Saturday, October 8, 2016

It's Doomsday For Our Imaginext DC Super Friends!!

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Beware! It's Doomsday! Yep, Doomsday has finally made his way into the Imaginext DC Super Friends toy line. In it's not quite connected to but clearly inspired by Batman v. Superman series of toys Fisher-Price has given us their own take on the monster. I have to say, I like it far better than the Doomsday we saw in the movie. But Doomsday isn't the only one of the newer DC releases, Lex Luthor come back out fighting as well.
Imaginext DC Super Friends Doomsday dc comics Fisher-Price SupermanImaginext DC Super Friends Lex Luthor Hauler dc comics Fisher-Price Superman
These toys were not easy for me to find. I just ended up ordering them online. Doomsday is a character folks have been hoping to see in this toy line, but after the Darkseid figure that came out I think they were a bit worried. Everyone's fears were laid to rest though when it was found that Doomsday wouldn't be a normal sized Imaginext figure. He's not even just a larger sized figure like Grodd and Grundy, nope FP went the extra mile and made him an over-sized figure. I love that they keep the containment suit elements to serve as a uniform, because just the bare skin would be a bit boring for this line. He features a "Power Pad" activated punching feature and arm swinging action. He comes with a beam that he holds to swing at Superman. Speaking of Superman, he's here too, and in an exclusive paint scheme. This Superman has red heat beam eyes and a torn battle damaged suit. In a series that sees so many variants on Batman it's pretty awesome to see another variant Superman.
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The other new toy here is none other than the Batman v. Superman father of Doomsady, Lex Luthor. This figure of course bears almost no resemblance to what you may have seen in the movie, and maybe for the better? Here we instead get something that would more likely come from Super Powers than anything. The Lex figure is one we've already seen in other sets but does come with a new armor piece. The Hauler is decked out in some nifty anti-Superman weapons, including a Kryptonite missile. There's also a cage with Kryptonite bars to hold Superman if Luthor can ever capture him. The toy is a great deal at the basic vehicle price of $14-$16.
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Another version of the Lex Luthor Hauler now simply called the Lex Hauler has been showing up at Kohl's stores. This release is one of the "Bonus" vehicles and actually comes with a Superman already imprisoned in the Kryptonite cage. Everything else about the toy should be the same as the normal release. Overall the two toy sets are great additions to the DC Super Friends line up and should be easily found online if your local stores are still failing you.

And if I'm going to get into stores failing us, this is what 2 of my nearby Target stores look like now...
Imaginext DC Justice League Target exclusive Green Lantern & Bd'g Super Friends dc comics Fisher-Price
Yes, when it comes to the Target exclusive Justice League series of Imaginext toys, all they have is pegs full of Green Lantern & Bd'g. It's been this ways for 2 months at one store, and slowly found it's way to this point at another over the past few weeks. It's been ages that any Target around me has gotten in a re-stock of the Target exclusive series.People in the Imaginext circles are now wondering if it's the end of the Target exclusives. Hard to say since Target has been bad about stocking most any toy for the last few months. Hopefully we we see as stores begin to raise stock levels for the upcoming holiday season.
This isn't so much about a store failing me, but maybe failing itself. I got all these Imaginext blind bag figures for $1 each. Not even sue they were supposed to be that low, but they were all scanning in as Snowboarder and at $1. I picked up a few I was missing and a couple extra for my nephew, but at that price maybe I should have grabbed some more for custom fodder.
I am also happy to say that I finally got the last of the original monster themed Imaginext figures with the purchase of the Creature toy. Meijer had started selling a small series of the Imaginext blind bag toys on blister cards. While they retail for $2 more than the bagged figures, it's a much better price to pay for the Creature than having to resort to an internet purchase. I also lucked out and grabbed the newest monster/creature figure from the 7th series of blind bags...
It's been a good few weeks for my Imaginext collecting, now if only we'd get word about some future DC Comics releases.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Thank You Marshall's For Cheap Marvel Vision & Transformers Swindle!

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 I'm definitely playing catch up here, I've been using my time to work on another project and sadly let my blog update material begin to build up. I picked up these 2 items about 3 weeks ago at a Marshall's store.

Marvel Hero Mashers Vision (Clear)
Hero Mashers Vision clear cheap Disney hasbro comics marvel アメコミHero Mashers Vision clear cheap Disney hasbro comics marvel アメコミ
Hero Mashers seem to get a real love/hate response from adult collectors. They're either the worst designed, useless, crap toys ever made and a complete waste of space that could be used for more Marvel Legends...OR they're extremely fun, and should be expanded to every toy property Hasbro has at it's use. While I was never in the first camp, I wasn't in the second camp until I bought a few of these. And I only picked them up after having bought a bunch for my nephew. But boy these are fun toys. I'm sorry to see that they have basically just become discount chain fodder. But because they are showing up at discounters has allowed me to finally get a Vision figure, and the very cool clear version to boot.

I've wanted a Vision Hero Masher for awhile. I'm kind of choosy when it comes to which Mashers I buy so when I saw that Vision would be included in a gift set with a bunch of Avengers guys I didn't want I was a bit let down. The gift set Vision was the normal opaque colored figure, and pretty cool looking. I just didn't want to lay down $50 for it. Word then came of a single pack Vision being released, and in a very striking and dare I say beautiful clear translucent colored plastic. I added that to my want list immediately. I had never seen this particular figure in the store before finding this one, but I did have a chance to pick him up online and failed to do so. Hasbrotoyshop listed the figure for a brief time before it went to out of stock status and ultimately removed from the site. I recall seeing it on the site and thinking "Oh man, it's there! I need to get it!" and pausing, only to go back a few weeks later to see it was sold out. There was Ebay too, but wasn't going to pay $20+for it.

So my poor timing didn't hurt me much as I got the Vision finally for $6. In hand the toy is even more cool than the promo pics had alluded to. If you have a Marshall's or TJ Maxx bear you it's worth checking them out. They have also been stocking some of the other later,harder to find guys like Thanos and the clear purple War Machine.

 Transformers Combiner Wars Swindle
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I've had this toy in hand at a store so many times. My feelings on the whole Combiner Wars toy line are really mixed. I didn't end up buying much of it, just a few toys really. Swindle was one of the guys I kept going back and forth on. My issue wasn't that I didn't think the toy was cool, I knew it was. I didn't have anything against Swindle, in fact the opposite, I think he's a great character and the Combaticons in general are one of my favorite sub-teams in Transformers. The thing that kept getting me to put Swindle pack on the peg at stores was that I already bought Hound, the toy Swindle shares a design/mold base with. I couldn't bring myself to bu what is so closely a duplicate $16 figure.

I buy extras of things all the time, I don't know what my hang up was here, but it was strong enough to keep my from buying Swindle for months. When I found him at Marshall's for $9.99 it was an easy buy. Yes it's just $6 less, but still $6 that I think anyone can agree on it a good savings. What I can't see many agreeing on is that I almost picked up a duplicate Hound at the same time which would negate everything I was trying to do when passing on Swindle for all those months. Luckily I came to my senses and only got the one toy. Although the Vortex did briefly sit in hand as a possible purchase before I realized that would lead to another $45-$55 in purchases for sure.
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My Buddy and me....

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

One Less Tool Of The Trade: Goodbye To My First Digital Camera!

This is a bit of an indulgence, so please bear with me. It's not really toy related, but not exactly unrelated to toys. My first digital camera stopped working this week. It's been acting up for a few months now, but took it's last few photos and closed it's lens for good a few days ago. I've had this camera for 16 years, and it's seen two other cameras die before it was his time. This camera had been all around the U.S. with me, even relocating to California for a time. It traveled to Canada with me, and to Japan a few times. It took thousands of photos for me and until this year never failed me once.
When I bought this Sony Cyber-shot camera I was the first among my friends and family to have one. It took pretty powerful pics, with it's amazing "2.1. Mega Pixels" of resolution. And no kidding aside, still took great Macro pics even as little as two weeks ago. The camera has been a real work horse, and quite versatile even though cameras on the market now completely dwarf it in the specs area. Being something I've used possibly 3 or 4 days of each week for the past 16 years I figured a little write-up and picture posting was the least I could do.
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 I've owned 4 different digital cameras, and this Sony really even puts my Canon DSLR to shame when it comes to Macro. This Sony could even accept lens attachments for various effects like a fish-eye or wide angle. There were several manual operations built n that later DSLR's would all incorporate but most point and shoot models lack. As I was looking for old pics I also took a second to look this camera up again, because I'm seriously thinking about buying another. Even though it's 16 years old, it's just that reliable and efficient for my needs.
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I'll be posting full sized pics on Facebook & Twitter and adding in short snippets about them and when they were taken.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Transformers Titans Return Astrotrain & Alpha Trion Join My Collection!

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My small, but very loved collection of Transformers Titan's Return toys grew just a little yesterday when I found Astrotrain and Alpha Trion at a Meijer store. Both these toys were original set to "wait and see" because I wasn't sure about picking them up. I have a finite budget for toys, so I have been trying to decide the better direction for each Titans Return/TF Legends figure to go in.

Titans Return Astrotrain
Transformers Titans Return Astrotrain トランスフォーマー アストロトレイン タイタンズリターン Hasbro Takara
Transformers Titans Return Astrotrain トランスフォーマー アストロトレイン タイタンズリターン Hasbro TakaraTransformers Titans Return Astrotrain トランスフォーマー アストロトレイン タイタンズリターン Hasbro Takara
Until TakaraTomy showed their Astrotrain I didn't know if the Hasbro one would be better or not. And "better" is a matter of choice and will differ greatly. I like the look of Hasbro's which goes in the direction of the G1 toy. And with no known alterations or added accessories to the TakaraTomy one, it was a simple choice. Got $5 off the cost with a coupon as well.

The robot mode is great. The vehicle modes are kinda meh, but I'm in my 40's, let's not kid ourselves and say I'm doing anything more than standing him on a shelf or desktop. Love the head sculpt, and the Titan Master overall. The Darkmoon name needs some work, but I can deal with it. Will be nice too see if a Blitzwing does materialize to pair up with this Astrotrain.

Titans Return Alpha Trion
Transformers Titans Return Alpha Trion トランスフォーマー アルファトライオン タイタンズリターン Hasbro Takara
Transformers Titans Return Alpha Trion トランスフォーマー アルファトライオン タイタンズリターン Hasbro TakaraTransformers Titans Return Alpha Trion トランスフォーマー アルファトライオン タイタンズリターン Hasbro Takara
This toy I wasn't sure of in any form be it Hasbro or Japanese import. In hand at the store it won me over enough to buy it. Once open it won me over completely...or almost completely. It's still a has a very Beast Wars vibe to it. Maybe more Beast Wars Second. But it's Alpha Trion and I've never actually owned any incarnation of the character, not even the cheap SCF figure.

The Titan Master head likeness is amazing.The robot mode of the Master is cool, but like Astrotrain's Darkmoon, the name Autobot Sovereign doesn't do much for me. But man is the sword accessory an awesome addition. Love the clear plastic use here. Overall, in the same vain as Astrotrain the Alpha Trion robot mode if the best looking one. Although if I had to pick, I might say Alpha Trion's Wolf/Lion mode may be the best of the 4 alt mode options between the 2 toys.
Transformers Titans Return Alpha Trion トランスフォーマー アルファトライオン タイタンズリターン Hasbro Takara

Transformers Titans Return Alpha Trion トランスフォーマー アルファトライオン タイタンズリターン Hasbro Takara

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Where Am I Going To Put All This? (Machine Robo Gobots Kre-O)

I have to imagine this idea is shared by just about every collector out there, that though of just where the hell is all this stuff you've accumulated going to fit in your house? Sure there's some collectors who may elect to put it in an off-site storage. Some folks may even be pretty well off to afford large areas of their home solely for their collectibles. I think maybe the more modest income earners (read: poor people) like myself may be worse off when it comes to how well they can really show off their beloved toys. I haven't been able to have a dedicated display case/shelf/area since I moved from my last home in 2012.

A few months back things just got absolutely out of hand. Towers of toys blocking my closet, blocking my window, covering the entirety of my drawing table and photo area. Toys pretty much filling all but a narrow pathway in my room. Much of this stuff things I no longer want, but sadly not selling online either. I had a few options, and I wasn't taking anything off the table. I could throw stuff out, unbox things, give some items away, and maybe move a few more things into the "sell" pile that would actually sell. I basically did all of this. And I also bought some new storage containers to make better use of the space I have.
A stop at Michael's allowed me to get a good assortment of cases on sale that I could experiment with. I was able to grab a few larger totes at Target, which to my delight were also on sale. Without having the proper measurements for what I wanted to store in hand (which I advise to make things easier than I did them), I had to test the fit  of various things to see what worked. Sometimes these storage cases protect their contents better than they save space.
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Machine Robo Gobots マシンロボ CG Robo Machines Bandai Tonka rareMachine Robo Gobots マシンロボ CG Robo Machines Bandai Tonka rare
One tote fit all of my Bandai CG Robo toys perfectly. Was super happy to see that. But when I took my Gobots collection, which I'm sorry to say has been stored for years in old comic long boxes, I had mixed results. The Gobots and Robo Machines that had flatter, less protruding bodies fit well in the slim scrap booking cases I picked up. Any figure that that had a plastic bubble that rose off the card more than an inch and a half did not fit. I was luckily able to protect and store all my Gobots Tank figures, which are the most important to me anyhow. The rest will have to sit in the comic boxes until I find a better solution.
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Seeking out new and more streamlined methods of storing things is great. Just eliminating excess bits maybe works even better. When it comes to certain toy lines, I just don't need the packing any longer. Hasbro's Hero Mashers toys came to mind immediately. I have them all opened anyhow, and the boxes don't really have a need to be saved so I unboxed the whole lot of them and got rid of the packages. The toys take up 1/3 of the space they previously did. Another HUGE space saver was eliminating the boxes for my Kre-O G.I.Joe collection. The package for these toys was an enormous waste of space. The idea that a bigger box, even being lightly filled, would justify a large price tag is not a new marketing ploy. And even though the boxes of these toys are neat, I just don't need them. What took two large totes and a small box to store now all fits into just the same small box. A great savings of space which was quickly taken up by my ever expanding Imaginext collection. A toy line I also recently decided will have all toys removed from packages and stored loose. It just makes more sense.
I also took the time to edit down my book collection. I guess that's the nice way of saying I ripped apart most of my books and kept only the pages I felt were useful. All the rest of the stuff was filtered into a "sell" pile and a "trash" pile. Books take up a giant portion of my space. And the boxed books get heavy as hell to deal with. With a possible move coming next year, this was an easy answer to the issue.

All in all, I understand that throwing things out and destroying books goes against what a lot of collectors believe, but sometimes the methods of collecting we choose are just not sustainable. Whether it be in regards to storing what we buy like I've shown here, or the amounts of money we blow on stuff. Heck, even the time we spend amassing things should be looked at every now and then. Collecting is good on many levels, but can slide into a dangerous place pretty quick. Have fun, stay alert, and happy hunting!

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