Thursday, July 11, 2013

First Impressions of New Toys July 11, 2013

I got some new toys in the mail today. Hooray!

I'll try to give some brief (ha! Excess verbosity warning!) first impressions of them.

First up, from the CapturedPrey 3rd Party Party during Botcon, it's the Shattered Glass versions of B-Box and Birdbomber by Kieth's Fantasy Toys. I never talked about Rhinohorn here, but I rather liked it: the transformation was rather clever, the joints, while not always snug, always seemed to be snug enough in the positions I wanted them in - ie, he can rear up on his hind legs. So I was very excited to get this set of combining cassette dudes, cuz combiner! Also, I want to have a nice army of cassette dudes for when I get Masterpiece Soundwave.

I rather like the original pink/green deco of these, but in part because these are a very Optimus Prime-esque red/blue deco, and in part because they were exclusive, and because I got the Shattered Glass version of Rhinohorn (and am planning on the SG version of Ironpaw) I got the SG versions of B-Box and Birdbomber. I'll try to refrain from getting the standard versions of all of these, no matter how much I enjoy them.

First up: B-Box. My very first impression is that for such a tiny box, it feels rather weighty. Plastic quality is good, the blue color is really great, transformation is pretty good, not as clever as Rhinohorn, but good. The figure is pretty articulated, more than I expected (and more than Rhinohorn). I probably would have preferred silver weapons, but the gold looks good.

Birdbomber: The red is not as glorious as the blue of B-Box, but similarly this one has tons of jointage, and most of it is ball joints so you can position it any way you like. Joints could stand to be a little more snug though. This one is going to take a little longer to figure out how to pose it so it looks good. The gold weapons are definitely needed on him to give some much needed color variation.

Both B-Box and Birdbomber have tons of sculpted detail that looks very nice, but can't really be seen due to lack of paint. A dark wash would have gone a long way to making all the detail visible and improved the looks of these two. However, now that I am a pro Gundam kit assembler, I am going to panel-line the hell out of these two guys. Not going to bother attempting the combiniation at this time.

For only $5 more than the standard release, this is an exclusive worth getting, if you prefer the color, or the limited nature of them. You can pick them up exclusively at Captured Prey, assuming they still have them in stock. Also, as far as Third Party TFs go, either set is pretty reasonably priced, being the same as the Japanese issue MP cassettes.

Next up, Leathal Weapon set. Since my cousin drags his feet in showing me the rest of the series (and also because I feel like going on a Jet Li kick) I picked this set up for under $5 on eBay. Haven't checked any out yet, but as long as the movie plays, it's served its purpose.

FansProject Down Force. Ah FansProject. Do I even need to say anything about this? I have several FP figures and they're all great. I can't say I was crazy about this particular figure, the orange/yellow color doesn't appeal to me from the photos I've seen, but being part of their Not-Stunticons Combiner set it's not like I could skip it.

The color is better to my eyes, in person. It could be better though. The animated art on the front of the box is awesome, and I prefer the yellow that is to they yellow-ish-orange-ish the figure is. Still, combiner piece and excellent figure so I'll get over it.

I don't generally care about the box, because it's either garbage or save-for-moving/storage type stuff, but I've really enjoyed the look of these three last several FP figures. They will look good displayed on a shelf together, spines forward, and now that I have a bit more room to display stuff, maybe I'll throw a few of these on a top shelf where I wouldn't put a toy. But, this box is 2 to 3 times bigger than it needs to be. I appreciate the uniformity with the previous figures in the set, because of my OCD, especially now that I'm thinking of displaying them, for a while anyway, but really, all of them could be smaller packages. Oh well.

Okay, I've written three paragraphs about this guy and haven't even removed him from the plastic tray, yet. But do I even need to? This guy is going to be fantastic. The previous two figures in this set, Car Crash and T-Bone are great, and this guy will be no different. I will say that the lack of accessories kinda sucks. I really enjoyed the Bruticus add on figures, that they each came with a ton of weapons and bits and bobbles, and even if you weren't getting them for their combiner aspect, just the extra loadout of weapons was cool.

These guys each have one tiny gun thing, and that's it. I know all the combiner bits are coming with the final figure, but seems like it might have been good to distribute some stuff out among the other figures. The color balance is all off in this picture, that's not remotely what color the thing looks in person, but I kinda wish it was.

As with T-Bone and Car Crash, the articulation appears to be excellent and useful. There's some weird greebles on the ends of his shoulders I don't like, he needs better ankle spurs (though I really like how the tires look as the heels), I LOVE the clear blue windshield and headlights, and the purple goes really well with the orange color. There should have been more purple.

This is already dragging on so I'm not going to bother transforming him right now. I'm sure it's awesome like the other two, and the pics I've seen of the car mode are pretty great. I think Down Force will be my least favorite of the four cars, but that doesn't mean it's a bad figure at all. Good stuff, recommended. Dang, we've been in this house over three weeks now, and I haven't started unpacking any TFs yet. Should do that soon.

And finally, my newest obsession, Gundam. Started with a couple model kits, then I learned there was a Figuarts-like line of action figures for them, and knowing my obsession with Figuarts it was pretty plain to predict what would happen with the Robot Damashii line - I want to own them all.

Arios Gundam Ascalon is my third Robot Damashii, don't ask how many others I have on the way. They're very poseable, not quite Figuarts-level but these are robot suits, not people in spandex, so that's okay.

This box is heavy, I anticipate that meaning it has a bunch of accessories, which is always a good thing for a toy, in my opinion. It's a nice pink and white color, I anticipate my daughters asking me to buy one for them, or to give them this one, but with all the sharp pointy bits this one has, that's probably not going to happen.

Arios Ascalon is a variation of a design from Gundam OO, and that is all I know about it's origins. It has a giant backpack that weighs it down, with a foldout-able sharp pointy blade thing that can be used to help balance the figure, but it's on such a tiny point I would be worried about it bending or breaking. This guy definitely needs a stand. It also has a lot of panels that get in the way when you try to pose it, you have to move them out of the way first.

It has a beam saber with removeable blade, some large handgun type thing, and a larger, two-hand gun type thing for accessories. It looks decent, but will take some practice to get good poses out of it. It has some gun barrels hidden in its forearms. Oh, and it transforms into a pretty cool looking jet mode. From some angles.

The transformation is a bit fiddly, but eventually some parts start tabbing into place and holding, which helps. The instructions aren't super clear, and I'm not entirely sure I got it all right. I feel like the arms need to do something, tab into place somewhere, but the instructions show nothing, and I think the guns are supposed to go somewhere, but the instructions are unintelligible there. But eventually you end up with a bladed thing that's an approximation of a jet thingy with a giant blade on top of it, that I guess can fold out to be for ramming other jets and cutting them in half? I dunno.

So, those are my new toys and some not-so-brief thoughts on them. I have another box of goodies coming from my comic store/joint Mandarake order buddy, that should be here Monday, and I can't wait to see what's in it.

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