Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye, 2015!

Another year gone, another family photo op turned into a natural disaster. If anyone finds Pascal, let us know!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Barbie "Stocking Stuffers"

The usual side stroll through the toy section resulted in something catching my eye that honestly has been needed for a long time.

Barbie separates/accessory packs! I found the Ken pieces in a bin of "stocking stuffers", but the Barbie pieces were back over on the doll aisle. 

There were three Ken outfits to choose from when I arrived, and a whole display of Barbie stuff. The Ken sets were $5 (a whole outfit for a little less than the usual cost!) and the Barbie sets were about $2.50 each. Whereas Ken's outfit comes ready-made, the Barbie sets were different. You could chose a single blouse, a skirt, or a simple dress, or an accessory set that had a purse and two pairs of shoes (one flat, one heels) plus some other odds and ends.

Here's Anna, wearing most of today's purchases. She really does seem to be the most likely contender for "Person to Wear Cat Ear Tiara", doesn't she? The Barbie house seemed like the obvious place to take some pics. The headband, necklace, purse, bracelet and BOTH pairs of shoes came in that one little baggie, remember! The accessory set has me over the moon. Not only is it cute, it's a LOT of stuff for the money. Plus check that out The shoes fit the Disney Store articulated body!

They're a little long, but they fit well, and isn't that the most important part?

The heels also look fine. I love the subtle "kitty face" on the fronts!

The bracelet also has a little cat on it, and the purse is adorable. I would carry this purse and feel NO shame. When's the last time I EVER thought that, let alone said it out loud?

The flash bounce has taken away some of the detail in this cute necklace, but yes - that is a kitty necklace. Like everything else in this bag, it is very cute.

I'm less impressed with the dress I got - the fit is just a little bit off, but I think it's a mild sewing error and not something that's representative of this mini-line as a whole.

 The casual suit Eugene has grabbed up reminds me of the late 80's. The shirt is less turquoise irl than it appears here. The herringbone vest and striped tie are, amazingly, meant to go together.

The pants are a bit long, but I think this is my favorite Ken shoe mold in a LONG time! Snazzy!

Even more snazzy: the vest pattern is continued on the back of the shirt, and in the same fabric! The sole let down on this outfit is that the collar of the shirt is unfinished. It probably wouldn't be a problem in play, but I hates me some unfinished edges!

These are definitely GREAT pieces for the money, especially the accessory sets, imo. The Ken pieces were all great and how long has it been since that guy got some new clothes that you didn't have to buy a doll for?

I can't help but hope that this means we could be seeing fashion packs for Monster High again - or even single item or accessory sets like these. Seriously Mattel! Make sets like this for MH! Make them blind bags. They'd sell out in NO TIME!

Final evaluation: FIND THEM. BUY THEM.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Rocket Raccoon figure

I've had this little guy since just before the film came out. Didn't know if I'd decide I wanted it bad enough to keep him until I'd seen the film, and just as I'd expected he was sold out at our local store by then! So, since the movie's finally out on DVD, here's a look at Rocket Raccoon!

The Guardians of the Galaxy set from Marvel Legends has the main cast, plus a couple of other characters, in what is apparently the standard design for the box. The movie logo appears on the top of the front, and the character name at the bottom. If you're new to these figures, as I am, you'll be intrigued and annoyed to see that you've got a part of another figure included in the large, attractive window box. The idea being that you collect all the figure in the set and you get an additional figure "free".

Jerks. Now I have Groot's dismembered head and torso staring at me all reproachfully.

For $20 a pop, these are fairly expensive figures. However, they are really nicely made.

The side of the box shows off the neat convex curve of the packaging, and some great artwork of Rocket.

The back of the package has a nice image of the figure and one of his accessories (a BFG), along with teasers of the other figures in the set and a diagram of the completed Groot figure with note to which figure gives you which missing parts. Please note: Although Iron Man and Marvel's Nova figures appear in the GotG series, neither character is in the movie.

Out of the package, Rocket is well-painted, with an excellent likeness of the character.

There are great details in this figure, other than the fact that his tail rings look just a little too perfect.

"Just what the heck IS a raccoon, anyway?"
All together, Rocket has nine points of articulation. His head rotates a little less than 108* from side to side, with a slight tilt to it as you near his shoulders. His shoulders have ball and socket joints, which unfortunately are a bit hampered by the design of the shoulderpieces on his suit. His elbows are also ball and socket joints, and his wrists and waist are just twist and turn. His tail, oddly enough, so also on a pivot, so you can spin it all the way around, if you're so inclined.

"Ow. Freakin' OW."
He needs that additional point of support to stand though, so I'd recommend against it.

Rocket comes with a sizeable chunk of his best buddy, Groot the tree-alien, his enormous gun, and the large weapon he makes at one point during the film. This giant weapon is way, way too big for Rocket to handle, but Starlord, Gamora and the others will be fine with it. The blaster, meanwhile, can be held, but rather poorly.

Let's see who Rocket plays well with!

"Kyon, if this is your idea of a joke, I'm not laughing."
Figma Haruhi was initially quite excited to hear we had a certified alien in the house, but feels let down that she's been dragged away from important SOS Brigade work just to see a raccoon in a space suit. She's a little out of scale, but works pretty well with him.

"Surrender your coffee, Terran!"
Rocket managed to get ahold of his blaster long enough to menace McFarlane Daryl Dixon with it. Rocket obviously doesn't know what redneck outdoorsmen do to raccoons. Or maybe he does, and that's what brought this on.

"I jus' wanna know if'n anyone else is seein' this!"
Fortunately for Rocket, Daryl's too stunned at the fact he's seeing this to go dig his crossbow out of the tent. Rocket's a bit too large to really be in scale with Daryl, as well.

"Surrender, villain!"
"Villain?! If I wasn't so freaked out by the lightning thing, I'd be insulted!"
Word of an alien invader brought S.H. Figuarts Sailor Jupiter running, and she quickly shocked that huge gun out of Rocket's hands. They're about the closes I have in terms of scale.

"Ooooh, you poor little guy! Let's get you some water!"
"Atta boy, Groot! Keep 'em distracted just a little longer..."
Rocket managed to secure his ace in the hole by distracting the girls with Groot. Better hide that thing someplace secure, Rocket. Sailor Jupiter will NOT be amused when she discovers you've got a superweapon, no matter how much she likes plants.

In conclusion: I initially was not too happy to realize I'd spent $20 on an action figure, but I'm pleased enough with Rocket, despite his limitations. I wish that perhaps his shoulder armor could have been pared back a bit to give him more freedom of movement. Additionally, he has one weapon he can't use and another that he struggles to hold. His amazing sculpt and amazingly accurate paint distract me from that, though. All in all, I'm glad to have him in my collection. I can foresee a lot of fun to be had with this little guy, even with the minor quibbles about his limitations.

"Careful how you hold that, kid."

Plus, Haruhi's decided she likes having a fluffy supergenius who makes weapons around. And yes, I actually did pay the extra couple of bucks for the Rocket slipcover on the Guardians of the Galaxy dvd. I am taking a long hard look at my life as we speak.