Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I need armor... armor for Busting Hulks!!!

Cheapo Toy Review: Hulkbuster Iron Man

Why is this listed as a Cheapo Toy Review? Well... when you can get a beefy, highly detailed, well-articulated 1:18 scale action figure for about 7 bucks I consider that to be a good deal. I mean, look at the crap Mattel has been putting out in that scale. And the Bandai 1:18 product costs almost as much and has the articulation of a rock. So I definitely would consider Hulkbuster Iron Man to be well worth the 7 bucks he costs.

So... what's this all about? In the comics Iron Man has always had the burden of cleaning up after the Hulk when he went on a rampage. Hulk is an Avenger from way back, but he's not always the most stable guy. When he freaks out cities crumble to the ground. Tony Stark is a bit of a worrier about the image of an organization he's invested so much in, so he often tries to contain the Hulk situation before it gets out of hand. To deal with the immense power of the Hulk, Stark built a massive, heavily armored Iron Man suit that was designed to both protect him from the Hulk's might and give him the strength to neutralize the Hulk before things got weird. More often than not, the Hulk hands Iron Man his armored butt on a platter despite the millions he pours into fancy suit designs. Still, you gotta love a guy who tries and tries again. I think I can.. I think I can...

When Hasbro started with the Iron Man 2 line they pulled the same stunt they did with the Wolverine line-- two lines within one line. One is based on the movie designs, and one is based on the comic book designs. I like the design of the Iron Man movies, but the comic book line lets them go crazy nuts with stuff like this Hulkbuster suit.

So... what do I think about the figure itself? Read on:

Sculpt: The figure has a beautiful sculpt with lots of intricate details. The sculpt is open enough that it allows for good movement of the joints. The hands are wonderfully done with lots of sculpted joints and the repulsors in the palms. He has a bunch of these cams that jut out from the arms and back that really give the figure a unique look. You get the idea that every part of this suit is built to produce mounds of power. The only problem I have with the sculpt is the fact that they used hard plastic on the shoulder pads... those things needed to be soft vinyl and they needed to fit closer to the body. I think that might be one of the modifications I make to this guy.

Paint: The paint is actually really nice. There are only a few slight sloppy areas, but that's pretty normal with toys made in a sweatshop. They even went the extra mile and painted the chest light a brighter yellow than the gold bits on the rest of the figure. It's not anything really amazing, but the little things matter to me.

Articulation: This dude has really good articulation in every area except for one... those darn hips. Hasbro continues to hack me off with those diagonally mounted hip joints. Instead of mounting the ball joints at a ninety degree angle with the center line of the body, which would allow for a fantastic range of leg movement and an ability to pose the legs easier, Hasbro continues to make figures with ball joint posts mounted at a 45 degree angle into the center line. This makes you have to swing the leg to the side, roll the ball joint around, try to find the sweet spot, and then angle the leg forward. With a 90 degree mount you could just swing the leg forward. Hasbro... why do you keep doing this to your toy lines???

The shoulders and elbows are nicely done and have a great range of movement... despite the thickness of the figure, you can pose this guy all kinds of ways. Those forearm guards look like they'd be a colossal pain in the butt, but they're soft vinyl so they bend out of the way when you move the arm. The knees are double pin joints, so you can put a really good bend in them for nice stances. The figure has a ball jointed waist, which is the only joint to really be hindered by the bulk of the figure, but it's not really that bad. He can twist to the side to draw back for a punch, so I'm happy.

Accessories: His only accessory is a stand that isn't really necessary because this sucker has such large feet and well-articulated ankles that he stands perfectly on his own. He comes with some armor cards as well. Bleh.

Scale: The figure stands about 4.5 inches tall. That puts him in line with the Marvel Universe Hulk. Meh. I don't really like that Hulk, so that doesn't really matter to me. I like having my Hulkbuster facing off against a big, BIG Hulk, so I use my favorite small-scale Hulk, the Hasbro movie version from a couple of years ago. He's about 6 inches tall, so he towers over the Hulkbuster figure. The Hulkbuster is well-scaled with other Marvel 1:18 scale figures.

Quality: Now, this is the only area where I have a really big problem. When I opened the package I noticed a distinctive rattle when I moved the figure. He has a loose piece of plastic rattling around inside his lower torso, I believe. This doesn't really hinder any movement or detract for the great sculpt... but it drives me nuts.

Another issue is the looseness of the hips. At the point where the hip joint connects with the crotch, this sucker is looser than a theater major. You can hold it by the upper body and move it side to side and watch the legs flail about like wind chimes. It really sucks, because it makes keeping a pose a real challenge. I haven't seen anyone online mention this defect on their figures, so it's probably just a random factory fluke (it might explain that rattling I keep hearing inside the figure, too).

Overall, I'm VERY impressed with this figure. He's bulky, well-articulated, and looks fantastic with any of your 1:18 scale figures. He's pretty darn hard to find right now, so grab him if you see him. He's well worth the price!

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Freaky Review

A big thanks goes out to Tom at Freak Studios... he just posted a wonderful review of the Golden Ticket Big Daddy Kawaiiju figure he won a few weeks ago. Click the pic to read his thoughts on the matter:

Thanks, Tom!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Argentinean Beastman Appears...

I mentioned a while back a contest to win a Fuerza-T figure on the Freak Studios blog. I wound up winning the contest with my Brawlor figure entry. Well, today I got this awesome package in the mail with my prize inside! WOO HOO! Tom, the guy who runs the blog asked that the winner take some pics of the figure with his collection, so here are some shots I took as soon as I opened the shipping box:

Here's Pantano with all his bootleg brethren.

Here he is with Beastman and Brawlor.


Just wanted to give you some shots of the package, front...

... and back.

And here he is on the wall with the rest of my figures of questionable origin. I normally open my toys, but this one is staying in the package... bootlegs are so much more fun in the package-- the art is always just he best! I love bootlegs!

Thanks, Tom! You're the man, man! I will always treasure my funky Beast-Brother.


I was taking pics of the Fuerza T figure and decided to snap some shots of the rest of my collection as it stands now:

Kaiju crazy times! I'm running out of room on top of my drawers.


I snagged this DVD case at the flea market for 5 bucks. I think it's a snazzy place to display my Glyos collection.

Top Shelf: Real Head stuff and Real Head x Onell stuff.
5th shelf: Pheydens and the Glyos Guides

4th shelf: Exellis figures and others
3rd shelf: My silver and glow in the dark figures

2nd shelf: Armodocs
Bottom shelf: Buildmen

Assorted superheroes, aliens, movie characters, and G.I. Joes

My art toys and "weird" toys


All kinda stuff!

Star Wars and Optimus Primes


And still... Christopher Walken watches over everything... EVERYTHING.

It's official: I have too much stuff. But I love it all! :D

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Glowing Spacemen, Rabbit Skulls, and Cartoon LARP

The mailbox was VERY good to me today. I got 3 packages, and each one of them made me happy-- no dead skunks this time!

The first package was from Onell Design. I bought one of Matt's blind-bagged Glyos Randomizer figures... I wound up with the very one I wanted:

Woo hoo! Gotta love the glowy stuff! Matt's figures just keep getting more and more fun!

The next package was from my good friend George Gaspar, the founder of October Toys and an all around cool dude. He sent me one of his custom Skull Dunnies-- we traded customs-- I love trading customs! It's such a good feeling to get stuff that someone else made in trade for something I made... it just feels right.

AGH! How cool is this guy?

George made his own packaging for this small run of figures.

George sculpted a little Dunny skull that fits perfectly inside the transparent head of the Triclops Rain Dunny from the UK series.

He cast up a handful of them and sold them on the October Toys Forum a few days ago for $25 a piece. Needless to say, they disappeared in no time. There's a possibility that he may do another run of them, but there are no guarantees. Bug him if you want some! He deserves all the business I can throw his way!

The sculpt is absolutely gorgeous, and it has all the details that make me happy... he even sculpted the sutures and the foramens on the skull! He gave it a light wash that makes the resin look just like bone. A W E S O M E!

He did such a great job on this little dude... I am QUITE proud to have it in my collection.

I asked George if he'd autograph my Dunny's butt... he did more than that, he wrote a cool little thank you note. You're the man, George! If you guys agree with me that this Dunny rocks the house, let George know about it! He deserves all the praise he can get!

I'm growing a nice little collection of custom Dunnies! The one on the left was made by NiStuff and the one on the right is by Zro, both members of the October Toys Forum. It's so cool having something someone made with their hands... like I said before: it just feels right.

Might as well throw my little Ultra Dunny in there with the rest. I'm not the biggest Dunny fan on the planet, but I LOVE custom Dunnies!

The third package was from Mill Creek Entertainment. They're the guys who make those awesome, affordable boxed DVD sets of TV shows like Ultraman and The Greatest American Hero, and they used to make those 50 genre movie sets. I have bought so many Mill Creek DVD sets it's not even funny! I have the Martial Arts Classics 50 Movie MegaPack, and it has some of the most ridiculous movies ever made. If you have never seen The Impossible Kid featuring 2'9" martial artist Weng Weng, then you just haven't lived life to the fullest.

A while back I added the Mill Creek Entertainment page on Facebook to my "Like" list. They have these cool "Beat This Caption" contests every few weeks where they post an image from one of the featured DVD's and you have to come up with a caption for the image. The people who post there come up with some funny stuff, so I was shocked poopless when they sent me a message that I had won! I'm not particularly witty, but evidently what I had posted made someone chuckle. This particular contest was for the Dungeons and Dragons complete series DVD set. I loved that show when I was younger, so I was all kinda of happy! Here's the image and the caption I wrote:

"All the adventurers were impressed with the Dungeon Master's invisible basketball spinning trick until they learned that there was no invisible basketball..."

Like I said... not particularly witty, but hey... y'know.

I was shocked when I got the package from Mill Creek today--- that's pretty darn quick!

It's a nice set with an awesome illustration on the cover. I love the direction Mill Creek has taken of late, grabbing up more fun TV series instead of the old public domain movies they used to release. I have a crapload of the old horror and martial arts sets, so this is a nice change of pace.

27 episodes... I'm gonna have a lot of fun with that! For Christmas my friend Doug gave me the 2002 Masters of the Universe series that Mill Creek put out, and it was fantastic, so I expect this one will be of similar quality.

Mill Creek sets aren't fancy, but why be fancy when you can be awesome? This box set retails for $24.95, but I have seen several places sell it for a good bit less. Mill Creek's stuff is good quality at a good price. I reviewed the Ultraman set a while back, and I stand by my love for the affordable, fun DVD sets.

All in all... the mailbox was very kind today!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Knight Rider Becames Robert

This is a post I've promised for a long time, but it just never really happened until now. This one is for Spencer.

Some time ago ( July of last year) I bought a bootleg on eBay that quickly became my favorite bootleg of all time. It's not the best toy ever made-- in fact, it's pretty darn bad. The "badness" of this thing is probably its greatest charm. I give you:


Wow. That's pretty bad. This is a bootleg Super Gobots Zeemon figure that is, I assume, supposed to mimic K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider. The title alone sold me on this sucker... when I saw it on eBay I knew I had to have it. It was cheap enough-- I paid $1.99 with $2.50 shipping, so this thing was a steal... I guess...

You'll notice the snazzy instructions are printed RIGHT ON THE BACK!!! OK, so that's nothing to get really excited about, but I had to say something. One thing to notice is the sweet sword that the robot on the package is holding. Yeah... the toy doesn't come with that sword. Bleh.

Check out that sweet color scheme. Ugh.

If this thing were a real car the driver would undoubtedly get beat up at rest areas for driving such an abomination.

I love the little "Knight Rider Becames Robert" sticker on the side. Classy.

I wonder if the windows in this thing are street legal...

The trunk actually opens... YEAH!!!

So I guess this is the Robert that Knight Rider becames.

Standing 5.5 inches tall, it's an exact copy of Zeemon down to the last detail...

... except for the fact that this version is all plastic... VERY fragile plastic. I've only transformed it twice, including this time because I'm scared to death the thing's going to break.

I figured he needed to pose with another bootleg legend, the Galaxy Empire Stormtrooper. I love bootlegs!

He even has his little driver in his noggin. He's kinda deformed looking, but he's there!

Yes, friends... the might, the majesty...

Knight Rider Becames Robert. Indeed.