8/17/14

He's a Radical Rat :: Nickelodeon TMNT Splinter Action Figure

This fellow here is the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles iteration of Splinter: father of the Teenage Mutant ninja Turtle brothers.

I found this guy at a thrift store and paid fifty cents for him, so mine is missing the walking stick he was originally released with. I replaced it with a much cooler katana (whose origins are a mystery to me) I found in a playmobil lot I picked up at a garage sale.

I didn't originally feel the need to own this guy, but for fifty cents I couldn't pass him up.

I don't know that I would pick him up if I had to pay full price. His Nickelodeon animated design is a bit on the bland side and lacks the charm of the goofy-looking original Splinter action figure. And he certainly could have benefited from the inclusion of a few weapons; the original came with a sweet hidden sword in his cane, a bow/arrow, and a couple throwing stars.

Giving him this katana does help.

Also, as a rule, a soft-goods robe would have been preferred over this molded plastic outfit. It limits the movement of his legs, although Splinter probably isn't going to be twisted into a bunch of acrobatic poses anyways.

I'm sure Splinter is still plentiful on store shelves, and a new 'Dojo Splinter' (with removeable helmet), which I think looks pretty cool, has just been released. Had I only been given the chance to own one of them, I would probably opt for Dojo Splinter as he has a little more 'oomph' than this bland Splinter. But I am also a purist and like to have 'original' versions of main characters, so if I would have owned that one first I would have probably then felt the need to track this guy down too.

So I guess the moral of the story is that I am glad to have this Splinter and any fifty cent action figure is better than no action figure at all.

8/15/14

Heavy Metal Noise! :: Nickelodeon's TMNT Metalhead Action Figure

This is the modern iteration of Metalhead, from the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toyline by Playmates. I've had this guy for quite a while now, but realized the other day that I had never gotten around to blogging about him! The nerve!

Design-wise, Metalhead is a real gem. I love his skull-knee-pads and the nuts/bolts at his shoulders, knees, and the sides of his head. I didn't take a picture of it, but his shell is an NYC sewer lid - a real genius design component!

Metalhead's 'weapon' is a simple flame/missile that you place within a hole in his right hand and 'flick' from the back of his elbow to send it flying. This action feature limits Metalhead's right arm to a perpetual 90 degree bend but it doesn't encumber his aesthetic too much when the missile is removed. And since he's a robot, a limited range of motion is acceptable.

His shoulders are a basic swivel and his wrists rotate. His hips and knees are the more dynamic ball hinge, and his head is on a ball joint, which gives him a large range of emotive head poses.

His elbows do not have any articulation, but I'm ok with that. The only issue I have with his arms is that his bent arm and his straight arm are the same length - were he to extend his right arm it would become longer than his left! If I had to guess why, I would say Metalhead's initial design probably called for some sort of action feature or interchangeable hands/weapons on his straight arm, and that feature was cut for costs. Leaving Metalhead with mis-matched arm lengths. Honestly it's not really that noticeable, but I noticed it and it bugs me just a little bit.

That said: Metalhead is so cool I recommend him regardless of any dumb old stumpy arm!

As for scale, Metalhead is a tad smaller than the Turtles, which is in line with his animated appearance.

I picked Metalhead up many months ago. I'm sure he's still easy enough to find at retail, my experience with the TMNT toyline is that they are plentiful and easy to find (I applaud Playmates and retailers for keeping it that way - no under-packed rarities or retailer exclusives!) but I can't confirm it myself as I have not looked for him recently. If you have, let us know in the comments!

8/13/14

Robin Williams

I love Robin Williams.

People who know me in person know me as a funny guy. I don't know how much of that translates on this blog or any other digital media you may 'know' me from (Twitter, Facebook, Craigslist's 'men seeking...') but I hope it does to some extent.

Regardless,  I am the guy who perfected comedic timing in elementary school in order to guarantee one milk-from-nose incident per lunch hour every day. I wore rainbow suspenders to the sixth grade. I made sure my little sister knew who Buster Keaton was before she even went to school. Once at dinner I said 'I can make anything funny' and when challenged to make the food on the plate funny I immediately channeled Chaplin and danced the breadrolls at the end of a pair of forks. And it was funny.

I literally cried myself to sleep when I heard the news that Peter Sellers had died. I was seven.

I am older now. And jaded. I did not react to Robin William's passing with the same innocence lost abandon as I did when I was just a boy. But I have shed tears. And I will continue to do so for some time.

I am older now. I know life is fleeting. Death visits the great and the shit. I know. I get it. Peter Sellers had a heart attack. Mitch Hedberg died of an overdose. Johnathan Winters of old age. It's sad, but it happens.

But Robin. Mr. Williams. He hurt. He was sad. And that is so terrible. Words cannot describe how painful that is, to have taken so much joy from one person only to find they hurt so badly that they felt worthless.

He had kids, he was a father. I'm a father. I cannot imagine the pain one must feel to think that their own children aren't enough of a tether to life to keep them from severing said tether.

But...

Sometimes when you are funny. It's a shield. It's a suit of armor. It keeps people out. It keeps them at arm's length. It gives you total control of any situation. It is the perfect camoflauge.

I started this post with the line 'I loved Robin Williams' but I removed the past tense. Because my love for Robin Williams did not end when he did.

Through his comedy he is immortal but goddamn it he left us way too soon.