Author: Count Cubes

ALERT ALERT! Very Weird Ares Discrepancy…Someone HELP!

This wasn’t exactly what I thought I’d be writing about at the moment, but I think it’s pretty damn important and I want to go ahead and get it all out on the table. I’ma try to bang this out quick, so stick with me.

I was absent-mindedly doing some searching on Google Images for possible upcoming character cars when I ran across something really strange: a picture of what appears to be Ares as a single from Target’s website.

Ares

Do you see what I see? Look at the rear quarter panel: it’s a vibrant amber color.

Now this don’t mean shit (necessarily) because Target posts pics of stuff way before release. Just recently we’ve been seeing singles of Ares over on eBay, but as we’d expect, they all look like this:

And that is what they should look like…right? Well of course. We were introduced to Ares a few weeks prior thanks to his debut in a Wonder Woman 2-pack. Typically speaking, and especially lately – though there have certainly been exceptions – 2-packs are designed to include one exclusive and the another car that can be picked up as a single.

On the Wonder Woman 2-pack, we’re clearly told that Wonder Woman is the exclusive. That, in turn, implies that Ares will be available in this same form as a single, at some point. And that’s pretty much what’s happened so far, right? The 2-pack was released, followed by an Ares single, and this single appears to be the same as that in the 2-pack.

All of that makes perfect sense…until Target’s weird ass site went and posted what they posted.

Is this just another one of those random things where small changes are made for seemingly no reason? If so, why are some Ares singles “normal” and other affected by this strange new piece of a paint job? Is it just a fucked up photo…? If you look at the other pics with the car by itself, it appears normal. The yellow-ish piece only appears on the packaged vehicle. Trick of the light? Maybe. But if you visit the actual page on Target’s website and use the zoom feature, it really doesn’t look like we’re seeing an optical illusion.

Man, let me know if you know anything about this thing. It’s weird to be sure. Definitely reach out to me should you see one of these variants for sale! Otherwise, anybody got any best guesses as to what the hell is going on?

I Discovered Another ALL-NEW Marvel Character Car!

Pretty wild, right? I mean I know that adding a battle-damaged Rocket Raccoon to the pantheon wasn’t the most exciting to break, but I still kinda wonder, why was I the first to run across it?

A similar thing happened to me Thursday night. Yeah I know, post is a bit late but I get to it when I get to it. So yeah, I’m at TRU Thursday evening, mostly hoping to run across the upcoming Vulture or perhaps even Doomsday but no… Instead I’m immediately drawn to a 2-pack featuring the Spider-Man: Homecoming packaging. Now at that point the only Homecoming cars I’d seen were those featuring – duh – Spidey and Iron Man. So as quickly as I got excited about the 2-pack, I almost instantly deflated because I figured it was the 2 cars I’d just recently gotten off of eBay.

But I picked it up nonetheless, and my mind quickly put together that there ought to be an exclusive in here…BAM: Exclusive Spider-Man: Homemade Suit. Hey, that’s a a little more exciting than a battle-damaged Rocket, eh? The Iron Man alongside Mr. Homemade Suit is the “new” Homecoming Iron Man that just came out.

Homecoming Character Cars 2-Pack

Yeah yeah, it’s just a repaint of the new Homecoming version of Spider-Man, but I do appreciate the gesture from Hot Wheels even if it does feel like they’re milking it a bit much. Anyone out there a Mortal Kombat fan circa 1992 – 1997? If so, you’ll probably remember that one of the main criticisms leveled at the franchise was its use of palette-swapped characters – basically the same outfit was used on more than one character but the color of the outfit was changed. Think Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Reptile, Ermac, Noob Saibot, Rain, etc. They did it with the ladies too: Kitana, Mileena, Jade, and the little-known Khameleon. Anyway, at the time, it was a clever(ish) way of getting more characters out of less space. Instead of putting in a whole new character, all you needed to do was “swap” out a color (or entire palette – however small it may be – to be more precise) and add in a few new special moves. What I’m saying is that it kinda feels like Hot Wheels is doing this, except it isn’t for some lofty purpose like giving us more characters. Rather we’re just getting multiple versions of the same character. I guess I would be a little less critical if more of the color changes were dramatic rather than the small-ish ones we usually see.

Before I sign off to try and bang out another article about cool new shit, I do want to extrapolate a pertinent implication heralded by the release of this 2-pack. Remember the pamphlet present in the new Spider-Man and Iron Man cars that I posted scans of a few days ago? Now this ain’t my first trip around the playground, so even after seeing such a list, I was careful not to jump to conclusions, and indeed somewhere near the end I mention that just because someone wasn’t on this list didn’t mean that they wouldn’t appear. The 2-pack is interesting proof of this – not the 2-pack itself, but the inclusion of the Homemade Suit Spider-Man. This fella wasn’t present on the insert, so voila, fucking proof that not every upcoming car is featured on the insert. Now I may have my foot in my mouth post-Ragnarok when Homemade Homeboy is the only car to be released that wasn’t on the pamphlet, but technically I will still be / have been correct! It won’t be a victory to savor, but my point is that just maybe we don’t have to give up on a Shocker car or – how hard would it be – a fucking villain from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Alright fiends, I’m off to serve up some more delicious new shit. I hope I’m not too late with this info – well, I know I’m a little late but maybe I’ll get it out there somewhat timely. So read this (I’m guessing that you already have and assuming you didn’t just jump down to the last paragraph) and then check back every hour or two for some new fun stuff. Adieu!

F****** Fidget Spinners

F****** Fidget Spinners

Alright, have you guys (and/or gals!) heard of these things yet? I am at once intrigued, confused, and appalled by these doo-hickeys.

It started roughly 2 or 3 weeks ago. My son was at his mom’s that week, and when I’d talk to him on the phone in the evenings he kept mentioning this “fidget spinner” thing to me, asking if I’d get him one. I usually get him what he wants within reason, and when he said some were $5 and some were maybe $15 I said that it shouldn’t be an issue. He described it to me, but I think you’ll understand if I had no idea at all what he was talking about. I figured when he came back over here we’d run by a store, he’d like “that’s it!” and we’d be all good.

He’s gotten pretty good at looking up stuff on eBay since we’ve been hunting down toys. He even understands how to sift through sold listings and sort the results. So when he was back over here, he pulled up one of these “fidget spinners” to show me just what he was talking about and where we could get one. Suddenly it clicked why he was asking me so many questions about getting one – we were going to have to order it off the web. He said some of his friends had found them in stores but he hadn’t been able to. A few articles I read mentioned that many retail outlets had trouble keeping them in stock.

Fidget Spinners

While in Walmart, we ran across the Fidget Cube, a toy I vaguely remembered from this little specialty shop over at Southpoint. Putting 2 and 2 together, I recognized that the 2 products were probably related. As we moved over closer to the electronics, we came across an entire display of actual “Fidget Spinner” brand/product. He’s already told me that they came in all kinds of different forms – I figured finding the actual name-brand version was about as good as it’d get.

Man, the kid really talked it up. I was actually sort of excited to see what it’d do. I help him get into the package before we pull out of the lot, he pinches it between his thumb and middle fingers, uses his other hand to start it spinning…and that’s it. When it started to slow down, he’d spin it again and it’d spin s’mo’.

I checked it out a little closer when we got home, though I still didn’t see much appeal beyond trying to balance it on a single finger and letting it spin around on a flat surface. He was interested in seeing if there was any difference between brands (apparently one of his peers had really hammered it that there were loads of different brands) as well as having multiple spinners to “do more tricks.”

Long story short, I spent a couple of days looking – not quite in every nook and cranny just yet – and I didn’t find anything that lit up or differed from the basic rounded, 3-pronged design, despite seeing advertisements for everything from 2-pronged to 6-pronged variants. However, since these are all the same basic size and design, it actually makes them a little easier to compare. Of course the ball-bearings and whatnot could be different, but I didn’t dig that deep into all of them nor do I know enough about it to draw any educated conclusions. The main differences seem to be: a) the material of the spinner (and ultimately the weight) and b) the depth of the indentations on the top and bottom caps where you hold/balance. What’s really interesting is how different seemingly identical spinners from the same brand behave.

Here’s what I ended up with:

  • 2 “Fidget Spinners” (Vibe brand) black with silver rings on the arms (I don’t know why I ended up with 2 of these; one was the very first one my son picked out…I guess I was accidentally holding another one while rifling though others and ended up dragging it to the register with me.)
  • 1 “Fidget Spinner” (Vibe brand) blue with black rings on arms
  • 1 “Fidget Spinner” (Vibe brand) white with black rings on arms
  • 1 SPNRS brand with red body and black rings on arms
  • 1 SPNRS brand with green body and black rings on arms
  • 1 no-name “Hand Spinner” with yellow body and black rings on arms
  • 1 “Zuru Spinner” (antsy Labs brand – same brand that made the original “Fidget Cube”) white with blue rings on arms

I was hoping these things would be like a yo-yo or something with lots of neat little tricks to do…unfortunately, much of what I found on YouTube was either the same ol’ “Pen Trick” or other things that were more akin to actual magic tricks utilizing everything from trick cards to “magician’s wax” to double-sided tape to invisible thread to a fucking neodymium magnet. Since there wasn’t a whole lot I could actually do to compare them, I decided to just spin them on a flat surface, whip out the stopwatch, and time how long they spun. And yes, there are good and bad and worse spins, so I measured the time it took to go from full spin to dead stop 6 times for each spinner.

VIBE – Metal – “The Good One”
Vibe - Metallic - Good
Spin 1 1:59.28
Spin 2 1:59.85
Spin 3 2:01.67
Spin 4 1:57.57
Spin 5 1:35.08
Spin 6 1:47.30
Average: 1 min 53.46 sec
VIBE – Metal – “The BAD One”
Vibe - Metallic - Bad
Spin 1 0:26.10
Spin 2 0:25.77
Spin 3 0:25.63
Spin 4 0:27.53
Spin 5 0:17.29
Spin 6 0:19.50
Average: 23.64 sec
SPNRS – Red
SPNRS - Red
Spin 1 2:06.07
Spin 2 2:02.70
Spin 3 2:12.98
Spin 4 2:12.34
Spin 5 2:15.97
Spin 6 2:25.68
Average: 2 min 12.62 sec
SPNRS – Green
SPNRS - Green
Spin 1 2:49.79
Spin 2 2:30.16
Spin 3 2:54.04
Spin 4 2:50.02
Spin 5 2:51.83
Spin 6 2:59.36
Average: 2 min 49.20 sec
antsy Labs – White/Blue
antsy Labs
Spin 1 2:38.59
Spin 2 2:57.79
Spin 3 3:06.08
Spin 4 3:12.81
Spin 5 3:52.72
Spin 6 3:58.05
Average: 3 min 17.67 sec
No-Name “Hand Spinner” – Yellow
Yellow Hand Spinner
Spin 1 2:03.06
Spin 2 2:06.49
Spin 3 2:06.89
Spin 4 2:17.73
Spin 5 2:25.91
Spin 6 2:21.35
Average: 2 min 13.57 sec
VIBE – White
Vibe - White
Spin 1 0:54.32
Spin 2 1:06.00
Spin 3 0:56.78
Spin 4 1:03.36
Spin 5 0:47.71
Spin 6 0:49.12
Average: 56.22 sec
VIBE – Blue
Vibe - Blue
Spin 1 1:39.20
Spin 2 1:31.62
Spin 3 1:29.31
Spin 4 1:34.34
Spin 5 1:23.38
Spin 6 1:33.08
Average: 1 min 31.82 sec

Wow, ok, so that took fucking forever! Anyway, notice anything weird? If you noticed that there doesn’t seem to be much consistency within brands – at least Vibe and SPNRS – you’d be correct. Within Vibe, the spread is nearly a full 90 seconds! The worst one is at about 30 seconds with the white one hitting about a minute, the other metal one – exactly the same as the worst one – coming in at approximately 1.5 minutes, and the best of the batch nearly averaging 2 minutes of spin time. “Red” and “Green” from SPNRS fares slightly better with just under a 40 second spread, but these numbers are all far too large to be accounted for by chance or human error or environmental factors or what the hell ever. If something like this was the problem, then we wouldn’t expect any consistency within each spinner. This isn’t the case; aside from an occasional outlier, each individual spinner seems to operate in a fixed and at least semi-predictable range.

Earlier I mentioned that while all of these devices are essentially the same, there are minute differences which may or may not have an overall effect on the toy’s functionality….of course after seeing all this weird-ass data I have to wonder whether or not these features have any effect on the toys’ spin time. Maybe they make an impact elsewhere, though I can’t imagine any facet of this device being more important than sheer spin time!

For what it’s worth, here are some of the “major” things I’ve noticed. Most of the spinners seem to be made of some sort of hard plastic or resin with the solid metal rings in the arms. The exceptions are the “metallic” spinners from Vibe, which appear to be metal coated with a slick rubber/vinyl/plastic material. The Zuru Spinner from antsy Labs and SPNRS do not to include solid metal rings; instead, they contains a metal frame in each arm. In the case of the SPNRS the actual ring inside is also metal, but the actual ring inside of the Zuru spinner is plastic. This is quite different from the others, though I have no idea what the final effect may be.

The Metallic Vibes are the heaviest, followed by the regular Vibes, Zuru Spinner, SPNRS, and then the “Hand Spinner.” The Vibes and Zuru have a sturdier and more durable feel to them, but the other 2 have a lighter, faster. more agile feel. I have no way of knowing which spins fastest, but it feels like no-name “Hand Spinner” is actually the fastest followed closely by the SPNRS.

The final distinguishing characteristic is the indentation on the center caps. My theory is that the deeper the indent, the more severe the angle at which one can balance the spinner when in motion. The trade-off is that you have to be more exacting with finger placement with the deeper caps, or else it’ll just wobble its way off. Also, the flatter/shallower the caps, the easier the spinners are to balance on one another. The deeper indentations provide less surface area, making for a much slimmer degree of freedom when stacking the spinning toys.

The regular Vibes have the flattest center caps; they are only very slightly concave and may in fact look flat to some people. The trick is to take something flat and sturdy – like the back of a knife – and lay it across the cap. You’ll be able to see a slight crescent-shaped amount of light in the center. The Metallic Vibes may be the same, though I feel like they’re just a hair deeper. This could just be how the shiny material coating the Metallics makes them look. I’d be hard pressed to say whether the SPNRS or the antsy Labs’ Zuru’s are deeper..they actually look and feel pretty much the same. No-name “Hand Spinner” is by far the most concave and really doesn’t play well with others if you start trying to spin it on top of other spinners or pile spinners on top of it!

Final Thoughts:

Vibe / Fidget Spinner – Metallic – I feel like the “metallic” Vibes should be discussed separately from the “regular” Vibes simply because they’re made differently. I like the heft and the visuals of the metallic spinners, though I think the weight ultimately hinders their speed and spin time, thereby reducing their overall potential.

Vibe / Fidget Spinner – Regular (Plastic) – This is a good, solid, middle-of-the-road spinner, probably enough for those wanting to experience the phenomenon. The spin time is decent (generally) and these will hold up well to the inevitable bumps, drops, falls, and flings. They’re also easy to find, and the nearly-flat centers lend themselves well to tricks involving multiple spinners.

SPNRS – Although both of these performed somewhat differently from each other, I can appreciate the lighter weight material and its effect on the spin. They feel faster and as if they’re somehow “moving more” than the others.

antsy Labs – Zuru Spinner – This one is easily my favorite. It’s got the heft and durability of Vibe, with some of the speed of the lighter ones. Maybe I got lucky – maybe it’s expertly weighted – maybe there’s something magical going on with the ball bearings – I can’t be sure. What I do know is that it’s got a spin time well above any of the others, and that’s gotta count for something when all these things do is spin, right? I’m gonna grab another one of these when I see one and we’ll see how consistence the performance is.

No-name – Hand Spinner – I can’t help but think that there’s something about the deep indentation and sheer speed of this spinner that could really set it apart from it’s brethren. Unfortunately, I’m just not yet well-versed enough with the potential behind spinners to see exactly where and how these features could best be used. Hopefully the fad will evolve – at least a little bit – and we’ll see more device-based tricks that warrant spinners with slightly different tweaks and builds. Again I compare them to high-performance yo-yos or even skateboards whereby one can swap out different parts for different results and a 100% customized/customizable toy.


The main conversation taking place around these Fidget Spinners is that of giving kids with ADD or ADHD some way to focus. I’ve never been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD or any other flavor of the month so I can’t personally comment. However, the general consensus in schools is that, while it may help the ADD kids concentrate, it’s actually distracting to the kids without them. Hah.

As I see them more and more in stores, the advertising is geared towards keeping one’s hands busy and therefore a useful aid to stop biting one’s nails or to assist in quitting smoking. Like chewing gum or some shit. I guess I can kinda relate – whenever I know I’m gonna have to sit still or wait in line or something similar I almost always bring a cube (like a Rubik’s Cube-type puzzle) to “play with.” Even if I don’t straight up solve and scramble it, I do spin it around and move pieces back and forth. My “concern” (if you can even call it that…the word seems a bit strong) is that the spinners don’t quite give one enough to do. I mean you spin it…and then what? Balance on thumb? Middle finger? Index? Spin again? Switch hands? Without some greater goal other than “SPIN DAT SHIT!” it’s usefulness is limited.

Make no mistake though, Fidget Spinners are nothing but a(n) F-A-D, a gimmick, a novelty item. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Video games were largely considered a fad – for years – before Nintendo rejuvenated the industry in ’83. I mean the industry almost completely disappeared here in North America, and if it hadn’t been for the NES and quality games like Super Mario Bros., Metroid, he Legend of Zelda, and Castlevania, we might remember video games as nothing more than a 5-year period there at the end of the 70’s. Skateboarding also started off as a fad, but thanks to individuals who took it seriously and stuck with it, it’s cemented in popular consciousness. The Fidget Spinner may not have as much going for it as video games or skateboarding, but you never know, something could come from it, especially since it’s gotten so much attention already. Someone just needs to figure out how to take it to the next level…to create a sort of objective or measure of skill.


UPDATE:

I located a few more spinners this evening, so I’m adding on some info to this article just for the hell of it. I’m not gonna be as exhaustive as I was above – just some average times and general notes – but I’m sure this is topic I’ll come back to at least once or twice before spinners fade into oblivion!

Kipp Brothers – “Hand Fidgetz Spinners” (Green)
Kipp Bros - Green
Spin 1 3:06.81
Spin 2 2:58.81
Spin 3 3:00.20
Spin 4 2:57.04
Spin 5 2:58.74
Spin 6 2:56.72
Average: 2 min 59.72 sec
Kipp Brothers – “Hand Fidgetz Spinners” (Blue)
Kipp Bros - Blue
Spin 1 1:00.19
Spin 2 1:18.01
Spin 3 1:16.29
Spin 4 1:09.44
Spin 5 1:24.45
Spin 6 1:18.65
Average: 1 min 14.51 sec
Zing – “Spinbladez – Triple Light Effect”
Spinbladez - Lights
Spin 1 0:13.69
Spin 2 0:16.27
Spin 3 0:16.04
Spin 4 0:17.92
Spin 5 0:16.46
Spin 6 0:18.34
Average: 16.45 sec
Fidget Guru – “tri-spinner”
Fidget Guru - Blue
Spin 1 1:13.51
Spin 2 1:49.87
Spin 3 1:59.67
Spin 4 1:32.31
Spin 5 2:00.64
Spin 6 1:44.76
Average: 1 min 43.46 sec

IMPORTANT NOTE: Throughout testing these latest spinners, I’ve come to realize that which side is facing up (or down) may have an effect on the overall spin time. I will have to explore this phenomenon further at some point, as in X number of spins on one side and X number of spins on the other. Consistency seems a foregone conclusion at this point…

Kipp Brothers – “Hand Fidgetz Spinners” (Green & Blue) – More inconsistent results between what should be the exact same device! Despite the non-existent packaging, they have a heavy and durable feel. For the most part, spinning is extremely smooth feeling…possibly the smoothest overall of any. The body seems to be a plastic-coated metal, while the arms house plain metal rings. Oddly enough, the center caps are completely flat.

Zing – “Spinbladez – Triple Light Effect” – Ah yes, my first light up spinner. It’s hard to judge this against the others simply because the construction is so different. For one thing, it’s primarily lightweight and hollow plastic, plus whatever metal makes up the circuitry and batteries. Despite the decreased weight, it still feels very solid and stable. However, the missing weight does come into play; it just won’t spin more than a few seconds when spun on a flat surface. The light effect is pretty cool, though the green and blue lights shine on one side while the red shines on the other – not really sure what they were going for. Unfortunately it seems like it has to be going a certain speed for the lights to come on. This isn’t hard to do from a stop, but since it winds down so quickly, the lighting effect is fleeting. It’s cool enough, but it’s a little bit of a disappointment compared to how the others move. I think too many vital components of the design were compromised just so they could insert the damn lights.

Fidget Guru – “tri-spinner – So this was one I found at Target…and it looks pretty much like every other spinner. The body is plastic or hard resin, while the arms contain metal frames with metal wheels in them like a few other designs. These also feature flat center caps. Spinning is quite smooth and they’re easy to balance. I doesn’t necessarily stand out, yet it’s a good enough specimen to get the job done.

Spin-Time Averages
Rank Make & Model Average Spin-Time
1 antsy Labs – Zuru Spinner (White/Blue) 3 min 17.67 sec
2 Kipp Brothers – Hand Fidgetz Spinners (Green) 2 min 59.72 sec
3 SPNRS – Classic Fidget Toy (Green) 2 min 49.20 sec
4 No-name – Hand Spinner (Yellow) 2 min 13.57 sec
5 SPNRS – Classic Fidget Toy (Red) 2 min 12.62 sec
6 Vibe – Fidget Spinner (Metallic / “Good One”) 1 min 53.46 sec
7 Fidget Guru – tri-spinner (Blue) 1 min 43.46 sec
8 Vibe – Fidget Spinner (Blue) 1 min 31.82 sec
9 Kipp Brothers – Hand Fidgetz Spinners (Blue) 1 min 14.51 sec
10 Vibe – Fidget Spinner (White) 56.22 sec
11 Vibe – Fidget Spinner (Metallic / “Bad One”) 23.64 sec
12 Zing – Spinbladez – Triple Light Effect 16.45 sec

And there you have it. An assload of potentially useless data and info on 2017’s latest fad. With that, I am fucking burnt when it comes to these spinning fidgets. But stick around. Once I heal we’ll do this all again and see if we can figure out something, anything, beyond “there’s nothing to figure out.”

I do have some cool Character Car info though. I’ma try to get it live and posted here ASAP, so keep an eye out…

New Hot Wheels SPIDER-MAN / SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING Set at Walmart with Special Chase Car

New Hot Wheels SPIDER-MAN / SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING Set at Walmart with Special Chase Car

As I was doing my rounds this past weekend, not expecting to find anything in particular, I ran across this brand new set of 6 Spider-Man cars at Walmart. These fall into what I’ve come to call “Fake Character Cars,” just because that became a term my son and I used to describe this class of vehicles. Unlike a Character Car which represents a given character, these are more like vehicles that commemorate a certain character or event. I love the artwork on these things, and even though they aren’t as high-end as the “Pop Culture” series that crops up occasionally, I think they’re fun to collect.

The story picks up a little steam a day or two later when I visited my local Walmart. Now my closest Walmart (5 minutes or so) is pretty good when it comes to character cars but they can be a week or two behind when it comes to the fun Walmart-only stuff. Sometimes they never get it at all. I was excited to see the new Spider-Man cars, but what caught my eye was what seemed to be a 7th car in the series. The cars are numbered ” X / 6 ” and the back only shows 6 cars, but sometimes these sets contain a “chase car,” which is somewhat similar to a Treasure Hunt / Super Treasure Hunt. Within these Walmart sets, “chase car” usually means a sort of “secret,” extra car in the series that’s produced in limited quantities. It isn’t officially numbered, but if you look on the back, you’ll see the other cars in the set. The most recent one I know of came out with the Batman v Superman set of 7 cars; the 8th car was a purple Overbored with “Hero” scrawled on the card.

I snatched up the 5 or 6 that I could find. I’ve been to another Walmart since, also full of Spider-Man cars, and they had 0 zero chase cars. That’s 3 Walmarts and I only saw ’em at one.

Spidey

I love the packaging on this one – the simple but elegant card and the sporty, slighty futuristic look of the Scoopa di Fuego gives it that austere, highly collectible look…like some kinda super special limited edition shit. I’ll definitely have to open one for my own collection, but since I found so many the other day, I might just keep one in the packaging for myself as well.

Spidey - Homecoming

Power Rage

Spider-Man (Spider-Man: Homecoming)

Spidey - Homecoming

Teegray

Spider-Man (Spider-Man: Homecoming)

These next 2 also celebrate the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, presumably Spidey’s new outfit and appearance even if we don’t yet know the significance (if any) that these aspects carry. I dig that one’s primarily red and the other blue, and I really love the design of the Teegray – I think it was used to great effect.

Vulture

Power Bomb

Spider-Man vs. Vulture

Now we move back into oldschool territory with art from the comics; #3 kicks it off with a battle between the web-slinger and – appropriately enough – the Vulture. At first glance Power Bomb looks a helluva lot like the Greedo Character Car (from Star Wars). The car itself is pretty cool, and I can sortta see a big lanky bird somewhere in there!

Scorpion

Jaded

Spider-Man vs. Scorpion

Next up we’re looking at Spidey vs. Scorpion, another drab-green, animal-themed villain. (Weird.) I don’t know what in the hell Jaded evokes when it comes to the Scorpion, but hey, I love the car’s design and I also like the way the tiny but detailed graphics have been integrated.

Shocker

Golden Yellow

Spider-Man vs. Shocker

Clocking in at #5 is another match-up that we’re expecting to see re-imagined in the new flick. The vibrant red and yellow of the Golden Arrow is in stark contrast to the cool greens used thus far. It may not have the jagged look of your traditional lightning bolt, but the colors closely align with the Shocker’s comic book appearance and that bright yellow serves as a reminder of the raw power that the villain possesses.

Prowler

Drift King

Spider-Man vs. Prowler

Lastly we have one of Spider-Man’s lesser known foes, the Prowler. Funny thing is when I first glanced at the card in the store, I thought it was the Beetle. It wasn’t until I later inspected them and saw “Prowler” written among the car’s graphics. I also love the overall look of the Drift King…it has a sleek, predatory nature that perfectly fits its name.

Alright, well, that about does it for these guys! I have more Spider-Man cars like this too; the situation is kinda weird, because there like 2 sets of 10 (something like that) yet 6 of the cars overlapped…it amounts to not needing both sets to snag all the individuals.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Send ’em my way! Stay tuned for a piece about a brand new toy…. And after that I’ve got another 3 or 4 or so I wanna type up and then I’m gonna see if I can find some time to work on site infrastructure a little. Wish me luck!

Lots of New DC Super Hero Girls Stuff…Well Kinda

Over the last week or so, the DC Super Hero Girls camp has released a ton of stuff, though it seems to be limited to wildly fluctuating availability status on Amazon.com.

UPDATE:

I made a fun discovery whilst finishing up this article, and rather having to run back and try to rewrite it with this info in mind, I just decided to tack it onto the end.

First off are 2 dorm room sets sized for the 6″ action figures: one for Wonder Woman, the other for Harley Quinn. At the moment, it doesn’t look like Amazon has either for sale, or either the search tagging is incorrect (as it is with another of these releases). The 6″ figures are exclusive to these sets and I wouldn’t mind having them, especially the Harley looking like her classic Batman: Animated Series iteration, but at $20 a pop. no thanks.

The series of 3 Intergalactic Gala dolls – Starfire, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman were also released. The problem is that Amazon calls them “Premium” or some shit and won’t even acknowledge the official “Intergalactic Gala” moniker. Stocks of these have been all over the place as well. A couple of days ago all 3 were available for $20 a piece. Then late last night all of them were available through 3rd party sellers for $41.99. I checked just now, and Starfire is completely out of stock, Supergirl is still hanging up there at $42, and Amazon.com seems to have gotten their own (current) stash of 9 Wonder Woman’s at the regular $20 cost. Again, I would like to have these, but not with all this added cost and headache.

Finally we have 3 long-awaited mini figures: Poison Ivy, Frost, and Starfire. Now out of the 3 groups, these are probably the ones I wanted most and were most willing to jump on, especially because they’re like $5 each. Anyway, the FB page made the announcement that these mini figs were available on Amazon at like 1:04a.m. (this was about a week back). By the time I saw it, some time around 5 the following day, all 3 were unavailable. Around 24 hours after that, Stafire became available, but she was available as an add-on. If you’re not familiar, “add-on’s” are this sortta stupid thing Amazon has been doing for a while, claiming to slash shipping costs. When you have an add-on item, it’ll only ship when you buy at least $25 worth of stuff at one time. Thankfully, what ever you’re spending on the toy counts towards the $25. The dilemma here should be obvious: if I want Starfire, I’ma have to pick out another $20 worth of stuff to buy to get her. Not totally crazy, but what about the other 2? Am I gonna have to do the same thing which each one of those, too? In this case, Amazon is just fucking me out of money I don’t plan on spending yet. Now if I could just grab all 3 – even if they were relegated to goddamn “add-on” status – I’d have $15 of the $25 covered and I’d only have to go and “waste” $10 to get the goods. As of this moment, none of the new mini figs are available.

So yeah, not such a good day to be a DC Super Hero Girls fan. I mean I don’t mind missing out on the first wave or whatever, but this availability situation is too much to keep up with. Actually, I’ll be perfectly happy if this stuff just started showing up in stores…and it’s kinda worrying me that we’ve gone so long without seeing the 12″ Katana doll or the 12″ Frost.

I know I didn’t include any pictures; you can find pics of most of this stuff on an earlier post about this same stuff. I’ma cut Mattel some leeway here and hope that this all straightens itself out within a couple of weeks, at least when it comes to online availability, I just hope they do a little better at meeting demand in the future.

UPDATE: Just as I was wrapping up this piece, I had to make a quick trip to the store – Target to be exact – so I quickly scurried through the toys. Having written much of this, those damn DC Girls were on my mind. I kept my spirits up as I made my way down the aisle bathed in pink and quickly noticed the same thinning numbers of SHG toys that has been the norm in several stores for the last couple of months. As I carefully scanned the boxes for any of the new “dorm room” sets, something did catch my eye…it’s a 6 pack of 6″ figures without Bumblebee and Poison Ivy, who’ve been replaced with Katana and – wait for it – BEAST BOY!!! Aside from Katana, the others are in “alternate outfits” just so it isn’t a total ripoff, and really, the outfits aren’t any different, just the colors. I should’ve taken a picture of the damn thing but didn’t think to; then again, I might head over there when they open in a few hours and just get the damn thing. I know it’ll bug me until I do. The price tag kind of sucks, and yeah I’d rather have a nicer doll and the minis, but whatever.

What’s totally fucking bizarre is that the webpage has spent all of its time focusing on Hawkgirl as the newcomer, even discussing an upcoming 9-pack to feature the core 6, Katana, and the debut of 6″ Hawkgirl and 6″ Starfire. Sooo why the hell do we get…Beast Boy…? Hawkgirl is being dangled…Catwoman is too recognizable to leave out for much longer…chicks like Cheetah and Raven and Star Sapphire deserve some love…and we’ve got baddies like Lena Luthor and Lashina…why Beast Boy!? Oh well, the alternate “outfights” might be kinda cool…at least they could function as evil clones or some shit. Not sure why, but companies nowadays are oddly reluctant to produce figures of villains. Now don’t go and list every villain currently on shelves right now. I’m not saying they don’t exist, but they are far outweighed by the amount of heroes made.

…I’ll stop there before I start going off on something completely different! If you’re in the process of collecting DC SHG stuff or some subset thereof, let me know how your search is going and if you’ve got any tips or tricks for the rest of us!

MANTIS!

MANTIS!

I finally got her! Paid out the nose for the same thing no doubt, but got her! It’ll be interesting to see how rare her and Nebula really are when all is said and done.

Mantis

Now the Guardians of the Galaxy subset of Character Cars is quite large:

  • Star-Lord
  • Gamora
  • Drax (the Destroyer)
  • Rocket Raccoon (Vol. 1)
  • Rocket Raccoon (Vol. 2)
  • Rocket Raccoon (Battle-Damaged)
  • Groot
  • Go-Kart Groot
  • Go-Kart Groot> (Exclusive “Green”)
  • Yondu (All-Terrain Back Wheels) (Probably the “correct,” intended variant.)
  • Yondu (Smooth Back Wheels) (Likely the error.)
  • Nebula
  • Mantis
  • Groot Hauler (I know I know, may seem like a stretch but it’s officially labeled as “character car.”>)

Doesn’t look like we’ll be getting Star-Lord’s father (Ego?) despite what I presume will be a bigger part in Vol. 2 than probably Nebula and Mantis combined – they did get Kurt Russel for the role after all. And then of course no villains…could’ve very easily done a Ronan car back when the first film dropped.

Anyway, stick around. Got some more stuff I’ma try to bang out this evening and into the late night!

DC Doomsday Character Car Revealed!

Alright, this’ll be quick but I wanted to go ahead and get it out there…

Big thanks to C. for finding this over at Target’s website. Occasionally posting items way way way ahead of their release date seems to be a somewhat common occurrence over at Target.com, so take the whole, “this shit ain’t neva gonna be available to you” assertions with a grain of salt:

Doomsday

Neat huh? Here’s the official link if you’re interested. Overall I think Doomsday will be a wonderfully badass entry in the series. Until then…