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TMNT (2012) Toys: Tiger Claw & Robotic Foot Soldier

I recently came across a couple more of the TMNT toys I hadn’t yet seen before. I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d come across Tiger Claw this year or not—I’d half figured I’d have to wait until sometime early in the New Year to find the figure. But I spotted him, and put him right into my cart with hardly an extra thought.

I flipped through other figures on the pegs, and noticed the Robotic Foot Soldier as well. Conceptually I was half interested in the figure, but on actually seeing it, decided I have no particular interest…so I left that one “in the wild” after photographing it.

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tiger_claw_profile

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DuckTales: The Movie and More Gargoyles (FINALLY)

The DuckTales movie has finally been re-released, it seems–as a Walmart-exlusive.

While I’m not fond of chain-exclusive products, given Walmart IS a frequent haunt of mine and there is no shortage of Walmart locations I have access too, I’m willing to suck it up on that topic.

new_disney_dvds_only_at_walmartAfter however many years it’s been, Gargoyles finally gets the 2nd volume of its second season.

I believe Season 1 hit DVD in 2006, and it didn’t even seem (for awhile) like anything beyond that would be put out…so I’ll take Walmart-exclusive over not-at-all.

While I’m grousing about stuff–what’s with constantly changing packaging formats? I get really tired of trying to get entire series but they look so mismatched with some having “slipcase” cardboard sleeves, some having no sleeve, others being dvd “thincases” in a box, others being a fold-out box in a sleeve, etc.

And it seems it would take a combination of Walmart AND Target to actually collect all 3 volumes of DuckTales, Talespin, Rescue Rangers, and Darkwing Duck. The Walmarts I’ve seen Gargoyles Season 2 Volume 2 at don’t even have Season 1 nor Season 2 Volume 1 in stock…not exactly conducive to selling to new/potential people–who’s gonna buy the 2nd half of a 2nd season cold, that doesn’t already have the previous releases?

On NOT Buying X-Men: Days of Future Past

This is the second major disappointment for me, for a movie on home release that I was previously QUITE looking forward to purchasing.

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After being pretty satisfied last year with the BR3D/BRD/DVD/Digital release last year of The Wolverine, I thought for sure I’d be ok with X-Men: Days of Future Past. BUUUUUT…. The so-called “Ultimate Edition” is Blu-Ray 3D, Blu-Ray, and Digital.

Where the HECK is the DVD in the combo?

And for the Wal-Mart exclusive, a reprint of BOTH chapters of the original story…but it’s apparently some really skinny, tiny thing and not even a digest-sized or “mini” graphic novel. AND the box isn’t even sized properly for the item’s inclusion!

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The box is just an oversized thing that caves in and will surely DUMP the blu-ray case right at without provocation. If I didn’t turn the package over and squint at it and really stare to see in through the plastic, I’d’ve sworn they FORGOT to include the “Exclusive Edition” comic or that it was actually some “digital bonus” or such.

So what of a NON-“Ultimate” edition?

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Blu-Ray/Digital.

Again… Where. Is. The. DVD?!?

And this box has the same issue as far as that “bonus” comic.

There’s also a properly-sized cover version of…Blu-Ray/Digital. And there’s a coverless DVD.

I’m not interested in Blu-Ray 3D. I’m not interested in seeing my movies in 3D, PERIOD, theater or otherwise. I don’t have a 3D Blu-Ray player or 3D tv or the glasses or such. I’ve only reluctantly “upgraded” to Blu-Ray in the last several years, still QUITE happy with all the bargain DVDs and such I find and tv-on-dvd and all that.

I don’t mind (occasionally) paying a couple dollars more for a Blu-Ray/DVD combo…I can play the dvd in my computer, or pretty much anyone/everyone I know “at least” has a dvd player, so it’ll be watchable elsewhere/with others…even as I have the capability of watching the Blu-Ray while at home.

But this crap with putting 3D BluRay with BluRay and not including a DVD (even as a “bonus” if nothing else)?!?

Nah…sorry.

I’ll stick with the Redbox.

TMNT Toys at Walmart (Early September 2014)

I’ve been rather dismayed at times when it seems that Target or Walmart look to have given up on the TMNT toys. Other times, just a bit frustrated when it seems they’re simply not keeping up with stocking the darned things.

And this summer it’s been a strange feeling seeing all of the movie-branded “Ninja Turtles” toys along with the animated series’ toys, sometimes firmly intermingled as if employees of the stores have seen no difference in the lines (given the often same pricing, they probably simply haven’t cared…one “turtle figure” is the same as another, perhaps).

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A couple weeks ago, I happened to notice just how full (with several pegs actually overloaded) the TMNT section of the action figures aisle was, and took a step back to “admire” it.

This still doesn’t compare to the HUGE sections at Toys R Us back in the day, or Children’s Palace (a toy store akin to TRU that didn’t last). I don’t look much at the non-“basic” figures, and sure don’t remember there being these multiple lines back in the day (or at least not in the oversized sizing of so-called “deluxe” figures).

I’ve also noticed the addition of a blimp vehicle, which has me torn: two years in, and I still haven’t gone ahead and bought the Shellraiser (this line’s iteration of the van toy). I had the original “Turtle Blimp” way back in the day, and am definitely curious about this new one. Trouble is that a large as it is, I haven’t a clue where I’d be able to store/display it at present, short of rigging something up to hang it from the ceiling somehow.

Still…it’s awesome to see all this green looking through the toy aisle, even though I”m not as fond of these versions of the characters as I was the 2003 line or the original 1980s/90s line.

TMNT (2013) Toys – Baxter Stockman

After about 10 months of casually “keeping an eye out” and pretty much thinking this line had been given up on, I FINALLY found a new TMNT figure that WASN’T just a variant of one of the four turtles themselves!

I happened to be in a Toys R Us looking to see what DC Unlimited/Batman Unlimited/DC Classic figures they might have and at what price, and happened to notice unfamiliar-looking TMNT figures (some sort of camo/zip-line variant). But when I looked on the back of the card for THOSE, I noticed a couple other new characters as well…so actually looked through all the figures on the pegs.

Other than the zip-line turtles themselves, I found Baxter Stockman…and bought him on the spot, despite Toys R Us typically having a significantly-higher pricing than Walmart or Target (turned out to only be a few cents, though…I later saw Stockman at Target).

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Offhand, this is probably my favorite Stockman figure to date…sure, he’s got that crazy battle-suit, but it sure beats the mutant-fly of the ’80s line or mechanical spider-body/human-head of the 2003 line.

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The profile fits what I know of the character from the current animated series.

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No new TMNT-allies that I’ve seen, which is a shame…not that I really can consciously think of any from episodes I’ve seen so far that would particularly qualify. Here’s hoping Casey Jones shows up in season 2 and gets a figure soon, though!

tmnt_badguys_assortment_baxter

One of the other cards showed a Rat King figure and some other random mutant in addition to the figures shown here. I have no intention of buying Snakeweed, and really have no particular interest in other randomish “mutation-of-the-week” mutants. Rat King is a possibility for an impulse buy. I’m looking forward to a Leatherhead figure, though, if they actually put that out!

Man of Steel: Initial Thoughts

manofsteelwalmartpremierenightfrontI’ve said for awhile now that based on the trailers alone, this film looks far better to me than “the last one.” While Superman Returns has its place, I never cared for the costume or the weirdly-stylized “S.” And the film was long, kinda dragged, and seemed too much like it was trying too hard to BE the ’78 Donner film.

And this new film?

There’s plenty of homage; I thought of a bunch of other films at different points throughout watching this. I saw what I interpreted as a number of influences–from Alex Ross’ art to The Matrix to Star Wars and Gladiator…some things more subtle than others.

But mostly, I saw Superman. I didn’t see an actor molded to be as similar as possible to another actor playing Superman. And because of that (at least in part) I enjoyed the film a lot more.

alexrosssupermanThere’s a lot of sci-fi to this film; more than I think I’ve ever seen in a live-action Superman film before. And a lot of it–especially early on–put me heavily in mind of Star Wars Episode III. Shortly after I was put in mind of moments from 2009’s Star Trek as well as (for what should be an obvious reason) Gladiator.

In large part due to the broad strokes of the conditions behind Superman’s reveal, I was put in mind of the Superman: Earth One graphic novel from a couple years back. As a fan of ’90s Superman, I certainly missed one character in particular…and yet, the way that gets handled by the end of the film leaves huge potential for the inevitable sequel, and I daresay I’d be highly interested in a comic series set in this film’s continuity.

After the film’s opening, I was a bit put off by what I imagined was the route the story was taking…and braced myself for a long off-putting film. This concern was quickly put aside as the story unfolded and things were presented contrary to my expectations.

manofsteelwalmartpremierenightbackI was honestly surprised by a couple of deaths in the film–though they certainly fit the story, and definitely leave things ripe for potential…and my own mental tying in of a digital prequel comic I read thanks to the Walmart Premiere Night ticket code makes me wonder at the possibility of even a loose adaptation of the first “current” Superman story I ever read (parts of) back in ’89.

You want out ‘n out spoilers? Plenty of those out there. And I’ll likely have other thoughts once I see the film at least one more time; to say nothing of how others’ thoughts will rub off on me and give me different perspectives to come at this with…as well as the simple passage of time. (I’ll be particularly looking forward to hearing what Michael Bailey and Raging Bullets have to say on the film!)

New Super-Toys

Over the last several years, most of my action-figure purchasing has tended to be Marvel–I’ve mainly avoided the 6″ or whatever the “Legends” scale is, having come to GREATLY PREFER the 3.75″ scale. I won’t get into all my gripes about the lack of DC figures in that scale just now, though.

I’d recently posted about spotting a new line of Justice League figures at Target, and I believe I’d planned to avoid them entirely. Of course, seeing them every time I’d visit the toy aisle, I grew a bit weak and eventually gave in since they were recently on sale.

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Along with Batman and Superman (I might snag Lex Luthor if I ever see that figure again), I also picked up a General Zod and Superman from Big Lots.

I’d almost bought a Zod and Superman a couple times several weeks ago, but I was rather irked at the pricing of the figures as well as wanting “standard costumes” and not any of the many Superman variants or a General Zod special-suit variant that I didn’t at all recognize from the few trailers I’ve seen.

Big Lots often has ‘scaled down” versions of the “main” toy lines…they LOOK like they’re basically the same figures as what you can buy at Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us…but more generic packaging, smaller bubble on the pack, and it’s just the figure, no accessories. AND they’re $2 cheaper than Walmart‘s Man of Steel figures, and HALF the price of “regular” Marvel figures at all three of the big retail stores.

Since I don’t even WANT any of the accessories offered…Big Lots won the day. I’ve not seen ANY other villains offered in the line…which continues–as always–to be one of my biggest disappointments with the movie-tie-ins. The Marvel toys are done better, having the “movie series” and “comic series” in the mix, allowing for figures that may not technically have anything direct to do with the film, but that add variety to the overall toys available.

Pre-Selling the home release opening weekend of the theatrical

presellingattheatricalreleaseironman3So, a couple weeks ago, I was amazed to see that Walmart was “pre-selling” Iron Man 3‘s blu-ray the SAME WEEKEND that the movie opened in theaters.

Now, this past Sunday morning, I saw where Best Buy is doing the same with Star Trek. The movies JUST OPENED THEATRICALLY! And these retailers are selling what they don’t even have in-stock, don’t even KNOW WHEN they’ll have in stock?!? And heck, they don’t even list PRICING…probably a deposit of some sort, locking you into a purchase, whatever they decide to charge when the product is eventually produced and released.

Personally, I’m waiting for the Enterprise model/case at Target again that I missed out on with the 2009 Star Trek film. If I could be guaranteed for a reasonable price that “exclusive case” I might give in to the disgustingness of a presell. But to just generically offer an empty, generic case? Ugh.

presellingattheatricalreleasestartrekOh, but I guess they’re selling “bonus” or “exclusive” “CONTENT,” which I can’t imagine amounts to more than a few SECONDS of trailer/teaser material. And frankly, I am totally not the target audience, because I am NOT a fan of a lot of online video stuff: I prefer to read, or have it on a tv screen, and prefer to avoid trailers and such as much as I can (I enjoy them before theatrical viewings of films, but care nothing for every last “teaser” or “trailer” the moment it “leaks” online).

I guess the retailers weren’t getting enough sales by offering stupid “exclusives” and giftcards as “bribes” to lure “loyalty” from customers. Now they’ve gotta be “the first” to offer to take your deposit money to lock you into buying the product from them months before it’ll even be available.

Toys as a driving force for cartoons???

sameoldfigs_smallI read an article on Bleeding Cool the other day about how the lack of toy sales seems to have killed off the Green Lantern animated series. I’m not sure I want to get into the stuff about how the (lack of) toys affect the continuation of a series.

But I’ve had some observations, where I myself wonder at factors that make or break a toyline…at least for me.

#1 – If there are only a few figures constantly on the pegs with no true assortment (i.e. only 2 figures out of a 6-figure wave and the other 4 are never present), that would suggest TO ME that the stores would see that as a line not selling. Maybe those other 4 figures fly off the pegs…but especially if stock is automated, the sale of whatever instances of the other 4 figures may not be enough to trigger a reorder…and the lack of sales on the 2 most common figures everyone that wants ’em already has might suggest no one is interested (when it’s actually that no one is interested IN THE PEG-WARMERS).

#2 – Ten years ago, I was buying the 6″ Marvel Legends–large, hyper-articulated figures with cool packaging including a comic book–for $6-$8 apiece. I know prices go up, the cost of materials has gone up, etc. But $9.99 for a 3.75″ figure nowadays? HARDLY appealing, especially for the vast majority of the figures out there. I know I personally would prefer less articulation for cheaper figures. The Marvel Universe line, Avengers movie tie-in figures, Amazing Spider-Man movie tie-in figures, and I think the Iron Man 3 figures run $9.99 or so. These days I’d rather pay a couple dollars more for a Lego set with a mini-figure and something to build (and some of the $10 Lego sets are about the same SIZE or bigger than these 3.75″ figures).

#3 – I don’t want six different costumes for Spider-Man, or 11 different costumes for Batman or 17 different armors for Iron Man. Yeah, the hero’s name is in the films’ titles…but darnit, I’m NOT looking for umpteen variations on the hero. I want more variation in there being a bunch of different characters that are available.

#4 – I don’t want to have to “chase” “basic” figures. Take a character and their standard costume, make the costume a different color and pack that as a “ratioed variant” if you must. But don’t make the CHARACTER itself a “chase figure.” Don’t short-pack certain characters likely to be popular while over-packing other characters. If there are 6 figures in the wave, pack them equally.

#5 – Well, when I started typing I had more than 4 points. Perhaps a follow-up post will finish things off when they come back to me.

Final for now – When a store is obviously over-stocked on what seems to be massive quantities of the same figure and “clearance” is less than 15% “off” (less than 50, even)…I’m probably still not gonna buy, where 50% off I might give in.

sameoldfigs

TMNT (2012) Wave 2 toys at Walmart

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For some reason, I thought I was going to have to wait til Spring 2013 for new TMNT figures. As such, I was quite pleasantly surprised to find the 3-figure second wave of TMNT toys at a local Walmart.

Of this wave, Metalhead’s the only familiar character for me. I had the Metalhead figure from the original 1980s line, though I’m not particularly familiar as yet with the comics version of the character. I don’t know if I lucked across this wave just a couple days after it came out or not–but the Metalhead episode of the cartoon just aired 3 days ago.

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Dogpound is a new character to me; though I recognize the character of Bradford from the episode where Mikey “friended” him on a social network, somehow I don’t remember him being mutated yet–may just not have stood out to me at all. This is probably the largest–and heaviest–of all the standard TMNT figures so far…which makes up a bit for the toys’ pricing.

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Fishface I only recognize from some photo I saw online awhile back of a prototype or from Toyfair or some such. This is probably my least-favorite of the entire line so far–I should have left this guy on the peg, but figured my OCD would torture me til I wasted time and money on gas hunting the figure down later, so went ahead and just bought it now while all 3 figures were in front of me.

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And here are the profiles from the back of the figures’ cards:

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dogpoundprofile

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Finally, here’s the modified roster for this wave, showing all 12 figures to date for this line. I really dig this format–for years I’ve hated the lines that show maybe 2-3 other figures…you never know what other figures are actually OUT, from any given single figure, that way! Here, you get to see the ENTIRE LINE–first AND second waves–so you know what figures EXIST…and thus, what to even look for. I see 12 unique figures, I have 12 (plus the extra Foot Soldiers and Kraang), so I’m good (until the next wave hits–whenever that is).

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