Monday, September 12, 2011

The Peg Report: New Joes, Ben 10, Cheap Iron Men and the Continual Rape of the Crime Syndicate

As the rains finally pull away from my super soggy central New Jersey, it seemed like a good time to hit the stores and see if anything new hit the pegs. Here's the September skinny...

Toys R Us :
  • Adventure Time fans will note that the small scale plush, even smaller scale PVC figure 2 packs and the role play Finn sword are now in stock at some locations. Oddly, at a larger TRU, they only had the swords in.

  • FanBoy and Chum Chum toys have also hit with two to three full rows of action figures based on the TV show. Are people really going that crazy for this one?? I never hear anyone talking about it. I fear these toys may be joining the small display of Hero 108 toys that never move and look oh-so-lonely hanging there. Never heard of Hero 108? Neither did most people. Most notable was a small-ish (3 inches) scaled Manartica figure which is labeled as a Toys R Us exclusive, featuring translucent plastic. Very nice piece of a hysterically inventive cartoon superhero. These were released by Jazwares, who like to keep these things super secret so you don't know you can buy them. Note: Sarcasm.

  • Star Wars figures were on sale for 6 and change, so I scored 3 army builders I either didn't know about or forgot were coming... Death Star Troopers!! I collect Star Wars figures to complete huge battle scenes so massive, they are completely realistic for the size of my apartment. One of these is the Endor Battle, for which I have a couple of chicken walkers (AT-ST for the hardcore), the shield bunker, a small gang of biker scouts, a cadre of rebel troops, an army of Stormtroopers and a horde of Ewoks. What people often forget is the Imperial Officers and those oddly-hatted Death Star Troopers who vacate the bunker when they think they've got the upper hand. Lucas/Hasbro doesn't release those dome headed folks very often, so they tend to be a little pricey more often than not. Imagine my surprise when I was able to walk into a store and buy three for 6 bucks a pop!! My Endor battle scene should be just about done now, barring the release of more Ewoks. You can never have enough furry, human eating teddy bears.

  • Also scored a set of DC Universe Classics Series 17, the goal being to create the Collect and Connect Anti-Monitor, since I Have no desire for figures of heroes in a look they sported for 1 or 2 comics. Sadly, when assembled, this global threat isn't very large. I'm forced to remember the glory days when we assembled a Sentinel large enough to squash a 3 and 3 quarter inch figure under his heel. What happened to that sense of giving more bang for your buck? Did prices rise so steeply or is there just a more rigid bottom line demanded by the executives? Sad, sad times.

  • Browsing the isles I spotted LEGO Mini Figures series 5. Tiny dots in the bottom of the package supposedly reveal who is inside these blind packaged figures available for a steep 4 dollars a pop, but it seemed this batch was already picked over. I'm only after the Dwarf, Gladiator and Lizard Man AKA Godzilla Actor this time around, so I'm not sweating the hunt.

  • Eileen, compelled to find out what all the hubub around HALO Megabloks was all about, talked herself into two sets with a Banshee and some small vehicles. She also bought a single packed figure. She tells me her two Spartans are in a committed relationship and they ride their vehicle together, blasting the enemy. They seem happy.

  • Also saw a fantastic display for DC Comics Imaginext sets with the Batcave, Joker's Lair, Green Lantern's ship, a crazy awesome Penguin vehicle and more. Snapped some pics of pieces I'd never seen before like a Joker and Two Face Van (from that issue when they started rival food truck companies) and a Bi-Plane for The Riddler. Seems fitting.

  • I'll make a quick note about a re-mixed case of Marvel Universe that is making the rounds, including a Ms. Marvel retro short haired variant. Hasbro has been mixing variants into the new cases, so be on the lookout.


  • Shock of all shocks, my tiny little Old Bridge Walmart got a shiny new case of G.I.Joe figures! I snapped up a Hazard-Viper, Cobra Viper and Sgt. Stalker (who just happened to be mis-named. Anyone want to trade?) If you collected Joes as a kid, these new figures will blow your mind. Every figure is packed with detail and so many accessories it appears they may explode out of the package. If Hasbro put this kind of attention into the Marvel Universe line, we'd be flipping out monthly.

  • I once briefed you on the heinous act of "Toy Rape", where a wonderful individual buys a toy and replaces it with another they don't want or even a pile of junk resembling a figure before returning it for their money back. I've seen Cobra tank drivers in Wolverine packages, Jedi missing their cloak, arms and head and even a Jawa standing next to a bandoleer, staff and rifle where a droid should be. Recently, my locals have been silently expressing their displeasure with the price of the DC Universe Classics Crime Syndicate of Amerika buy replacing their favorites with random DCUC figures and making the return for full price. It seemed we've only had one set for some time now, so I'd imagine this swapping has happened twice! The first switcheroo dropped an extra Johnny Quick into the tray with a Metal Man replacing Power Ring. The second run swapped the second Johnny Quick for a dressed down Creeper and the Metal Man is now swapped with Jonah Hex. Maybe next week the set will be filled with Hello Kitties, Poly Pockets and a Weeble or two?! Madness.

  • Those who can't wait for the return of Marvel Legends keep their ear close to the ground for any new 6 inch Marvel figures. When 6 inch Iron Man toys hit the pegs with the painful price tag of $19.99, the collective moan was heard across the nerdy interwebs. If this was the price Marvel legends would be upon their return, most of us wouldn't be returning to collecting. Oddly, the same figures on are going for $10.99. It seems like every store since then has set their own price , but Walmart's new 13 dollar mark is the best we've seen so far.

  • We don't say much about Ben 10 toys on this blog. Honestly, the designs are very kid friendly and so, I rarely have much that excites me in the line. Bandai realizes there are more than a few adult collectors that might want to dip into the Ben 10 world, so their rotocast "Hyperalien" figure line is just for you. What these pieces lack in super posability, they make up for in sculpting detail and paint applications. Check out Ultimate Swampfire, Four Arms V.2 and Ultimate Aggregor!

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