Friday, January 01, 2010

The Fourth Annual, Random Happenstance Year in Toys!

Even though it often involves a lot of cutting and pasting, and sometimes trying to finish pictures on New Year's Eve (since I have kids, I don't go out for it; but I'm hard-pressed to recollect ever having a great time for it anyway...OK, maybe once or twice.) this is still one of my favorite posts of the year.

For new readers: next to my desk at work is a little yellow notebook, in which I have been keeping a running total of every action figure or toy I buy. I started December 2005 and haven't filled it yet, so apparently I'm not buying enough figures. Hopefully, each entry has the figure, the line, the price, and where I bought it; and possibly a link to a cartoon or strip that toy was used in. Unless that figure's unloved or unphotogenic, I guess.

Unlike every other list that shows up this time of year, this is by no means a "Best of 2009" kind of list: Frankly, there's at least a couple stinkers on there. No, this is a straight tally of what I bought. As usual, most of this list was kept up at, and here's links for 2008, 2007, and 2006. Four years worth of totals! Why, in theory you could get all sorts of interesting statistical data out of that! You could. I'm not.

1-6 First toy of 2009: Diamond Stargate: Atlantis Lt. Col. Sheppard, $8, Hastings.

1-16 Mattel Movie Masters Gotham City Thug, $5, Fred Meyers.

1-23 Hasbro Marvel Legends Ultimate Nick Fury/Captain America, $21.88, Wal-Mart.

1-28 From Toy Bender and Big Bad Toy Store: Diamond Select Battlestar Galactica Helo, Mattel DCUC Mr. Miracle and Hawkman, three Star Wars Order 66 two-packs, and a Sideshow Bespin Luke Skywalker figure! (All part of Toy Bender's Toys for Tots contest, so not counting against my totals.) From the Comic Book Shop, DCUC Shazam, $13.99.

2-7 NECA Player Select Bionic Commando, $15.99. (With credit, $5 at Hastings.)

2-20 DCUC Flash, $8.49, Fred Meyer. (A great sale, I really wish I had been able to buy the variant Big Barda then!)

3-19 Marvel Icons Nightcrawler, $41.29 with postage, eBay. (Love it, but ow.)

3-20 DCUC Harley Quinn, $10.99, Target.

3-30 DCUC Blue Beetle, $13.99, Comic Book Shop.

3-31 DCUC Artemis, $10.99; Hasbro X-Men Origins Deadpool (comic), $8, Target. 2 packs of Marvel stickers with figurines, Magneto and Human Torch, $2.98, Shopco.

4-3 Hasbro Wolverine & the X-Men animated Nightcrawler, $8.44, Wal-mart.

4-8 HML Sunfire, Hasbro Spider-Man Venom, $6.99 each, TJ Max, total $15.25.

4-11 Mattel DC Infinite Heroes, Superman/Supergirl/Wonder Girl, Ross, $5. (Chock full of meh, but $5 is my knee-jerk price point.)

4-16 DCUC Booster Gold (classic), $11.88, Wal-Mart.

4-17 X-Men/Wolverine Animated Nightcrawler, $8.44, Star Trek Spock, $8.97. Wal-Mart. Yes, that's a spare Nightcrawler, but I was a little disappointed with the Spock.

5-5 Stargate Ori Prior, $3.94, Suncoast. I actually thought that was going to be cheaper, and he was only for the dialer piece.

5-15 DC Infinite Heroes three-packs: Green Lantern/Black Canary/Green Arrow and Hawkman+2 Thanagarians, $5 each, $10 total, Ross. They aren't great--no one can look up, which you notice when two-thirds of them can fly--but marked down they feel like a steal.

5-17 DCIH Guy Gardner, $3.50, K-Mart. The same.

5-19 DCIH Batman, $5.99, Fred Meyers. On sale, and bought because having all those characters in that scale and no Batman offended my delicate sensibilities somehow. The DCIH Wonder Woman is gonna have to be way cheaper before I cave on that one, though.

5-20 Mezco the Spirit, $7.98, Hot Topic.

5-29 Playmates Terminator: Salvation T-R.I.P. (6-inch), $7.19, Fred Meyers. It''s not great.

6-11 DCIH Adam Strange, $3.50, K-Mart.

6-13 Playmates Star Trek Kirk, 3 3/4", $5, Wal-Mart. Marked down a bit, but out of...

6-16 Spock 3 3/4", $6.99, Target.

6-20 Yay, yard sale stuff! Batman Wayne Manor/Batcave playset, $2. (From B: TAS, probably missing something, but in good enough shape.) Kurt Cobain figure, $3. (Never wanted that at full price!) A couple Gundam things, including Fisty there, $1. Pirates of the Caribbean Captain Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann 3 3/4'', Jabba the Hutt, and a G.I. Joe humvee, $1.

7-3 DCIH Hush and two Manhunters, $1.20 each, K-Mart, $4.91 total. Not bad for that price; and I did take a nice leisurely bike ride (in 90-something degree heat...) to a further K-Mart in the hopes of getting another Manhunter or two, but no dice.

7-4 Yard sale: ID4 Jeff Goldblum, Mecha-Godzilla, a couple random Beast Wars Transformers, a capeless and sad Azrael-Batman, and some accessory pieces: $3. Goldblum had just been on the Colbert Report that week to try and deny reports of his death, so I had to buy him. Weird that it was the fourth, too: that didn't even occur to me 'til later.

7-5 DCIH Black Adam and Hush, $.75 each, $1.61 K-Mart. It's probably too small, but I'd like to headswap the bandaged head to make an Unknown Soldier. (Yes, it's way too small, so no dice there.)

7-10 DCIH Weaponer of Qward: from 2 different K-Marts, five of them. $.75 each, $3.75 total, which is just over half of regular price for one. Poor pink bastards don't even get a weapon, for that matter.

Oh, and a G.I. Joe Scarlett/General Hawk comic pack, $4.

7-11 Yard sale stuff: three Transformers, incomplete; and a mostly-there Iron Man Transformer. It's the later edition in the War Machine colors. $1.

7-17 Marvel Universe Moon Knight, $8.44, Wal-Mart.

7-19 Batman: the Dark Knight Shift Attack Sports Coupe. Marked down from $29.99, $4.99, K-Mart. And a spare for my nephews when I see them next week. I'd say I'm the best uncle ever, but I'm pretty sure I've missed getting them something at some point...

Sometime in there: G.I. Joe Cobra Crimson Guard 5-pack, $12.99, Ross. Not bad, just wish I'd been able to get the generic Joes vs. Firefly set as well.

8-8 Marvel Legends Nova, $10.44; Marvel Universe Thing, $5. Wal-Mart, and only what, twenty months or so late on Nova?

8-12 HML Tigra, $10.44, Wal-Mart.

8-14 DC Direct Watchmen Comedian and modern Silk Spectre, $3.98 each, Hot Topic, total $7.96.

8-20 DCIH Reverse Flash (Professor Zoom), $1.00, TJ Maxx. He was a dollar, I couldn't leave the poor sod...

8-22 Handful of Heroes, $5.96, Walmart. Bought specifically for the Nightcrawler one, but I got Planet Hulk, Magneto, Cyclops, Mandarin, Iron Clad, Spider-Man, and Hulkbuster Iron Man. HB IM is probably the best one.

8-27 Secret Wars Captain America/Klaw, $12.99; G.I. Joe Agent Helix, $7.88, Target, total $20.87.

8-30 Indiana Jones German Soldier, Fred Meyers, $3.40.

9-9 DCIH Weaponer of Qward, $1.20, K-Mart. That makes six! (At a total of $6.22, still cheaper than a single full-priced DCIH figure...)

9-11 Star Trek (3.75 inch) Scotty, $3; 4 Ultimate Solder XD 1:18 Germans, $.50 each, total $5, Wal-Mart.

9-11 Yard sale: LOTR Boromir; 4 3.75 figures: Dusty, a Cobra figure I wanna say is a driver of something, Jack from Xyber 9 (anyone else have a vague recollection of that show?) and General Lando. $1 total.

9-12 Another yard sale: Morbius, TMNT Raph, Fisher-Price Little People motorcycle and toilet (I loved my Little People stuff when I was well, little; and it's still up at my parents' house for kids to play with. I'll always buy anything I find for it at yard sales.) Twenty-five cents.

9-15 Star Trek 3.75 Cadets McCoy and Chekov, $1 each; Secret Saturdays Zak and Doc Saturday, $1 each, Marvel Universe Ronin, $3. Wal-Mart, $7 total.

9-16 Wal-Mart Marvel Legends Black Bolt, Punisher (plain), Daredevil (yellow) and Beast, $5 each, $20 total. Oh, hell yes.

9-17 Wal-Mart exclusive Ult. War Machine, and Nova (for yo go re of!), $2 each!

9-17 Playmates Terminator T-700 3.75, $3.99, TJ Maxx.

9-21 MU Ms. Marvel, $3, Walmart.

10-16 Playmates Star Trek Bridge Playset, $6.48; Nero, Pike, Sulu, and Uhura, $1.75 each; $13.48 total, Target.

10-18 ST Sulu, Scotty, Pike: $3 total, Wal-Mart.

11-14 MU Iron Man, $8.44, Target.

11-16 G.I. Joe Pit Commando, $5.99, Fred Meyers.

11-24 From Big Bad Toy Store: Indiana Jones with machine gun, $1.69; DCIH Black Hand, $1.69, Marvel Universe Silver Surfer, $5.94. (The oldest got the Indy with the rocket launcher, and a Pirates of the Caribbean Jack Sparrow ring!)

12-1 DCUC Vigilante, $6.99, Fred Meyers.

12-10 DC Direct Manhunter (from the History of the DC Universe line), $6.50 (plus $8 postage), eBay.

12-16 DCUC Power Girl, $12.99, Wal-Mart.

12-18 DCUC Man-Bat and Robotman, $12.99 each, $25.98 total, Wal-Mart. DC Direct Creeper (again, from the History of the DC Universe), $4.80, the Comic Book Shop. (Valley, they were closing that location, and clearanced out some figures.)

12-22 DCUC Guardian, $9.99, Fred Meyers.

12-29 Deep breath: Marvel Legends Fantastic Four/Ronan wave Human Torch, $2.20; Spider-Man/Sandman wave Mary Jane, $2.39; DC Direct Diana Prince, $3.20; DCUC Series 7 Captain Cold, Kid Flash, Ocean Warrior Aquaman, and Big Barda (helmetless), $2.80 each. Total with tax, $20.64, from the Comic Book Shop, clearout of their Valley store. None of these were first round draft pick figures, but for the price they were an utter steal; and I was pleasantly surprised to realize I could build Atom-Smasher! And since they've all been out for a bit, you can check reviews for all of them at if you are so inclined.

Year-to-date total: $558.16. My 2006 total was about $620, 2007 was $426, 2008 was $555.16.

What a weird year for toy-buying; and buying Col. Sheppard seems like a hundred years ago. This year was all over the place in terms of the figures' scale, since I ended up with far more 3-3/4 inchers than I would've planned. There's also several figures I very much wanted, but never would've paid full price for, that I lucked into getting on the cheap--Manhunter and Creeper being the best examples, and both will probably get full reviews at a later date. And Wal-Mart finally came through both on the Nemesis wave and DCUC exclusives. (I haven't forgotten the prior DCUC Wal-Mart wave, that I never even saw, but seems like some effort is being expended now.)

Based on a quick count, what line did I end up with the most toys from? The somewhat-maligned DC Infinite Heroes, with 25. Keep in mind, most--actually, all-- of those were bought well below their intended retail price. In second place, DC Universe Classics, with 17, although again with some markdowns. (I also found it odd that I seem to buy a bunch of DCUC in a fairly short span of time, then don't buy more for months.)

In a surprise, Marvel Legends--hey, remember those?--narrowly beat out Star Trek 3-3/4 figures, 13 to 12. Some of the Trek figures are duplicates, and I'll get more as the price finally drops at some retailers: I wouldn't pay more than maybe, maybe three bucks for them now, even to fill in the bridge set. Marvel Universe (and likewise-scaled Marvel lines, like the Wolverine movie) came in with 11. Two of which are Nightcrawler, from the Wolverine animated series, but Kurt will have a Secret Wars figure (with punk Storm, who I'll probably end up with multiples of...) in early 2010.

I mentioned before that between DC Direct and DCUC, I have most of the DC characters that I want in some form or another; I need to revise my wishlist. Between that, and the Marvel Legends on the back burner, I have no idea what the next year will bring in terms of figures. Well, reckon there's only one way to find out!

Probably out for a couple days, but as usual, new strip on Wednesday. Hope to see you then!


SallyP said...

Obviously money well spent.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...


Fanboy Wife said...

Ha, ha! My husband liked this one.

disa said...


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