Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Avengers Assemble and How!

Joss Whedon's The Avengers is all that you prayed for, and more. Thankfully the 'more' is more words than action. For such an anticipated superhero tentpole, Whedon keeps it nicely grounded. Almost all of the first half is build-up, and the conclusion has some intelligently woven interactions amidst all the earth(Manhattan) shattering set-pieces. While some sequences moved as I had expected(thank you, Mr. Impatient Trailer-Man!), some were surprisingly well-crafted- the confrontations, the minutely detailed and precise back-arcs, the interconnections, the self-references really make this one a balanced and satisfying blockbuster, quite a rarity.
Whedon makes you sit through long conversations(usual dysfunctional family stuff but with costumes)and lets you relax and work your geek-logic out while the newbies are still trying to figure out who is who. His affinity for few characters(Black Widow, Cap) is pretty visible here and lends an individual voice to the genre which is fresh and not Nolan(what more could a Silver Age fan want?!). Cap definitely leaves an impression, with all his out-of-place-ness, and that's all credit to the writers and Whedon. It is easy to make an Iron Man or Agent Coulson look cool(they are, aren't they?) but fleshing out arcs for a Hawkeye(why should we care about him anyway) or Natasha Romanoff and her 'red ledger'? Interesting stuff. Having said that, the money shots do make you leap from the seat and revel in what may be the only few films to bring the head-rush on screen this year, Spidey and Bats may take a hike in darker realms.
Poster Courtesy: Rhys Cooper

Monday, April 16, 2012

Action Figure-ing

Wonder Woman- Justice League Unlimited Metal Collection
Wonder Woman as she appeared in the Justice League animated series and based on the Wonder Woman character models from the official 2001 Justice League Animated Style Guide.

This figure is die-cast metal from the waist down and plastic from the waist up. Articulation at the waist.

Company: Mattel
Release Date: 2004 - 2007
Dimensions: 2 3/4" H
Points of Articulation: 1

Web Slinging Spider Man from Spider Man 3 Series

This super-articulated figure has a web running through his hands and clings to the included wall-hanging web that attaches to some walls and windows.

Company: Hasbro
Release Date: 2007-2008
Dimensions: 4.5”’
Points of Articulation: Multiple

Supergirl- DC Superheroes Mattel Select Sculpt Series

This rare figure is from DC Superheroes, a collection of action figures originally produced by Mattel in early 2006.

The line began as a successor to Mattel's Batman toyline. Since Mattel only had the license to Batman and Superman characters at the time (with the exception of the Justice League Unlimited line), only Batman and Superman characters were able to appear in the line. Instead of primarily using variations on a single character, the line focused on secondary characters and villains.

At New York City's Toy Fair in 2006, the first five assortments were announced (though the fourth series was postponed). The entire line (with the exception of Robin and Nightwing) was sculpted by the Four Horsemen Studios. The figures have around twenty one points of articulation and initially came with a comic book centering around the character it came with, but in 2007 figures came with cardboard dioramas instead.

On June 28, 2007 Mattel's license was extended to include all of the DC Comics characters, including all movies and TV shows past, present and future. At San Diego Comic-Con International, Mattel announced they would be re-branding the line into DC Universe Classics. The first series was viewable at SDCC 2007 and was released in January 2008.
Company: Mattel
Release Date: 2007-2008
Dimensions: 3 x 2 x 5.5 inches ; 1 pounds
Points of Articulation: Multiple; comes with Diadrama as a colorful backdrop

Iron Man #021 Marvel HeroClix Secret Invasion

Since debuting in 2002, HeroClix has stood out among all the superhero action RPG games thanks to its ever expanding gallery of miniature figures that do double duty as game pieces and as tiny works of art. In the past nine years over three thousand of them have been individually molded, decorated and bound by a common set of rules.