Walmart Exclusive Transformers Masterpiece Starscream
Hot on the heels of selling Transformers movie toys like hotcakes (mmmmm.....hotcakes), Walmart ordered this USA version of the Takara Masterpiece Starscream, only in the show-correct anime colors. This move made this one even more desireable to collectors like myself who already had the Japanese edition. So much so that the hefty $50 price tag scared NO ONE away, and it sold out almost immediately. I only saw this guy at one local Walmart, and even then it sold out in 48 hours. I've heard this one may ship again, as sales expectations were completely shattered. Depending on where you live, you may have never even seen one.
As you can see, the packaging mimicks the now defunct "Classics" line. It's well done, and helps ease the sting of the $50 price tag. The lettering on the top is raised and painted in silver, and looks classy. The packaing is also fairly stury & displays well, if you should choose to keep it sealed mint.
...But why would you want to do that when he's so cool! He's super poseable, of course, and even retains the import versions' face-changing action. You can display your Starscream looking serious, or with the jerk-like grin, which belies the fact that he's clearly up to something devious. The paint work is top-notch, especially the dark line work in all the plane's detailing. Included accessories are the null ray guns, missile clusters, a small figure of Dr. Archeville, which can fit in to the cockpit seat, opening nosecone with radar array, opening engine covers, swiveling thruster nozzles, and opening air brakes. Whew that's a bunch!
My only complaints about the toy, aside from it's overall scarcity, are htese two issues:
1) Scale. It's a bit undersized. Not horrible, but it should've been a bit bigger. It fits in very well with the Alternators line, however.
2) Design of the robot mode. He was designed (by the engineers' own admission) to be a perfect trasnforming F-15. He is, but sacrifices were made to the robot mode. He should've been designed as the perfect Starscream. However, these complaints are minor, and if your a classic Transformers fan like I am, this one's kind of a must-own.
Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem
The first two of NECA's AVP:R figures have been released, just in time for me to see the movie tomorrow! There have been several attempts to bring these creatures to life in plastic, but I must say that NECA's efforts so far surpass anything before it. My only gripe is that the Predator isn't scheduled to ship until February. How am I supposed to have my toys "fight" without the main protagonist!?!
This creature seen hatching at the end of AvP is now all-growed up, and ready to do some real damage! In a previous interview, NECA's Randy Falk had stated that there would be less articulation on this bad boy due to the extra amount of detailing required to rended him in 3D. I really can't argue with him, because the detailing is outrageous. The paint work and detailing is superb, down to the transparent cranial dome and skull inside. The "dreads" are individual rubber pieces that resemble alien vertebrae! Creepy! He is articulated at the jaw, ball & socket neck, ball & socket shoulders, cut biceps & wrists, hips, cut thighs, and a bendy tail. He also includes a multi-positional base to help him stand. Mine appears to be "closed mouthed", but the packaging displays an open mouthed variant also exists.
This is now my all-time favorite action figure of the Alien warrior. The detailing is amazing, something I think a lot of toy companies couldn't even pull off on a mass-prouction scale. The design is fairly classic, but with loads of new detailing. Most notably for me are the cues on his head that appear to be derived from Takeya's famous take on the creature. He's painted to perfection with a wash of metallic grey, and really deals well with his mucous-like mandible tendons, better than any previous attempt. these clear muscular strans that surround the jaws are cast in a clear plastic as a separate piece, then blended into the lower jaw. the extend far up into the skull, and extend when you lower the articulated mouth. Creepy!
The warrior, much like the Predalien, is in the 7" scale range, and stands an imposing 8 1/4 inches tall. He has a ball & socket neck, ribcage, and thighs. He is also articulated at the shoulders, bicep cuts, elbows, wrists, thigh cuts, knees, ankles, jaw, and bendy tail. He also includes the aforementioned stand, but doesn't need it due to the tripod-like tail.
One thing's for sure - let's hope the movies are as good as these excellent toys, and let's hope that Predator ships fast!
On a lighter note, my dog got her Christmas gift a little early tonight, a new rubber chicken. If only we were so happy with new toys!
Peace, and happy dreams of sugar plums, santa, and action figures.