Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's a Birthday Miracle, Charlie Brown!

Oh, how Exclusive toys haunt toy collectors, and Walmart Exclusives, in particular. You'd think that with at least 14 Walmarts within an hours driving distance of me, I wouldn't have such a hard time finding the freaking exclusives. And with Star Wars I didn't. I found Schloads of the Star Wars Walmart Exclusives at the one across the highway from where I work, the closest one to my home. Separation of the Twins sets? Those things PEGWARMED when they were first released (and then again when they were re-released last year). Betrayal at Saleucami? Lots of them. The last 5 figures of The Saga Collection? Tons and Tons and Tons of them!

DCUC Exclusives? Not a chance. Gotham City 5 Pack? No Way. Metallo wave? Hell no! Imperiex wave? Hell, yes?

I've been stalking that Walmart nearest me, every day for 3 weeks, because the DCUC pegs were empty, and surely they would get new figures in. At the 3 week mark, there suddenly appeared on the pegs a lone Killer Moth, one which I assume had gotten lost in the renovation of the store, hence the long empty pegs. I bought it, thinking they would order more figures and get Imperiex. yeah, the next day the 3 DCUC pegs were gone. That was about a week and a half ago. I stopped checking every day, but had to go in this evening to get milk and nearly had a heart attack when I saw Forager and Man-Bat staring at me from 2 full pegs of figures.


I honestly thought this would never happen, and least of all at that store. So far as I can see, without opening them, they look awesome, Imperiex and Batman and Forager in particular. Beast Boy looks to be the most boring, while I expected that of Robot Man, but hey, he's a robot with a human brain, and robots are always cool.

Excuse me while I go open and play with them...

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Monday, October 26, 2009

DCUC 13 Pictures!

This post is supposed to be about something else, like the new figures and comics I've gotten since the last post. Or some more Pic of the Day's, or about GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which I saw last week.

But it's not. It's about my favorite toy line, DC Universe Classics, by Mattel with the Four Horsemen. Wave 13, to be exact. The lineup was published a few weeks ago, but pictures have only just been released. It's a very demon-y and cleavage-y wave.

Let's start with the cleavage, since this line is still woefully short on female figures. We start off with Donna Troy, aka Wonder Girl. It's not the costume I would have preferred, but it looks pretty good, and she strongly resembles Wonder Woman (as she should).

Next up, and a little bit more impressive in the theme, is Classic Cheetah, who is apparently some chick wearing a cheetah skin costume. She's still a woman in a costume. There will also be a Modern Cheetah variant, who if I hear correctly, is somehow actually a cheetah-woman. Cheetah is a Wonder Woman villain.

Also showing quite a bit of cleavage is Cyclotron, a character that was invented solely for the Super Powers toy line of 20 years ago. Apparently, he is also a robot.

The next theme in this wave, is demons. We get a blue demon and a red demon. If I recall what wikipedia said about him when I read it some time ago, Blue Devil was a guy, who wore a blue demon costume for a party or some such, and decided to fight crime in it? And at some point he was actually turned into a demon, or the costume was bonded to him permanently. I don't know, and I don't care, he was pretty cool in that one book I read (Day of Vengeance) and he looks nifty.

Trigon is the Collect & Connect figure for wave 13, and is a big red demon. He also is the father of Raven, from the Teen Titans. No word yet on how large he will be, I'm hoping Chemo sized, but that's probably pushing my luck. I'd guess Lobo/Despero height, maybe Grundy at the best.

Quite possibly the figure I'm looking forward to the most, aside from Trigon, is Superboy, the Superman/Lex Luthor hybrid clone from the Reign of the Supermen story. He is also the last key character we need from said story, the others being: Steel, Cyborg Superman, Eradicator, Life Suit Superman (and long hair red/blue Superman), Green Lantern, and Mongol. Okay, I guess technically we're still missing Matrix/Supergirl, though we do have 3 other Sueprgirls to choose from. They're just not the right costume or character.

We also get our first revisit of a character from a previous wave (not counting Superman and Batman): Blue Beetle, the modern Jamie Reyes version, rather than the Ted Kord version we got before. Ted Kord was a great character, but honestly, his costume was nothing more than skin-tight spandex, like 95% of all other comic book characters. Jamie gets a nifty robotic suit, that looks awesome. I like it, and I hear he's a pretty good character too, featuring in the Brave and the Bold, both the comic and tv show by that name.

Finally, some guy from the Doom Patrol, who I've never heard of (both the guy and the team), excluding all the people on the Fwoosh campaigning for figures from said team. Negative Man. He too gets a variant, though there is a lot of (well deserved, in my opinion) complaining about this variant. It is a head variant, in the vein of Firestorm, Wonder Woman/Artemis, Barda, etc, but looks like it would have been better served as a removable face mask, kind of like Cyclotron has a removable chest piece. I would have rather gotten a simple repaint of Wonder Girl in her black star-field costume, others say he should have gotten a full energy variant or some such, but oh well, not much to be done about it. The exposed head is pretty cool looking.

And there you have it, the next most anticipated wave for me, after wave 10 probably, although there are great figures in waves 11 (Kilowog) and 12 (Darkseid), too. Speaking of wave 12, Mattel has released pictures of the 2 variant figures now, pictures of the entire wave can be seen at TNI, until I get around to making a post about them here.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Moment of Silence for our departed friend...

The long nightmare is over, once again I have a computer. My several years old laptop (a Dell Inspiron 9100) crashed a couple weekends ago, and refused resuscitation, leaving me without access to my games, the many, many pictures I had taken for posting here, and without my programming projects. It was a horrible nearly 2 weeks until the replacement machine arrived, but it's here now, and thus begins the long procedure of reinstalling everything, and getting everything set up to my liking. Hopefully I'll be able to revive the Inspiron for just long enough to copy the entire contents of the hard drive over to the new box.

And here it is.

It is a Dell Inspiron 15, which makes for my third Dell Inspiron, though this one cost about $1000 less than the last one I bought, and is at least 3 times as powerful. So far, I like it, though I haven't yet played any games on it, nor done any programming (that's where I get really picky about how the computer works, keyboard layout, shortcut keys, mouse behavior, and so one). The screen is very pretty though, and it's nice as fast (the previous laptop had only 512 MB of RAM, and with Windows XP that's not nearly enough). It has 3 GB of RAM, an Intel Core 2 Duo, a 250 GB hard drive, and the extra nice screen (1600x900 resolution). It also weighs half or less than the 9100, which was a beast that could be used to bludgeon a moose to death. I could probably kill a cat with this one, and though there are cats in the neighborhood I wish death upon, I'm not going to use my shiny new laptop to do it.

Now that I have computer with which to write blog posts, and to edit photos with, I can take pictures of the stuff I've received lately, this covers about the last 3 weeks or so. I sold a few Star Wars items a couple of weeks ago, and with that money I went on a little spending spree, mostly for comics, but I got a fair number of toys as well. Let's start with the toys.

My growing interest in Marvel comics is causing me to pollute my collection with Marvel toys. I still have little to no interest in toys under 6", so I'm not touching Marvel Universe (or DC Infinite Heroes for that matter), and I'm by no means interested in acquiring all the past Marvel Legends figures (how ever many hundreds that is), but there are a few I'm trying to get, and now I'm watching current/future releases with interest. To start out my Marvel toy collection (not really, but who cares?) I'm starting out where I started my Marvel Comics collection, with Astonishing X-Men (I've only read 3/4ths of the books Joss Whedon wrote, but they're some of the best comics I've ever read). At the moment, I only have the cheap figures: Emma Frost (Diamond variant), Cyclops and Beast. I really want to get Colossus and Kitty Pryde, but they're the most expensive ones to get. Blarg. I'll just have to be patient.

While I was in Las Vegas last weekend, visiting as many Walmart and Toys 'R Us as I could, looking for DCUC Imperiex wave and Marvel Legends 2 packs wave 2.5, I got frustrated with not finding anything. So I made an impulse purchase (somewhat fulled by a similar purchase the week before), and grabbed Scorpion Venom. And I'm glad I did, because it's an awesome figure. He'll go nicely with Iron Spider-man (last week's impulse purchase), and it prompted me to try to get the various Carnage figures, a regular Venom, and Spider-man 2099 (the only one of which I have managed to win on eBay).

Speaking of Marvel Legends 2 packs, I've been trying to get the recent ones, particularly Nick Fury/Red Hand Ninja and Maria Hill/Iron Man. My cousin had extras of a couple of them though, so he sold me the Ninja and Maria Hill, still need to find Nick Fury. And earlier this week, put the variants up for order, so I ordered 2 each of the Sharon Carter/Stealth Iron Man and Dum Dum Dugan/White Hand Ninja, they should arrive soon this week. My cousin and I made a huge toy run this week, hitting 14 Walmarts, again looking for the blasted Imperiex Wave. We found nothing, except a couple of clearanced Marvel Legends: the Cannonball/Domino and Marvel Girl/Cable 2 packs, and Nova variant Human Torch. I happened to have won Marvel Girl on eBay for a good price, only the day before, so I left that 2 pack, but picked up the Domino pack. She looks pretty good, although she has a severely distended left knee, due to the posing in the packaging. Not being the slightest bit familiar with Cannonball, he's going to eBay. And that covers new Marvel figures, for the time being.

In a rare purchase, I picked up a couple of Star Wars figures. I wasn't entirely sure I would keep the comic pack, but I can't find the receipt now, so I guess it's mine. The comic pack is based on the Legacy comic series, which I was a big fan of, for the short time I bought monthlies. Someday I'll pick up the trades and read the whole story. Anyway, the Imperial Knights design is nifty.

I finally purchased a couple of Witchblade figures I've been looking at for the past couple of years, Ian Nottingham and Sara Pezzini (the Witchblade). They are of comparable size to Marvel Legends, and are nicely detailed, if not terribly pose-able. There's a black dress variant of Sara I'd like to get eventually, and a white suit variant of Nottingham. Someday.

And finally, a DC purchase. Barbie Supergirl, which I just barely missed the first time it showed up on on clearance a couple of months ago. She doesn't match with anything else in my collection (size- or style-wise), but she looks really good, so I'll probably keep her, until one of my daughters steals her from me.

On to comics. Let's start with misc stuff. Elektra: The Hand (which was really good, despite not being about Elektra at all), Tales of the Witchblade, and Checkmate: Chimera.

Some Superman and Supergirl comics: Superman: Man of Steel vol 2, Superman: True Brit, Supergirl: Many Happy Returns, and Superman: For All Seasons. I've previously read For All Seasons, it was a good story, though the art's not my favorite. I LOVE Tim Sale's stuff in Batman: Long Halloween and Dark Victory, but I don't think his style works as well for Superman. Plus, the guy's the size of a house, with a chin that Jay Leno must envy. I look forward to Supergirl, I really like Ed Benes' art, and True Brit was written by Kim 'Howard' Johnson and John Cleese of Monty Python, so it should be fun.

Got a bunch of JLA and related comics: The Tenth Circle, Seven Caskets, The Obsidian Age vol 1 (vol 2 was on the way, along with 52 vols 3 and 4, Justice vol 2 and more, but it looks like they're no longer coming, deadbeat seller), Final Night and The Tornado's Path (both of which are extras, and will go back to eBay), New Frontiers vols 1 and 2, and both the hardcover and softcover versions of Matt Wagner's Trinity (one of them will go to eBay, though I don't know which to keep), and Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC/Marvel Crossovers and Justice League: New Beginnings.

And I picked up most of the remaining Grant Morrison New X-Men books, 2-4 and 7, with 6 on the way, just need to grab 5. I still hate Quitely's and Kordy's art, but the stories are mostly pretty good, and the final book was drawn by Marc Silvestri, whose art is gorgeous. I've also been trying to pick up the House of M and Civil War series', and have started off my collection with House of M: Avengers, House of M: Civil War, Civil War: X-Men and Civil War: Iron Man. I look forward to reading them, once I have the complete sets.

And that is everything, that has arrived. There's a few more things on the way, but I'll deal with them when they arrive.

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