I've been pretty quiet with the blog for a while, and part of that comes from not knowing what to do for my 100th post. It is a milestone after all, and I was trying to come up with something that would feel special. In the end I decided to go for the opposite and spotlight ten figures that might not otherwise get featured. My toy collection as a whole is pretty random, and yet I still have some figures that are random even among the randoms. The stuff I pick up at conventions are usually pretty random, and even though I really do try to stick to a few certain lines, I always cave in and impulsively grab things on the fly, just because I think they're cool. And when it comes to gifts, I rarely say no to a figure I don't have.
So here are some of the more random figures from my collection of random figures.
I got this guy at the Calgary Expo, the biggest comic and entertainment convention we have in my hometown. He's from a line based on the "Maximo" video game series, which I've never played. I just thought he was cool looking. I'm a sucker for a skeleton, and I'm pretty fond of pirates too. He was in a bin of cheap figures, so impulse buys are easy when they're cheap!
Skeleton pirates are always cool, but they get extra bonus points when they come with their own skeleton parrot pal.
Now, Captain Cadaver here has some weird articulation. His arms are both articulated at the shoulders and elbows, and his right wrist can swivel as well. That's it though. I can understand why his neck doesn't move - it just couldn't. But his legs aren't articulated at all. At least he's got a wicked anchor-flail for a left hand (with a real chain!). It's a nice feature that makes up for the next point:
Captain Cadaver comes with a nice pirate scimitar that he will NEVER BE ABLE TO HOLD! This is one of those strange cases where a figure is released with an accessory, but is given no hands able to hold it. His right hand is sculpted with the fingers closed. There's still a whole there so he could hold something, but that handle will never ever fit in there. I suppose he could just throw the whole thing at you like some big dagger, but he shouldn't have to. The gun in his belt is also not removable. But at least he has his anchor-on-a-chain!
Overall there's some odd choices here, but Captain Cadaver's nice if you can get him cheap.
Speaking of skeletons...
One of the most annoying things about living so close to the US is that even though we're part of the same landmass, they still get toys that never show up here! I mean, the borders are only man-made, we share the same continent! It's not like we're too far away! Anyway, there's always going to be stuff that doesn't show up here, and the "Skeleflex" line was one of them. It's probably for the best. I would have gotten too many of them, but I don't know how well they stand up overtime. I've heard stories about loose or cracked joints. Still, they sure look cool.
I first heard of these guys from my friend Alexx over at Toys and Tomfoolery. He had gotten into them, and they were being discounted super-cheap in his area, so he asked if I wanted any. Of course I had to try them out! In retrospect, I should have at least asked for two of them so I could play with mixing and matching the parts, but in the end I only asked for this guy: Centoro. I still think he's the coolest in the line though. Centaurs are all well and good, but a skeleton centaur is a whole other thing! That's twice the bones, and it makes for quite the impressive looking figure.
Skeleflex was a line built around construction, so the figures came in pieces and you had to assemble them yourself. All the parts could be mixed and matched, and as a byline of that, there's also a ton of articulation to be found. The jaw, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, other hips, knees, other knees, and all of the hooves are articulated. Even the spine is articulated all the way down to the tail. He originally came with these weird rubber joints to be used in his arms (I guess that's where the flex in "Skeleflex" comes from), but they just ended up making his arms look long and limp, so I left them out. He's much better without them.
So far I only have one loose joint, and I found a crack when I went to take these pics (though it could have been there before and I just forgot about it), but he's still a pretty cool figure. I only ever came across Skeleflex on my own once, when I was visited the Jurassic Park gift shop in Orlando Universal's Islands of Adventure. They only had the small dinosaur skeletons from the line, and they were pretty expensive too. I really wanted to get some little minions for Centoro, but not at the price they were going for, and not when this much bigger guy was being sold on clearance. Oh well. Who needs minions when you got all 'dem limbs?
"DANCING" NAPOLEON DYNAMITE
This is one of the more unlikely figures that I have. I've seen "Napoleon Dynamite" once, and it was okay. Would I watch it again? Sure, but I'm not going to go out of my way for it. It was funny enough for what it was, but it's a very specific kind of funny that I'd have to be in a very specific mood for. But that's not why I bought this figure. I bought this figure for a very specific reason, and before we get to that, let's look at the figure itself.
McFarlane Toys has gone through various eras over the years. There were the straight up action figures of the Todd Toys years, followed by the "stand-there-and-look-good-figures" that saw a lot of movie and sports stuff, to the present era which is, well, kind of a sad mix of the first two. This statuesque figure is clearly from that second era, where articulation still existed, but it didn't really do anything. The sculpting on the other hand was pretty amazing, with the figures looking like they jumped right out of their respective comic book/screen/field/court/rink.
Napoleon is shown here from his moment for glory near the end of the film. Moon boots and trademark "Vote for Pedro" shirt firmly in place, his sleepy-faced dance is now frozen in time for eternity.
The details are what McFarlane Toys was known for from this era, and they're really well done here. The facial likeness is dead-on, the texture in the jeans is awesome, and even his watch shows an actual date and time. It's tiny, but you can clearly make out that it's Thursday, May 28th at 2:50 (and 39 seconds). Hey, attention to detail counts! I don't absolutely need it, but I appreciate it when I get it.
Napoleon comes with a display stand that plays lines from the movie when you push the li'l black button. No one is ever going to use Napoleon here as an action hero (Oh! A challenge!) so he should at least be able to be all the "Napoleon Dynamite" that he can be. This version spouts lines like, "Gosh!", "You're such an idiot!", and "This one gang kept wanting me to join 'cause I'm pretty good with a bo staff". Maybe he CAN be an action hero! He can team up with Donatello to save the world from the combined forces of Cobra Commander, Skeletor, aaaaaaaand... Rowdy Roddy Piper. Because imagination.
Okay, so the very specific reason that I bought this figure is for his other accessory: the wrestler figure. This noseless wonder is a figure... of a figure! Sure, the various Toy Story lines over the years give us the same things, but those are figures of characters. This is a toy made to represent a toy that never came to life. For some reason I find that just hilarious and super cool. Silly reason to buy a figure? I'll admit to that, but if there's one thing I do well, it's silly.
Now in this case, I have no idea why I bought this figure. I really must have wanted him at the time. I honestly don't know. I'm not a Popeye fan. I don't have anything against him, I just don't really care about him. Maybe I thought the imposing size of this figure would make him a nice goon for some other action figure baddie (which it would). I just don't really know why I got him. I can actually remember being in Toys R Us and and getting him, but the reasons are lost to time.
Still, he's a nice big figure who looks exactly like he should. His action attack feature is supposed to have him squeezing his arms together like a bear hug, but it's never really worked. It doesn't hinder the playability of the figure, and the articulated fingers are a nice touch. Overall, I like him, I just don't know why I bought him. His "Bluto's Barge" ride is my favorite ride from Islands of Adventure. So there't that. Right?
THE FLAMING CARROT
I think this is another random figure I picked up at a convention. But at least in this case he's absolutely freakin' awesome. He's weird! I love weird! I have never read a single "Flaming Carrot" comic book, but I would love to. They look just insane. But even without reading the comics, how could I refuse a figure with a giant flaming carrot for a head? His light up flame no longer works (and never really did), but it's still flame-y enough. I'll say this on the blog over and over again: I'm a sucker for foodie characters, and the stranger the better. This guy is just a guy, with a big flaming carrot for a head. And duck feet.
Now if you're just a guy with a giant flaming carrot for a head, you're going to need some weapons. Even if you're not trying to be a super hero, I'm pretty sure you'd need weapons. You have a giant flaming carrot for a head. You're going to have to defend yourself at some point. In this case, he comes with a pistol that fits nicely into his hand, and a grenade (in case he really means business). And just look at his no-nonsense face. His entire being might be nonsense, but he always means business.
This isn't Krull from the classic 80's sci-fi/fantasy movie of the same name. This is Krull from the less-than-classic Tim Burton directed "Planet of the Apes". I'm not really a Planet of the Apes fan, and this is actually the only movie from that series that I've seen. I hear the new one's pretty good, but anyway. There wasn't really a whole lot that I liked about the Tim Burtan version, but I liked Krull. He was an old former soldier, and he was one of the few apes sympathetic to humans. In the end he gets monkey-pawed to death by Attar, which would have been a noble end had Attar not switched sides shortly thereafter, but hey, it's not a very good movie. That being said, I was impressed by the look of the apes, and it carries over into some nice looking figures. I don't have to like a movie to like the figures, and I'd rather have good figures from a bad movie than bad figures from a good movie.
The look of the apes from the original movies is iconic, so when you see them, you think "Planet of the Apes". The apes from this movie look much less iconic, which for me makes for much better figures. I've always been a fan of toys with a lot of crossover appeal. I would rarely use figures as their intended characters as a kid, instead using toys from various lines to make up my own stories. This line has a ton of crossover appeal, and Krull here could be used in pretty much any fantasy setting. Remember "Warriors of Virtue"? He's got a real Warriors of Virtue vibe to him. I could see him in Masters of the Universe or anything like that. He doesn't have a ton of articulation, but he has enough to fit in with other figures, he's action posed, but it doesn't hurt the figure.
Krull comes with two accessories: a scimitar that he can actually hold (I'm looking at you, Captain Cadaver!), and a cool looking staff. It would be nice if he could hold both at the same time a la Gandalf, but they both work well enough on their own.
So Krull is a nice looking figure in his own right. I don't think of his as a Planet of the Apes figure, but an everyman fantasy figure that you could do anything with.
I bought this figure, but it wasn't originally for me. It was a Christmas gift to my brother, who at the time looked exactly like Nick Dean from "Jimmy Neutron". Eventually, when my brother moved to another city and left some of his stuff behind, Nick ended up in my collection. I've never seen the movie, and I don't know if I've even seen a full episode of the cartoon, but I'll keep the figure because he still reminds me of my brother. I think he came with a skateboard and headphones, but I have no idea where they are.
Speaking of movies I've never seen, here's Six Shooter from "Puppet Master". I really don't know anything about Puppet Master, but I know a cool toy when I see one. I found this guy at Spencer's Gifts on clearance and figured he was a no-brainer. Sure, he's supposed to be a homicidal puppet (right?), but I would have used him as a gunslinging alien/mutant sheriff when I was a kid. As it is, I don't have a lot of use for him now, but he's just fun to hold in your hands and play around with. No snickering!
He comes with a cowboy hat, as any good (or bad) cowboy should, as well as a six-shooter for each hand. Waitaminnit... SIX Shooter comes with SIX SIX-shooters? This puppet is downright Satanic! And he could be. Like said, I haven't seen the movies. Anyway, each gun fits tightly into each hand, and his thumbs have all been sculpted to rest on the hammer of each gun, which is cool. Lastly, he's got a soft-goods bandana that you can pull over his face or remove completely (but why would you want to do that?). There's another version of Six Shooter out there with half of his face missing and robotic parts showing underneath. That's another figure I'll have to get someday.
Let me just say right now that some of my figures are a little... embarrassing. I'm fine with being a grown man who collects toys. That's no biggie. That doesn't mean there aren't some toys that are better kept secret, like this guy. But let me explain! I do have a soft spot for Happy Meal toys. Actually, it's more than a soft spot. I love 'em. I have very fond memories of getting Happy Meal toys as a kid, and I still like picking them up every now then.
Usually there's a set for boys and a set for girls, like those Hot Wheels/Barbie sets that have been coming out for years. When you order a Happy Meal, you're asked if you want a boy's toy or a girl's toy. Again, no biggie. The yes biggie only happens when you ask for a boy's toy and you get a girl's toy! That is what happened here. I think a few of these "Madame Alexander" sets have been offered over the years. I can't remember what else was being offered at the time, but what ever I was trying to get, I obviously did not. Now, there have been Happy Meal toys over the years that I didn't end up keeping, because I just wasn't into them. So help me... I like this guy!
Why do I like this guy? I don't know! Maybe it's because his hard plastic clothes and hair make him seem less like a doll and more like an action figure? Or maybe it's that he really does have a weirdness to him. He is the MAD Hatter after all. He might look like an adorable little cherub, but he's CRAZY! Seriously, it says so in his name.
He has your basic action figure articulation. Swivel joints at the neck, shoulders, and hips. He's got a soft-goods bow tie that gives him a gentle nudge into doll territory, but that's nothing compared to his eyes closing when you lay him down. Yeah, his eyes close when you lay him down. But... But being crazy must be exhausting, right?
Stare into the face of madness. Do it! Do it before he falls asleep again and you lose your chance! I might not remember why I bought Bluto, but at least I know I deliberately bought him. Ol' MH here came into my collection by complete accident, but I can't not like him! I don't love him, but I can't not like him. Maybe Bluto can be his muscle? You have a problem with the Hatter? Well you gotta answer to Bluto!
Oh, and one last thing. One of my brothers is named Alexander, and it tickles me to no end that this little guy has "Alexander" stamped on the back of his head. Wait, did I just say that something funny "tickles" me? Ugh, this figure is getting to me...
This little hard-to-photograph bugger is from a series of blind-boxed "Android" phone mascots. I only got one of them, because I have an Android phone and I figured whichever one I got would be my Android. Well, this is my Android. I guess he's pretty cool. He's just really reflective and it makes him hard to take pictures of without the flash bouncing back at you.
He comes with his own little phone accessory, which is removable so other figures can use it too. You know, if they're the talkable type. You can also pop his head off, and his body is hollow so you can keep things inside. Like... He-Man?
Sure, why not He-Man?
I liked "Men in Black" back in the day, but my appreciation of it has definitely waned over the years. It's no "Ghostbusters". I remember being unimpressed with the figures back when the movie came out, and to be fair, they're unimpressive figures. But just like with Napoleon Dynamite earlier in the post, sometimes there's just something about a figure that I love too much to ignore. So sit tight, we'll get there.
I like figures with lots of articulation, but I'm just as good with figures that have basic or even no articulation. What bugs me is when a figure has articulation that just doesn't make any sense. Take Jay here for example. First of all, his arms are sculpted in an awkward, bent post. He looks okay holding his gun, but they're weird on their own (never mind that... thing that he's holding in his hand, to... stab you with? That's not to erase your memories, that's just to stab you). He's got a swivel waist, which is fine, and two swivel joints at the hip. Great. But then he's only got one articulated knee? Why? To make it look like he's running? I can use imagination to make him run. Give him both knees or no knees, not just one. It's not like he can kneel or anything. This is an awkward figure. At least as far as sculpting goes, it still manages to look like Will Smith. It's not a dead-on likeness, but if I didn't know Will Smith played Jay in the movie, I'd still think the figure looked like him if I was asked.
Jay comes with a weird shovel-barrled blowtorch thing. It's not bad as far as accessories go, just weird. Now, I say "I love weird" all the time, but this isn't that kind of weird. This is just "weird" weird, that's just kinda there. But it's not bad. Adding to the awkwardness of the figure is that Jay is painted to look like one side of him is illuminated by fire, and this is "Flame-Blastin'" Jay, so that makes sense. But there's no effect, not even a red missile, to make it look like he's using the flamethrower right at this moment. Maybe it's the light from the flame he just ignited? Meh, it's awkward.
BUT this figure has a saving grace. I bought Napoleon Dynamite for the wrestler, and I bought Flame-Blastin' Jay for the display stand. Jay's package mentions that he's "Flame-Blastin' Jay VS Scorched Alien", but where is the Scorched Alien? All I see is what looks like a friend human skeleton baked onto the street.
BAM! SCORCHED ALIEN!
If you flip up the charred corpse, there's an alien hidden underneath! I love when a display stand doubles as an extra figure, and that's exactly what we have here. Not only is it a creepy looking alien with sharp teeth and multiple fat squirming tongues, but it's a creepy looking alien with sharp teeth and multiple fat squirming tongues THAT DISGUISES ITSELF AS A CHARRED HUMAN CORPSE!!!!
Wow. I din't expect to use Craig Ferguson in a toy blog, but here we are.
As you can see, some things just excite me in all the right ways.
Awkward figure. Awesome stand. I'll take it!
So anyway, there you have it. 100 posts! It's a big deal, woo hoo! Now we can all get back to normal and get on with our lives. Also, I have enough random figures to do more posts like this, so this could become a thing.