Monday, January 22, 2018

The dimebag of action figures.

There's a scene towards the end of Dr. Strangelove, when, on board Major Kong's B-52, he gets the bad news that the surface-to-air missile that took out their radio (and thus prevented them from hearing the recall codes...) also damaged their fuel tanks. The navigator projects they wouldn't even have enough to make it to their secondary target. Kong complains he didn't come all that way not to bomb something, and asks what's on their way home...

I haven't ridden a bomb...lately, but I do take a similar attitude to buying figures sometimes: you didn't come all that way not to buy anything, right? Best case, that may mean a clearance figure; worst case, you're getting into the dimebag of action figures: blind bags. Sure it's cheap and maybe it'll hold you over, but you really don't know what you're getting and it's not entirely satisfying. What a grim metaphor...

There are a ton of varieties out there, though. I mentioned the Avengers chibis years back, and since then I've picked up most of the DC ones, another Marvel line, and a Star Trek set. They're currently mounted on my work computer, but I made a little graph as to why blind bags suck with the Trek ones: it took me forever to find Captain Kirk.

And there were transporter variants of the characters as well, so that skews the numbers even worse.

Now, while I enjoy coming away from the store with something, I can also be super, super cheap. A lot of the following were bought on deep, deep clearance. I don't think I'd have many of the Marvel 500 if that wasn't the case; although I know I have the Avengers because they were cake toppers my wife grabbed off of somebody's cake! They're little pre-posed numbers, with a bare minimum of paint apps. Luckily for me, they haven't done a lot, if any, with the X-Men (or the Fantastic Four, for that matter) in the ten series Hasbro has put out so far; so I haven't had to drop cash money looking for a Nightcrawler one.

Based on not much, I feel like DC has a stronger blind-bag presence; although that well could be just ones that appeal to me...and are dirt cheap. I have a pile of DC's Mighty Minis figures. Hmm, like some of the Marvel 500 figures, you can get some of them in a set rather than blind-bagged; and there's even a Darkseid build-a-figure for Justice League Action! Which I didn't know about until I had already bought several bags, so I didn't get him. I like the animated style and figure selection better, but there are also series for Batman v. Superman and Justice League. A tip: these figures are bagged in pieces, so it may be tough to narrow it down without practice, but you can usually feel Superman or Batman's cape if you want to avoid getting a ton of Superman or Batman. You're probably still going to, but maybe you can mitigate that a bit.

The last couple of times I've been to Wal-Mart, the pegs haven't had squat: locally, they're drowning in their own Justice League exclusives, and I already bought the Black Panther figures! But the clearance aisle had marked down Marvel and DC Ooshies blind-bags. They are little squishy pencil topper things, not unlike the smaller Squinkies of a few years back. I threw a few in the cart but came up with an alarming amount of doubles. There are sets of those available as well, but to complete a set of 40 you would need to purchase some 4-packs, some 7-packs, and some blind bags. I will not be completing a set of 40.

There are also these not-quite Kinder Eggs I get, either Star Wars or Avengers, from Finders Keepers. I have a number of the little busts living on top of my DVD player. They aren't bad, and hey, you get chocolate with them! Maybe not the fanciest chocolate, but it's something.

And this is just a few of the options out there: Funko has reams of blind-bag and blind-box choices, and there are always the Lego mini-figures. It could be more effort to return empty-handed from the store than not, but I try to restrain myself. That said, I don't know if I buy enough of these little things, that not buying them would add up to a Hot Toys figure or anything. Plus, I think I prefer a bunch of little hits over the course of a year, rather than one big hit...lot of drug metaphors today, not sure what's up with that.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Ha ha, yeah, what's up with all those drug references Cheech?
That Star Trek ratio just to get Captain Kirk is redonkulous. Has to be done that way on purpose so you'll keep buying blind bags in order to finally get him. Damn, they'll nickel and dime you anyway they can won't they?

I used to be like that too, that if I was put toy hunting, I needed to come back with something to show for my efforts, even if it wasn't the ones I was looking for. Thank Harambe I got that out of my system a couple years back or else I'd be broke even quicker than normal.