Saturday, April 27, 2013

LEGO Legends of Chima: Winzar's Pack Patrol #30251

It's been awhile since I've done a LEGO set, so let's take a quick look at one of the many poly bag sets available for the Legend of Chima theme.

The best part of the poly bag sets are they are affordable and best of all you get a mini figure.  Sometimes these figures are unique and exclusive to that set while other times it's just a cheaper way of getting that figure that also comes packed in with a larger, more expensive set.

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I love the new Legends of Chima theme and the wolves in particular are one of my favorite animal kingdoms in the series.  Winzar in particular looks pretty fierce with the claw marks across his face.  Set #30251 is Winzar's Pack Patrol...a small sled type vehicle.  From the image on the front of the packaging it appears the sled is transitioning from water to land so perhaps it's more of a hovercraft than a sled.  Who cares, its a fun little build.  38 pieces total.

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At only 38 pieces I'm surprised how much detail the designer crammed in.  The front suspension bar is actually a large bone!  I don't think I've seen such a large LEGO bone piece before so this was a nice surprise in terms of piece variety.  The front ski pieces are the same ones that traditionally come in the City sets for water skiing or snow skiing.  The back skis however are blade like pieces lending to the idea of this craft being a sled.  There are two small round red translucent pieces that double as thrusters.  The craft itself is of course powered by Chi.  The set does come with a Chi crystal, but there isn't anywhere to store the piece so I forgot to include it in the pictures.  One of the neatest designs is the front nose.  Yes, it looks like a canine's snout...well kinda.  The clever use of the black triangular piece does give the resemblance of a wolf's nose in this case.

The Winzar minifigure is the same one that is included in Wakz' Pack Tracker and he's also available in one of those Speedorz sets.  Winzar does not come with any additional accessories.

This set can be had for less than $5 in most cases.  I believe the poly bag sets retail for $3.99 unless you are shopping at Toys R Us.  I've built two of the Chima poly bags thus far and they all have been worth the purchase.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

WWE - 2012 Elite Collection #17: Sheamus

With Wrestlemania 29 coming up later today, I thought a WWE review would be appropriate today. Now I'm still a newbie when it comes to collecting the Mattel WWE figures and this is the first Elite Collection figure I've bought, so please bare with me.

Instead of the simple blister card packaging the Basic figures receive, the Elite figures comes packaged in large window boxes. Most of the figures also come with cloth clothing and or accessories of some type. As you can see here, Sheamus comes with the World Heavyweight Championship belt and his signature Celtic cross necklace.

I was surprised when turning the box over to see such an elaborate layout. The top right corner gives you some stats including nickname, height/weight, titles held and his signature moves. Not stopping there Mattel also included some more in depth info of the wrestler. I didn't know that Shaemus made his debut in ECW! Most notably however this block of text references last year's Wrestlemania where he defeated Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds to win the coveted World Heavyweight Championship!

The build of this figure is nicely done. I've only opened a handful of figures previously and this by far is one of the nicest figures by a landslide. Articulation is excellent, however the plastic knee pads does hinder the knee joints. The paint apps are nicely applied, but you may have noticed the red used for his hair is a little off on the forehead. Sheamus' wrist bands have been directly painted onto the forearms. I really wish he had sculpted wrist bands, but hey I can live with this.

One of the best aspects of the figure is the head sculpt. Mattel has done a fabulous job capturing the likeness of the characters in plastic form. Sheamus here is no exception. I love how they even captured the look of his spiky red hair. While were on the likeness, even the flesh color plastic seems lighter than most of the other WWE figures. Sheamus truly is a large jar of mayonnaise!

The Championship belt is large and bulky, just like it is in real life. I'm kind of glad Mattel opted to use a flat gold plastic instead of a shiny gold chrome. Chromed plastic never tends to age well. Sheamus can easily wear or hold his belt in a manner of different ways. As of this post the belt really belongs to Alberto Del Rio, but perhaps one day Sheamus will find himself as the champ again.

All in all I am really impressed with the Elite figures. The cost makes me think long and hard about which wrestler to buy, but Mattel has done a good job justifying the increased price over the basic figures. I really wanted the Mankind figure that was in this same wave, but the only other ones I saw at the time of purchase was Kelly Kelly and John Cena. No thank you and no thank you. Not sure who will be my next purchase, but at least I feel a little bit better going in knowing that these Elite figures truly are elite.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Transformers Galaxy Force: Fang Wolf GC-14 Toy's Dream Project Exclusive

A year or so ago I decided to downsize some of the modern TFs and one of the first group of toys to go was my Unicron Trilogy stuff.  Armada, Energon and Cybertron all went bye bye.  However I kicked myself for getting rid of a few pieces and eventually bought them for a second time.  Thanks to my friend at Lost Treasures, I finally was able to add this limited piece back into my permanent collection.

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Exclusive to Japan's Galaxy Force line and a limited Toy's Dream Project item.  This black version of Fang Wolf (Cybertron Snarl) was released in 2005 and was limited to just 3,000 pieces worldwide.  Fang Wolf comes packaged in the same packaging as the regular toy with the only difference being the Toy's Dream Project sticker.

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The back of the box is the exact same from the regular release of Fang Wolf.  I only included the picture because I love the battle scene in the upper left corner.

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I'm not always a fan of the black repaints that Takara likes to do, but in some cases the black version looks better than the original.  I believe this is one of those cases.  I already liked this toy to begin with thanks to the awesome not quite organic looking wolf mode.  As much as I enjoyed Beast Wars, I love his this time around Takara infused the organic and Cybertronian look together. There are several areas on the toy that have molded fur (front legs), while other parts retain the robotic feel (rear legs).  Throw in the black and dark gray with touches of silver and you've got a much more menacing looking Cybertron/Autobot.

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One of the things about the Galaxy Force / Cybertron toys that I didn't care for was the key gimmick.  Most of the "action features" were silly to begin with, but you also now had an accessory that you had to keep up with.  At least with Fang Wolf you could clip the key on his hip so you didn't have to worry about losing it.  It may not be the most fashionable look, but at least it's an option.

The Cybertron keys all had codes imprinted on the back side that would unlock content on Hasbro's website, but the Japanese versions lacked the code.

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Speaking of the key and the features it unlocks, Fang Wolf's gimmick is decent.  There is a port on the back side of the wolf's neck that accepts the key.  When the key is inserted and pressed in, the lower jaw drops and reveals two large fangs.  I believe the regular Fang Wolf used translucent blue 
plastic.  The pieces of "fur" behind the ears also rotate up and down with the jaw as the key is depressed.

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Now I'm not the biggest fan when it comes to animal Transformers having the beast head forming an arm/hand, but I can tolerate Fang Wolf's design more so than other Transformers.  The large wolf head does obviously hinder some poses you may want to put Fang Wolf into, but it's not as bad as it looks.  The rest of the articulation is very well done.

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The robot head reminds me a lot of the Beast Wars Fuzor, Silverbolt.  It has that canine looking snout.

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Fang Wolf's missile launching gun also doubles as the wolf's tail, however it's hard to tell that is the case.  Like with the fang gimmick in beast mode, the plastic used for the missile has been changed from a translucent blue to a smoky translucent color.

I no longer own Cybertron Snarl so I didn't have anything to use for comparison pictures.  I didn't even think about grabbing my Botcon Weirdwolf to compare and contrast against.  Anyhow, this is one of the better Unicron Trilogy molds in my book.  The large animal head / hand will be a major turn off for a lot of people, I get that.  However if you can ever grab this exclusive black version of the toy for a decent price I'd say do it.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

DiaRobo: Rexporter DR-0005

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I can't get enough of these DiaRobo toys.  This Toyota Hiace van may look familiar if you frequent this blog.  Awhile back I reviewed Medicalrex DR-0003.  Agatsuma, like many toy companies, tries to get their most from each mold so there are several different characters that share the same base mold.  Rexporter loses Medicalrex's light bars on top and trades a bright deco for a darker deco, but essentially is the same toy.  Being an awesome t-rex however I'm sure I'm not the only one that didn't care.  I will point out that new CGI art was used on the front of the packaging.

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The metallic silver and black mesh very well together.  Add in the unpainted wheels and the lack of the light bar and you have a very different looking van.  Since I purchased this toy I've added many more DiaRobo releases, but this still is one of my favorite vehicles thus far.  The checkered design on the side of the van looks like a dragon of sorts to me.  Somewhat fitting considering Rexporter's alt mode.

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The packaging shows the r-tex is a more squat position with his tail sticking straight up in the air.  I prefer posing the figure in a more traditional dinosaur upright pose.  The figure is articulated enough that you can pose the figure in whatever way you want.

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You really can't go wrong with this mold no matter which of the 3 you choose.  Yes, I said 3.  There is also a red fire truck themed van as well.  I initially didn't order it because I wanted to make sure I liked Medicalrex, but of course I couldn't say no so I've got him coming from overseas.