Friday, May 6, 2016

Divisoria Marvels

Divisoria never ceases to amaze me. I just never know what to find there. I try to visit there every month, if time permits even if I have nothing specific in mind to buy. It's a good excuse to walk for hours as an exercise.

Marvel Universe action dolls from Divisoria.

Here I am with the West Coast Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy action dolls, toys I didn't plan to have. Those toys just presented themselves to me while I was visiting Divisoria. It wasn't that I hate them. I just didn't want to exert any effort to get them. I didn't went toy hunting for those. I didn't buy online even if they weren't sold in local toy stores. (The GotG pack was sold in local stores but that was before I became interested in collecting the toy line.)

The monetary cost, the amount of time to search, the wait for the arrival, the risk of poor quality when buying online, the bargaining with the seller, etc., in short, all the trouble to get them wasn't worth the satisfaction of having them. The ease of having a toy has always been a major factor for me in toy collecting. It shouldn't cost much and it should be available in local stores. I enjoy the shopping experience wherein you get to touch the box, examine what's inside before making a decision to buy an experience that is lost when buying online. When I found the boxes above in Divisoria, I knew they were going home with me.

These toys aren't sought after, to be honest. The popularity of a toy isn't a major consideration for me in buying a toy.  I never bothered with the resale values of any toy I buy. It was just that the opportunity to get these toys easily below the retail price is there. I felt that the opportunity will not present itself again. That is just me trying to make sense of this impulse buy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hero vs Hero

After watching the hero vs hero movies from DC and Marvel, I can't help notice some similarities. Here are some.

In Batman vs Superman (BVS), there was no clear motivation why Lex Luthor is doing what he's doing. He just seems crazy. Making  a character crazy is an easy way out compared to creating a backstory to explain the villain's motivation.

In Civil War (CW), Helmut Zemo may have a backstory but it wasn't shown. It was just told. The objective was, of course, not to make the audience empathize with the villain. The reveal of the villain's backstory was used to enlighten another character, T'challa. I also didn't get why Zemo had to reveal that he framed up Bucky. He could have destroyed the evidence and released the video of Tony Stark's parents, to further fuel Tony's anger earlier on. 

Both movies lack an interesting villain. At least, BVS had Doomsday.

In both hero vs hero movies, I wasn't moved by any side. I didn't empathize with Superman and I feel Batman is too angry and afraid. I thought Batman was a good detective. He should have made a thorough investigation to see if Superman was indeed a threat. Superman, on the other hand, just didn't seem to care at all with what's going on around him.  He didn't have a clue that he was being set up. A quick x-ray scan of the building could have saved a lot of people.

I wasn't Team Iron-man nor Team Cap as well.  I understand Tony felt the guilt for the collateral damage while Steve has this guilt of not being able to save his friend. The thing is, it was hard to share their guilt. Didn't we celebrate when the heroes defeated the villains even if we knew that there was some damages, some lives lost? Didn't we rationalize how the death toll could be higher had the Avengers didn't do what they did? Tony's guilt may be sensible but I felt it wasn't strong enough to make me side with him. I've always seen him as a person with a big ego so his wanting himself placed under some organization's control also doesn't make sense.

I don't also didn't get Cap. How could he place so many people's life in danger just to save someone who can already save himself? I feel for all the soldiers he beat up just to keep Bucky safe. Also, Chris Evans is not a great actor. For those who is used to watching action and sci-fi movies may find his abilities good enough but not me. Maybe I'd appreciate him more if he had a nude scene.

The issues between heroes for both movies could have been settled diplomatically but then the movie would have a lot of talk time, less action scenes. The truth is, a lot of us only wanted to see a brawl between two or more heroes. At least, we got that. It doesn't have to make sense.

Losing a parent is no laughing matter but when it is overused, it becomes a cliche like in both movies. People who get to hear that story over and over will eventually get desensitized.  Yeah, it adds to the backstory, giving a clear motivation. It's also adds to the drama but it's getting... *yawns* Speaking of drama, Steve should have died in CW, for the sake of drama... or comedy if you get the point.

Both BVS and CW introduced new characters that will eventually be part of the team. BVS storytellers are really too lazy imagining an incident where the introduction was called for. The introduction doesn't really add to the story. The same is true with adding Ant-man and Spider-man, even the return of Hawkeye. They were just added for the rumble because it is what we really paid for. (T'challa's appearance fit in the story, so I don't see a problem there.)  If you are going against your own team, the same people whom you somewhat trusted before, why would you turn to someone new, someone whose reliability hasn't been tested yet? Why did Steve trusted Ant-man and why was Tony bringing in a kid to a fight? What have these new characters done to gain the trust of the older characters? What if they were Hydra? Are Steve and Tony really evil such that they are willing to sacrifice the safety of other people just to further their goal?

I really think some of them should die already, like Cap and Hawkeye. They died in the comics. It reminds me of beauty pageant question: if you're going to die, why not now? At least, Superman died.

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Dark Knight Rises: Battle for Gotham City, Batmobile with Batman (2012)

This Batmobile toy was initially released in 2012. I'm assuming it was a flop since I have been seeing this being sold in Divisoria for quite sometime. I don't collect DC toys so I didn't buy it then but every time I was in the store, I kept looking at it. The Batman toy also looked crappy. The Batmobile, aka the Tumbler looked really cool, though. It can work with my 4-inch Marvel Universe action dolls. For PhP700 (less discount), it feels like a good deal. (It is being sold online locally for PhP1100.) I did enjoy the Decool Tumbler I got for my nephew and I thought I should get my own version.

As with a lot of Mattel toys, this, too, is difficult to remove from the box. It has some locking mechanism I don't understand. I did try following the illustration but it didn't release the toy. I just pulled the car from the cardboard. A strong force is needed. I don't think a kid can do it. The kid would just be frustrated.

the locking mechanism

From the photos on the box, the spoilers(?) on the car are raised. I felt fooled when I found out that the spoilers cannot be raised. They are also made of rubbery material which is good. The spoiler could be the first to break if they are made of hard plastic. This toy just invites the player to handle it roughly. 

The spoilers can't be raised but they can be bent.

The Batman action doll feels like a knock-off. The plastic feels cheap. The one I got has splayed legs. It has poor articulation when compared to Hasbro action dolls on the same scale. This poor standard was the Mattel standard for action dolls in this scale.

The Batmobile feels light since it is mostly hollow. It has enough details making it look good in pictures. Most 4-inch action dolls can fit inside although it is very cramped.

The rear wheels are made of rubber while the front wheels are not. They roll quite easily. The body is made of hard plastic but it doesn't feel like it can crack easily. The car can survive some rough playing. It can be bumped to the wall or other toys. It may have some dents and scratches but it could give cool a battle-worn effect.

For less than PhP700 (around US$15), this is a good buy compared to the Captain America with Motorcycle from the Captain America: Civil War toys. I don't even remember Captain America with a motorcycle from that movie. It was Bucky who did an awesome trick with a motorbike.

This is one of the most iconic Batmobile design from one of the best Batman movies. The Batmobile from the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice has a sensible design as well, but it wasn't offered in a scale for 4-inch dolls.