg, Despotellis, and Dex-Starr

There's B'dg the Green Lantern squirrel, Dex-Starr the Red Lantern kitty, and Despotellis the Sinestro Corps virus. It's great that Mattel has a relaxed enough attitude about this toy line to put out a carded set with a squirrel, a cat, and a yellow thingy, but I'm not sure if I'd pay as much as I did for something like this again.

B'dg, Despotellis, and Dex-Starr

...or maybe I would. The squirrel's pretty cool actually.

Green Lantern B'dg

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Surf and Turf Green Lanterns

Green Lantern MedphyllAs much as I'll admit that DC Comics has always been guilty of some truly cornball concepts, I've also gotta admit that the older I get, the more fond I become of every one of them.

A perfect example are the two Green Lanterns, Medphyll and Naut Kei Loi. Medphyll is basically a plant-headed humanoid Green Lantern, and Naut Kei Loi is a fish headed Green Lantern who wears a water filled helmet. Silly? Yes, it's silly, but it's also extremely fun.

Green Lantern Medphyll

Mattel won me over ages ago to the DC Universe Classics line by focusing on obscure characters. The Green Lantern offshoot line is obviously just as dedicated to giving us the weirder lanterns that we'd probably put way at the bottom of our list of choices, but end up being favorites when we get them. Well... for me anyway.

Green Lantern Medphyll

The bubble comes packaged with one body and a choice of two heads to complete either character. It's a concept that I have mixed feelings about, largely because I'm not so sure if they should both have the same kind of feet and hands. I hate to be a nitpicker, but I don't imagine that the plant-headed guy would really share the exact same body as a fish-headed alien.

Still though, It's nice that Mattel has worked out a way to let us decide if we really want to buy just one or both characters, and it doesn't critically effect our completing the collect and connect version of Stel.

Green Lantern Naut Kei LoiGreen Lantern Naut Kei Loi

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Green Lantern Movie Figures

Mattel hasn't done much to wow me when it comes to small scale action figures, but I was curious to see how the 4-inch line from the new Green Lantern movie turned out, so I picked up the first two figures.

Green Lantern

Committing to these two was no minor thing, as they seem to be retailing for $8.99 at the places where I've seen them. But still, I'm jazzed about the film and want to give Mattel the benefit of the doubt, even though I know the price is a bit of a ripoff.

Figure GL01 is a basic version of Green Lantern with a huge translucent fist construct.

Green Lantern

The toy is actually made well, and I think, generally speaking, it's a good looking little figure. It features a minimal amount of articulation which makes the high price harder to justify, but I can actually sort of understand Mattel's approach to making these toys. They seem to prefer a simple and durable design that will hold up to a very young child's abuse, rather than something more delicate with better articulation.

Green Lantern comes with a giant and heavy plastic fist that attaches to his right hand. The toy can in no way, shape, or form actually stand on its own when using this fist. I'll admit that I worked a little Photoshop magic, and you can still see a shadow from the stick that I used to hold the figure up. Collectors will hate the fact that Green Lantern can't stand while using the fist, but kids probably wont care.

Green Lantern

Figure GL02 is a translucent green "Max Charge" version of Green Lantern, that comes with a crossbow construct.

Green Lantern - Max Charge

He actually stands pretty well on his own this time while holding up the crossbow. As I've said before, I'm a sucker for clear plastic toys, so this one definitely caught my eye. There's nothing really special about this figure and nothing wrong with it either, but it's an even more dramatic example of why these toys are truly overpriced.

Green Lantern - Max Charge

I can see paying $6.99 for a figure with just six points of articulation and a very simplistic sculpt, but nearly nine dollars is silly.

On the whole, I'm not unhappy with them, but after this I'll be waiting for a sale of some sort before I buy any more. Same goes for the Movie Masters 6-inch line for that matter. They seem to be retailing for around fifteen dollars, and from what I can see, the quality isn't all that great. Definitely not worth the steep price.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night

...no peanut butter cup shall escape my sight.

I'm getting excited about the new Green Lantern movie, but what I love the most are the silly food promos that are just starting to appear. This Reese's promo offers a chance to win some kind of jet fighter "experience." I didn't win, but I did enjoy the character bio on the inside of the wrapper.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Monday, May 02, 2011

Battle Buffalo

Before there were Transformers, there was the Diaclone line by Takara in Japan. One of the few items that I own from the Diaclone line is this bubble faced robot named Battle Buffalo.

Battle Buffalo
Battle Buffalo

This figure is about eight inches tall, and is primarily plastic with just a little die-cast. I've only one Diaclone driver (the little yellow guy), who's somewhere around an inch tall.

Battle Buffalo

Battle Buffalo divides into three separate vehicles that can be driven by the smaller figures, and if you look closely, you'll notice that I'm actually missing the missile that makes up the very front of the vehicle on the left. If anybody has a spare one, I'd be pretty happy to take it off your hands. (I know... fat chance.)

Battle Buffalo

Here's a great Japanese commercial for the toy that I put up on YouTube a while ago. It's a perfect illustration of why these toys are so much fun.