Friday, February 22, 2013

This week's auction, Transformers Prime and DOTM Target Ratchet

I have some auctions up this week.  Including Target Exclusive Autobot Ratchet from Dark of the Moon.
So today's trip was 7 hours of adventuring. I headed out around 5:30 in the morning. My mission was to round up some LEGO friends and Chima polybags that were at Target. (A polyb ag is a small set of LEGOs that is usually about $4-5). I was heading out to a semi remote location about 40 minutes from home. My local Target had looked up inventory on Monday and said there were quite a few out at this other location, University Heights. e aWell I stopped at a 24 hour Giant Eagle (grocery store) and Walgreen's. At the Giant Eagle I found some Hazelnut wafer cookies by Manner. My Grandpa used to have these European made cookies when we were little. I still have an affinity for them to this day. At Walgreen's I decided to stock up some snacks for the wait for Target to open.

I was pleasantly surprised to find two of the Frito Lay Flavor contest potato chips in the Grab Bag size, Chicken and Waffles and Cheesy Garlic Bread. I also snagged a pair of Dare Habanero Slim Jims that were marked down to $1.29 each. If these are being phased out I will miss them, Tabasco Slim Jims just don't compare. As for the chips, I have mixed feelings about Chicken and Waffles, but I was looking forward to Cheesy Garlic Bread.

So I went and parked in Target's parking garage and awaited the opening. The Garlic chips were pretty good, in the end I think they had a taste, in part, that is similar to Andy Capp's Hot Fries. The Slim Jims were as awesome as I remember from when they were launched last year. My friend almost ordered me a case of those off Amazon b/c I liked them so much.

At 8AM Target opened. I took the escalator up to the second floor to scope out the toy department. I was pretty disappointed as I only found 1 Chima Polybag, alot less than Mentor had reported on Monday, there must have been a run on them. Either that or the inventory was off. There really wasn't much else of note. Since I was saving up for the LEGO I passed on some toys at Walgreen's, I took note of what I saw however.

I stopped by 3 more Walgreen's on my way back to Mayfield Target. I was pleasantly surprised to locate 2 copies of Dark of the Moon voyager size Ratchet exclusive Transformer. There wasn't much else of note at that Target. I decided to check the closeout retailer nearby that I usually didn't visit because the highway exit traffic is always insane and blocks the parking lot in a mess of cars. I found two Optimus Prime from the animated Transformers Prime cartoon from the HUB network.

Enough time had passed by this point to visit Toys R Us which opened at 10AM. Holy Shit, they had a motherload of new Hasbro toys. Almost everything from the upcoming G.I.Joe Retaliation movie, including a fresh case of figures. I had to Pass on Firefly, now for the fourth time. I don't know if I am seeing things but I swear the tip of the nose is indented on all the samples I have seen so far. They had tons of new Transformers including Deluxe and Voyager Transformers from the Fall of Cybertron video Game. I saw 3 Grimlocks and 1 Blaster redo of Soundwave (at least I think it's a redo of Soundwave.) I ended up getting a Kickback for my friend. Although I thought it was for Mike, it turns out that Neil was the one asking about it. I was only disappointed b/c the price was jacked up $2 more dollars over the price hike that took place in the last 6 months. But hey, I had to have it, so Hasbro/Toys R Us get an extra $2 from me. Very tricky.

I then headed out to Five Below. I love this store. I ended up getting a box of Spiderman Vs. cards from the long defunct Upper Deck Vs. game. The game was relatively unique in that it pitted Marvel Comics Characters against not only other Marvel Characters but DC characters as well. My friend mentioned earlier in  the week that he needed a Vs. rulebook since he inherited some Vs. cards. So I made sure to give him the box I bought at 5 Below.

I made a few more stops on the way home, and scored more Transformers Prime toys, I got Thundertron and Ultra Magnus from the Prime cartoon. I passed out when I got home in the early afternoon. All in all an amazing day of toy  Oh and I got the best sleep I've had in weeks.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

This week's haul: A Wizard, a little Liquid Metal, Bruce Willis & some Joes

Another week, another batch of toy shopping. Firstly I picked up Gandalf the Grey from the Hobbit movie line. He seemed a little too iconic not to get. I am still on the fence about the rest of the line, especially since it seems all the dwarves are not represented. I am pleased with the likenesses on the figures in the Hobbit line. I only wish the Tron Legacy figures looked this good. I still think that Kevin Flynn could pass as a generic Jesus or prophet figure since it looked nothing like Jeff Bridges.

I came across an odd find. A San Diego Comic Con exclusive from 2010 which is supposedly  limited to 1000 pieces. I picked up the Liquid Metal version of the T-1000 from Terminator 2, manufactured by NECA. On the whole I has been against simply repainting a figure in a metallic paint job and calling it an exclusive. McFarlane did it with alot of his early figures in the 90's. It just doesn't make sense, why would a character be all gold or silver? However, that being said, I am amazed how well this "gimmick" works for the T-1000. This is a character that makes perfect sense to be in all silver, as technically that was basically the base form of this Terminator. I am pleased with this find. I wish I had the kind of bank needed to collect more NECA 7 inch scaled movie figures, but for now that just doesn't seem likely.

Having an entire collection of Predator, Terminator, Robocop, Aliens, & possibly Prometheus figures would be pretty cool. For now however I think I will stick with just picking up a few here and there. I currently have Wolf Predator with mask on from AvP2 and Robocop with the spring-loaded holster in his hip. I need an Alien now, but I think my next purchase will be the ED-209 when it gets released (It looked awesome in the New York Toy Fair images)

After a few weeks of checking, I stumbled on some new Movie G.I.Joes at my local Target. I was more excited than a little kid, I hadn't seen so many new Joes since the Rise Of Cobra launched, and prior to that I hadn't seen that many new Joes at one time since I was little. The crown jewel of the haul was the Joe Colton figure, who is being played by Bruce Willis in the new movie. I've been psyched about this one since I saw prototype images over a year ago.

There was a handful of troopers, Cyber Viper, Dark Ninja, and a red version of the Alley Viper, although I think he had a different name; but he is definitely the Alley Viper. I think I would have preferred seeing more Red Ninjas over the Dark Ninja, but the company needs to keep things fresh for kids. It is only us old timers who remember Red Ninjas all over the place in certain issues of the original comic.

The newer iteration of Roadblock, Snake Eyes, and Storm Shadow actually look cool and fairly distinct from the versions in the first wave released last year. Both the ninjas look like their second incarnations from the classic line, modernized. Although I'm not a fan of wrestling as an adult, I still think "The Rock" as Roadblock is good casting. He exudes the badassness that Roadblock had in the classic cartoon. The cartoon Roadblock may seem cheesy by today's standard with all the rhyming. He nevertheless always seemed like he was kicking ass.

Lastly I was able to get Flint. The figure looks alright. I don't know much about the actor cast to play him in Retaliation. With the promise of flirting between Flint and Lady Jaye in the movie, I hope they capture the essence of the characters' relationship from the cartoon.

There were two figures I had to pass on due to defects, firstly Firefly had a malformed nose pressed up against the blister bubble on the card. Secondly Lady Jaye had poor paint application to the eyes. I really hope I get to come across these in the coming weeks. I'm not sure what to think with these figures being from the second and third waves. It would seem this means that most the first wave came out during the limited release last year. If Hasbro already has the second and third waves out, that would suggest that the production numbers were scaled back quite a bit. Hopefully if the movie is successful enough, we will see Hasbro emptying their warehouses of any extra figures and vehicles from previous lines onto the closeout chains. Here's hoping!