And now, Scary-Crayon presents…
Of the many awesome things one can do at the San Diego Comic-Con, my favorite isn’t being able to attend engaging and informative panels, viewing screenings of independent short films or upcoming features, snapping photos of the elaborate costumes on display, or even ogling the toys that will be hitting store shelves in the hopefully near future — it’s roaming the dealer’s booths and checking out all of the neat action figures on sale. As cool as it is to see things I’ll be able to buy someday (assuming they make it to stores and I see them when they do), I’m even more excited about things I can own after a 30-second transaction… even if I have to stand in line for nearly an hour to get to that point. I do hate standing in lines, but having those convention exclusives in hand sometimes makes it all worthwhile.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to stand in many lines this year — but, unfortunately, that’s because the convention exclusives I wanted most sold out before I showed up in the Exhibit Hall each morning. I really wanted that Marvel Legends 3-pack and Zecora, but they were not to be mine. (I’m glad the people who wanted them so they could put them on eBay or sell them to retailers at the convention — who then proceeded to offer them up at a 350% markup — were able to acquire them easily enough, though.) I also didn’t see as many deals as I’d hoped, and, for whatever reason, retailers seemed a lot more hesitant to lower their prices on the last day of the convention. Still, I did find some deals and didn’t leave SDCC 2012 completely empty handed! Here’s what I brought home in my overstuffed suitcase.
Among the many $5 figures I purchased were a few DC Universe Classics selections — Copperhead and two Sodam Yats. I bought Copperhead on Friday from a guy who was selling the figures for $5 with the BAF pieces removed, and I would conceivably have gotten more from him if he’d been willing to go down on a bundle of them on Sunday. Apparently he was already “losing lots of money” on them, though, so he declined to offer me a deal on multiple Sharks. (Side note: I always hate when sellers claim that they can’t go lower on a price because they’re already “losing money.” Yes, it could be true — but it could also be true that, in this instance, the guy took advantage of the many online DCUC sales and/or marked up other figures in the wave and/or sold the completed BAFs at high enough prices to recoup the “lost” money and then some, in which case he wouldn’t actually be losing money at all. If you don’t want to bargain, you don’t need an excuse — and offering one is potentially more offputting than just declining with a simple, “Nope, that’s as low as I’ll go.”)
So instead of taking that guy’s BAF-stripped Sharks, I walked 30 feet over to a booth that was selling unopened Sodam Yats for $5 and bought two of them. I would have bought more of those, too, but something told me I shouldn’t… and since I ended up with a 48.5-pound suitcase when the airline weight limit is 50 pounds, maybe that was for the best. There will be other times to acquire DCUC fodder — which is really all I wanted the figures for. I might keep Copperhead for the collection, though; he looks kinda neat.
These three Exploding Peter Petrelli figures were a legitimate deal — I got each of them for just $1 each! Again, I’d have gotten more, but I already have a couple of Peter Petrelli figures in my fodder bin and haven’t found an exciting use for them yet. (I do have ideas, though.) They’re not the most desirable figures out there, but I suspect that their arms and/or legs — and detailed tennis shoes — will come in handy someday.
Of the multiple specific figures I came to SDCC hoping to find, this blue Dhalsim might be the only one that I was actually able to acquire. There was a guy selling them for $10 each when I went in 2010, which was too much for me — but apparently he lowered his prices to $5 on the last day. And while I missed out on that deal (DrNightmare, my fellow grunt at the late Articulated Discussion, told me about it), it’s something I’ve thought about since then and hoped to take advantage of at this year’s convention. And lo, there was indeed a guy selling $5 blue Dhalsims on the last day of SDCC 2012! The same guy selling the $5 BAF-stripped DCUC figures, actually. And while the latter didn’t seem like a good enough deal to bite, I couldn’t pass on the Dhalsim figure I’d been dreaming about for the last two years. Heck, since I’ve heard so many horror stories about the figure breaking, I decided to get two of them for insurance.
More $5 figures — Wonder Woman from DC Direct’s Flashpoint assortment, Samwise Gamgee in Goblin Armor from Toybiz’s Lord of the Rings collection, and Tomoe from Dark Horse’s Shi line. Wonder Woman’s crest was broken in the package (I suspect that’s why it was $5), but no matter — as with the other figures pictured above, I’m probably going to end up using her for custom fodder anyway. You get bonus points if you can guess what I’m planning to do with Tomoe. (There are two correct answers here, but one is more obvious than the other.)
Next up, the Shrieker from the Legends of Horror line by Full Moon Toys — in both dark brown and white, blood-spattered outfits. These guys were also $1 each, but they didn’t look terribly useful in terms of custom fodder so I just went with one of each version. The toy is okay (expect a fuller review once I get through the SDCC 2012 backlog!), but the coolest thing about them isn’t the figure itself — it’s that I’ve never actually heard of Shrieker despite being fairly familiar with Full Moon’s films. So in addition to having a new figure to review, I’ve also got a new movie to track down!
I had no intention of buying any Doctor Who figures at this year’s convention — well, unless I came across a Silent, River Song with the fixed hair, or some really cheap older figures — but I couldn’t pass on Leela when I saw her being offered at the cost of a normal figure in the line (usually she sells for $20+ online, which I’m just not willing to pay). Unfortunately, I kinda wish I’d passed, as the figure I ended up with had a number of problems. The right leg came off the second I took the figure out of the package — and while it went back on easily enough (it’s a true ball joint), there are other issues that aren’t as easily fixed. The upper right portion of the torso is completely unpainted (thankfully it’s mostly hidden by the hair), and for some reason the figure’s torso and crotch are way out of alignment. (It’s hard to describe — but imagine someone chopping you in half at the waist and resetting you such that your spine, if extended from both ends, would run parallel to itself rather than meeting.) These problems made me even more glad that I decided to pick up the Resurrection of the Daleks set, as all of the figures in that 4-pack are fine (minor paint issues notwithstanding). Their quality — and my enduring love of Daleks — made Leela’s flaws a little less discouraging.
Presidential Monsters! So I’ll have a LOT more to say about these in the near future, since I got them with specific intent to review them. I’ve been impressed by the concept ever since the line debuted last year — a line of monster figures based on US Presidents is just damned nifty — but had always hesitated to buy one given that I’d never seen them in person. After stopping by the Heroes in Action Toys booth and handling the Nixon figure they had for folks to play with, though, I had to grab a couple. Baracula was a no-brainer because it just rocks to have a figure of a sitting President as a vampire (and because I already have one Barack Obama action figure; why not keep the collection going?), but I puzzled over which other one to get — I wanted two to give a somewhat more comprehensive look at the line. As you see, I ended up going with John F. Kennedy as the Phantom of the White House. It was ultimately the tragedy mask that sold me on the toy (there’s also a variant that comes with a comedy mask). If any family knows tragedy, it’s the Kennedys.
My final purchase at SDCC 2012 was this Gumby and Pokey bendable figure set. I don’t normally go in for bendable figures, but I’m familiar with the Gumby — it’s included with the Gumby: The Movie. It’s actually a surprisingly excellent representation of the character, and the toy isn’t yet showing any damage despite me twisting the heck out of it. I’d almost recommend buying the DVD just to get the Gumby toy in it (though the movie is bizarre enough to warrant my recommendation, too). Anyway, since getting that figure, I’ve been hoping to score others — as well as an extra Gumby to have around just in case my bending this one does get to be too much for it. For $4, I was happy to grab a second Gumby while adding Pokey to the collection.
And finally, there’s Drill Dasher. I didn’t properly buy this at SDCC — knowing that I’m into Transformers and other transforming robots, my pal tOkKa of terrible2z.com brought it along to give to me. The sentiment is much appreciated, and I’m sure Drill Dasher will have a place in future toy comics on the site.
That’ll do it for Scary-Crayon’s SDCC 2012 toy haul, then! In addition to posting more SDCC-related content in the coming days, I look forward to reviewing some of the items spotlighted here — and to posting my findings in future years, if I’m lucky enough to attend the convention again. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned to Scary-Crayon!