Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Thundercats action figures

I've reviewed the new show, now it's time for the toys!

These were all they had which is fortunate 'cause quite frankly, these were all I could afford. Right off the bat, I'm rather impressed. Sure, the packaging is nothing new, but I really like the packaging design. Though I do really like the art of every character on each package. One complaint I have though is that Lion-o's weapons were packaged bent. I checked all the Lion-os they had and they were all like that. So now my Lion-o is stuck with a bent sword. Not cool, Bandai.

The sculpting on these toys in my opinion is fantastic. I think these have great detail for a 4" line. The painting is really nicely applied too although I noticed Lion-o and Tygra's little screws and joints aren't painted. A rather big deal to hardcore collectors. But just a minor irritation to me. I'm more annoyed by the bent sword.

Both Lion-o and Tygra have the same amount of articulation. Their arms move up and down, their shoulders move up and down, their heads turn at a 360 base (Lion-o has an issue with that but I'll address it later) and their legs are just as articulated as their arms.

The only one who's a little disappointing in the articulation department is Mumm-Ra. His arms move up and down, his wrists rotate, but that's it. No leg articulation. Mind you, being Mumm-Ra, there aren't many poses you'd probably want him to be in. He also lacked in the accessories. He only came with a dagger and a "Scarab shield." Meaning Mumm-Ra's just trying to copy Lion-o's gear. Real original there, Mumm-Ra.

Tygra comes with his classic whip and a pistol. That's right. Tygra's packin' heat now!

Some have complained about Tygra's rubber whip. They've said it should've been made of something more pose able. I disagree. Let's not forget that this is intended to be a children's toy and a personally believe children wouldn't be as interested in that sort of thing. Besides, I personally find the whip lots of fun

and for your convenience, Tygra also has a holster for his pistol. Which is very good. Few toys remember to add a holster for their weapons. It's king of a tight fit but it works well.

One thing I gotta ask though. Who's idea was it to take a man with ORANGE fur and make him wear GREEN armor? Talk about clashing!!

and finally, we have Lion-o. Who in my opinion is the best figure so far. Should be, being "Lord of the Thundercats" and all. He comes with his claw shield, his sword in dagger mode, and his sword in full battle mode. But as I said before, they were packaged bent so unless you put some weight on them for a while, they're gonna be a little bent looking. Especially the dagger.

I don't see many kids finding use for the dagger and I think it's going to go down as this year's easiest to lose toy accessory, but it's nice that you have the ability to slip it in the claw shield like Lion-o does in the show. This makes it a little more difficult getting the claw shield on his arm but it still works.

I have only one real complaint here. Earlier I said Lion-o has in issue turning his head. Well, he can turn all the way to the left but if he tries to look to the right, his shoulder pad gets in the way. It gets in the way when you lift his arm too. I also personally find this shoulder pad rather bulky and clunky looking.

So I removed it. I think he looks better this way. Don't take the pad off unless you REALLY want it off though because it's difficult to get it back on.

Over all I am very pleased with these toys and will be buying more once I found them. So far, the only place I've seen them is Toys R Us. I have two Wal-marts and a Target and none of them had this line so right now, I think Toys R Us is your best bet.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Thundercats series

Fanboys all around fangasmed as the classic 80s series Thundercats after long last has returned to Television with an all new series. two nights ago, the new series had an hour long premier. Does it stand up to the original?

While some fans didn't care for this, I for one am loving the series' new anime-like style. Some claim they're just doing this to appeal to the new generation but think about it. what was the original Thundercats doing but simply trying to appeal to the He-Man audience of the time? I think the anime style compliments the characters and settings very well.

They've made Lion-o physically younger which again, I think works. Lion-O in the original series was good for not always doing the right thing. While physically an adult, he's supposed to be mentally young and inexperienced and this new design works for that.

The plot has changed a bit but still feels based on the original series. I don't wish to spoil anything but they remembered a lot of little things from the old series that really only fans of the show would know and made those little things work with the new plot.

Let's be honest. The voice acting in the original series was not high end acting. While the new series may not be perfect in its acting either, I feel for the most part it's greatly improved. Cladius; Lion-o's father was played by Larry Kenney. The orignal voice of Lion-O. This was very awesome to know and hear. It also did my child of the 80s heart good to hear that voice shout "Thundercats HO!" one last time.
I didn't recognize a lot of the new voices but I DID recognize Lex Luthor/Mr. Krabs as Grune the Destroyer and Terry McGuinness from Batman Beyond as Lion-O. Both of which play these roles well.

Oh, and for the first time ever, Wily Kit and Kat actually sound like children.

Another good point to mention; SNARF DOESN'T TALK! While I actually liked Snarf in the original series, his constant bickering got very annoying and I could see why some fans don't like him. I felt it was a good call to downplay Snarf more and not have him talk.

Is there anything negative I have to say about this? Well, Tygra seems like a bit of a douche in this but that could be simply the beginning of character development. This ins't a direct re-telling of the original series which may disappoint some fans. Plus, anyone who doesn't like the idea of all Thundarians not being the pristine example of good may not be happy with this. While the Thundercats are the good guys, it's not black and white "They bad, we good" here. At one point, Lion-O pleads with his father to let go some lizard men who were only arrested for stealing food from thundarians and the only reason they did this was because the Thundarians own all the best crops and keep them for themselves leaving all other species with nothing but scraps. So it's imply that there's some Government corruption going on in Thundera and those not keen on the idea may not care for it. I personally though think it's a fascinating new look on the series.

Over all, I think this is a fantastic revision of a classic series and a breath of fresh air for animation enthusiasts sick of the recent animation rut television has been in. It has an Avatar: The last airbender vibe that I think works for the series and I will be watching new episodes of this every friday at 8:30 from now on/


Monday, May 2, 2011

Hot Toys Astro Boy

At long last I have acquired the one Astro Boy toy I have been wanting since the moment I saw pictures of it.

The packaging is pretty simple and subtle. So subtle that I almost didn't notice it in the store. But it's very nice. Rather pretty and artistic for a toy box. Although despite only being a 9 inch figure, this is a LOT of box. The box almost twice the size of the toy.

Once out of the box you can really appreciate all the details put to this figure. The head sculpt is beautiful. It looks just like him. No silly expressions, no attempts to make him look "hip" or "tough." It's just Astro Boy. Some have complained that this makes him look bland but I think this speaks his character very well.

I like the articulation. It's not perfect, but it's some of the best articulation I've seen in an Astro Boy figure

He comes with a few items that all attach to his arms and legs including arm cannons, extra hands, and rocket feet.

These attach to his hands just fine and offer more action pose opportunities. But there is major issue

He comes with rocket feet that are supposed to attach to the bottom of his boots but his feet refuse to come off and I paid (shutters) $150 for this thing to risk breaking it so sorry but I don't have pictures of him with the rockets attached.

You're right Astro. They DO fail.

A nice feature on the toy is that you can open up his chest panel. Not only are the details on the blue core and the machinery excellent, but when you press the blue core

His eyes light up. the eyes are nice and bright too. I ended up using his eyes as flashlights on occasion.

All in all I think it's a good figure. My only real complaint is that certain feet won't come off. For collectors and adult fans, this is the perfect item for you. If you just want an Astro Boy to play with, I'd recommend one of Jazwares' figures instead.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Rukia Kuchiki by Playarts

From the company that gave us the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts toys comes the Bleach toy line. if you don't know, Bleach is an anime about a boy named Ichigo with the power to see ghosts who gains the power to fight soul devouring monsters known as "Hallows." There's a whole lot more going on in it but I could go on for hours on it. Instead, I'm here to review the action figure of my favorite character from the series. Rukia Kuchiki

If you've seen Playarts toys in their boxes before than this is nothing new. Same window type box as other Playarts figures but as they say; "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
But you see, it's shortly after I open this box that we have our first problem.

That's right. The damn thing's foot broke right out of the package. This was nothing a little super glue couldn't fix and while I know this isn't a figure made to be played with, I still found this ridiculous.

Once I got the foot fixed, Rukia was good to go. Right off the bat I can see great care was put into the details for the figure. (Too bad the same couldn't be said for the damn foot)

Her head is beautifully sculpted and painted. From the eyes, the hair, and the face, This IS Rukia Kuchiki.

Once I got over the fear of more parts breaking, I could see that her poseability was excellent as well. Her joints are pretty tight though so I wouldn't force her to pose too hard. You can also see from this photo in comparison to the first one, that she has interchangeable hands. However, they're a bit of a pain to get in and out so once I got the hands meant for her sword in, I decided I wouldn't be taking them back out.

Another accessory is her sword as it appears making her special attack. A nice extra touch but not something I personally will be displaying were with a lot. Her ordinary sword works fine enough for me. Which by the way I am also happy to mention has a sheath that works. That always scores extra points for me.

She stands at well over 6 inches tall which is odd considering how she's among the shortest people in the show. If they're all going to be in proper scale, Ichigo must be freakin' HUGE!

She also comes with my other favorite character in the series. KON!

(Insert Captain Kirk screaming Kahn joke here)

He doesn't do anything though he IS pose able in the head and arms.

As a big big fan of the character Rukia, I had to own this figure and am very happy with it even with the broken foot I had to fix. If you're a fan of the show and of this character I recommend it. Just be real careful opening it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Phineas and Ferb action figures

The Disney series Phineas and Ferb has become by far not only my favorite show on Disney Channel/Disney XD (Although knowing their recent track record that's not really saying a lot) but my favorite cartoon currently on TV period. But I was rather surprised when I saw they had started making toys for them. Just because something is popular with kids, that doesn't always mean they'll work as toys. Do these? Let's find out

The toy packaging is nice, colorful, and eye catching. They're sweet and to the point. They have many different sets. There's a Phineas and Ferb with a drag race car, and another with skate boards. There are a few different Perry and Doofensmirtz sets as well but when you look at them hard enough, aside from a couple with Phineas and Ferb in swim suits, they're basically the same figures with different accessories and sometimes different types of arms. I chose these simply because I liked the rock n roll theme more than the drag racing theme, and I wanted a parachuting Perry. Plus, it came with a Lazer-inator! Who doesn't want one of those?

Phineas and Ferb are well made but honestly, their designs in the cartoon translates oddly into three dimensions. Especially Phineas and his big pointy nose.
Perry and Doofensmirtz I believe work better in toy form.

Their features are not in the figures themselves, but in the accessories. Ferb's drum set, when you have Ferb in place, will make Ferb "rock out on his drums" when you press down on him. basically, the drum in the back and the cymbals go up and down.

Phineas, when you attach his wrist to the guitar will strum in when you pull the lever on it.

Dr. Doofensmirtz's Lazer-inator beam spins when you press down on the thing on top.
These are all gimmicky yet kinda clever features that can add to the play value of the toys. But the one that should work but doesn't is Perrys

Perry as I said before comes with a parachute. It attaches to his harness from the back. You're supposed to toss him up in the air and the parachute will open. To put this bluntly... it doesn't. The parachute appears too small and unable to open and properly bring him down so Perry crashes like a rock.

The accessories are all removable but this brings me to my next issue with Phineas and Ferb. With their big heads and tiny feet, it is impossible for them to stand up on their own. Fortunately though, as Ferb demonstrates, they can fit in the GI Joe: Rise of Cobra stands.

But when you have them set up with their accessories and stands, they make great display pieces. And for children who don't really care about display or collectors value, they have some decent play value as well. they're colorful, fun, and based on an awesome TV Show. Especially at only 7.99 a two pack.

This is the Ninja Pirate signing off.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I actually got this bad boy for Christmas but with my camera kind of out of commission, I wasn't able to do my review until now.
Since the first day I saw pictures of the prototype of this at Toy Fair, I knew I must own it. With five seats instead of the original VAMP's two, and an awesome looking gun in the back, how could I NOT want this? And now that I do, does it hold up to my expectations? Let's find out

Let's start with the driver it comes with. "Double Clutch." Not a whole lot to say here. He's a decent standard figure. Properly pose able, and comes with a pistol and a satchel. Hey, if they're good enough for Indiana Jones, they're good enough for GI Joe.

The Vamp itself once out of the box and assembled is just plain awesome looking. Like I said before, it holds five places to fit your Joes in as apposed to the original 1982 Vamp that only fit two. But my other favorite thing about it is that it's semi customizable. As you can see here, we have a machine gun in the back but if your Joes need a little extra fire power, you can detach that and replace it with a rocket launcher

There are also extra holes up front so you can attach the guns there instead. I personally find this makes it kinda silly looking but if you want it, it's there.
All these options give a lot of play time opportunities.

Although it may cause the Joes to take longer in getting ready...
Is there anything about the Vamp I DON'T like? Well, yes. There are a couple of minor issues

For some reason there's a claw in the front that can be pulled out. I think it's supposed to be a towing hook but wouldn't it have made more sense to put this in the back? Otherwise, it's just kinda in the way

Finally, I don't care for their choice of color for the bottom. They got the strange idea that a jungle vehicle should be painted red somewhere.

But overall, there are minor issues to what is a fantastic vehicle. I've heard some Joe fans complain about it but I don't know what their deal is. As far as I'm concerned, every Joe fan should have this in their GI Joe motorpool.

This is the Ninja Pirate signing out